A Gangster And A Gentleman [PA]
Performer: Styles P
Artist: Pharoahe Monch; M.O.P.; Angie Stone; Lil' Mo; Eve; Sheek; Jadakiss; Swizz Beatz; P.K.; J-Hood; Garf; Styles; Cross
Engineer: DJ Shok; Dragan "Chach" Cacinovic; David Swope; Steve Conover...
Distributor: Universal Distribution
Notes: Personnel includes: Styles, Eve, Jadakiss, Sheek, M.O.P., Pharoahe Monch, Angie Stone, Lil' Mo, P.K., Swizz Beatz, J-Hood. Producers include: Styles, The Alchemist, P. Killer, Mr. Devine, Jay "Icepick" Jackson. Personnel includes: Styles, Eve, Jadakiss, Sheek, M.O.P., Pharoahe Monch, Angie Stone, Lil' Mo, P.K., Swizz Beatz, J-Hood. Producers include: Styles, The Alchemist, P. Killer, Mr. Devine, Jay "Icepick" Jackson. Audio Mixers: Ken "Duro" Ifill; Rich Keller. Recording information: Powerhouse Studios; Sony Studios; YO! Entertainment Studios. Arranger: Craig Brodhead. As one-third of the intrepid street rap trio LOX, Styles Paniro had seen hip-hop go through a number of awkward phases since the death of friend and mentor the Notorious B.I.G. Biggie Smalls and Sean "Puffy" Combs were the first to recognize the talents of Styles and fellow Yonkers natives Jadakiss and Sheek Luciano. After Biggie's passing, the LOX released their debut, Money, Power & Respect, in 1998, and Styles was always the MC who listeners looked forward to hearing on the track. After the LOX became fed up with Puff Daddy's glammed-out approach to the rap game, they rediscovered their gully roots and resurfaced with DMX, Swizz Beatz, and the Ruff Ryder camp in early 2000, releasing the far-more-edgy We Are the Streets later that same year. After fellow LOX member Jadakiss found solo success with his summer 2001 release Kiss tha Game Goodbye, it was only a matter of time before Styles, every bit as talented a lyricist as Jada but perhaps a little less marketable, came forth with a solo venture. The buzz for this album was spurred by two singles in particular: the soulful memoir "My Life," featuring Pharoahe Monch (originally released on Rawkus' Soundbombing, Vol. 3), and the herbalist's anthem "Good Times." But this album is more than just a two-track wonder, as Styles divides equal time between his bipolar persona. On the gangster side, Styles offers thuggish joints like the kettle-drum-laced "Styles," the stirring "Lick Shots" featuring the LOX crew, and the party banger "Soul Clap," which loops a snippet from the classic Native Tongues remix of "Scenario." Styles shows a more humanist side on the laid-back "Black Magic," featuring Angie Stone, and expends heartfelt lamentation on the death of his older brother on "My Brother." The album's haphazard track sequencing detracts from its overall quality, as the songs don't transition well from one to the next. Also, despite Styles' made-man, one-foot-in-the-spirit realm approach, the MC fails to carry a couple of tracks (which may be the result of some spotty, soulless production). These minor glitches aside, Styles' debut hits hard like a double shot of Glenlivet or a haymaker to the thorax. ~ M.F. DiBella
Rolling Stone (8/8/02, p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Styles may be painspoken, but he's certainly not simple. Many of his songs celebrate life's underdogs, and the rest reflect a deep nihilism....a sad and unaplogetic Styles stares mortality right in the face..." Rolling Stone (8/8/02, p.80) - 3 stars out of 5 - "...Styles may be painspoken, but he's certainly not simple. Many of his songs celebrate life's underdogs, and the rest reflect a deep nihilism....a sad and unaplogetic Styles stares mortality right in the face..." CMJ (8/5/02, p.15) - "...This debut announces Styles presence as a solo artist with authority." CMJ (8/5/02, p.15) - "...This debut announces Styles presence as a solo artist with authority."
Styles P debuted in the late-1990s, signed to Bad Boy as one-third of the Yonkers-based group, the Lox. After a shiny-suit, commercial-rap phase characterized by the hit, "All About the Benjamins," with their Puff-produced album, MONEY, POWER & RESPECT, Styles and company turned toward more thugged-out hip-hop, signing with DMX's Ruff Ryders for their sophomore effort, WE ARE THE STREETS. Styles first stood out from his crew with the hit weed anthem, "Good Times," off his 2002 solo debut, A GANGSTER AND A GENTLEMAN. Plagued by label entrapments, Styles went the mixtape route while his second LP, TIME IS MONEY, stayed on hold until finally appearing in 2006.
Also Appears On:
Big Punisher Cassidy Cent, 50 DMX Eve Jadakiss M.O.P. N.O.R.E. Onyx Redman Rob, Black Sheek Louch Sigel, Beanie Swizz Beatz
A.G. (D.I.T.C.) B.I.G., Notorious (The) Cormega Jay-Z Joe, Fat Kool G. Rap Mack, Craig Nas Raekwon
East Coast Rap
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