Styles P, the celebrated Yonkers rapper known for producing tracks for Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., and Mariah Carey, has released a whopping 13 albums over the course of his 30-year career, most recently debuting Styles David: Ghost Your Enthusiasm in May of 2020. Now, he’s taking the time to pass the mic.
Styles has partnered with Tracklib, a ‘record store for samples,’ to give an up-and-coming producer an opportunity of a lifetime: produce his next single. A member of the mid-90s rap trio ‘The Lox,’ Styles is shifting the spotlight to rising stars after nearly three decades in the industry. The winning producer of this competition will get to collaborate on a track, released with Styles P.
“I like to keep a consistent work ethic with music. I’m 45,” Styles said. “I’m a veteran in the game. It’s the point for me to make sure I don’t get lazy and stay in tune with the things that I like to do.”
Tracklib is a digital platform that helps artists and producers obtain samples from original songs to use in their own music. Although sampling popular songs is expensive for producers, Tracklib makes it affordable for budding musicians to choose a sample and get clearance for hundreds of tracks.
In order to enter, producers from anywhere in the world are required to use a sample from Tracklib to make a beat. Styles will listen to the 100 best ones and pick a winner. For Styles, getting to listen to new, fresh sounds is re-energizing. Album number 14 is not too far in the future.
“There’s only supposed to be one winner, but knowing myself, I’m probably going to reach out to a lot of the producers,” Styles said, “The ones I still love, I’m going to reach out myself and stay connected and keep working. Since I drop a lot of projects a year, the beats are only going to benefit me.”
The Knockturnal: When did you get your start in music?
Styles P: That was like 1995, 1996! Mary J. Blige put us in touch with Puff Daddy and Biggie Smalls. I’m 45. I’ve been around the scene since I was 7. We made it professional at 19,20. When I was in junior high and then high school, people around would recognize who I was.
The Knockturnal: How do you feel about the state of the industry now, and how have seen it shift from the time you were coming up in the 90s?
Styles P: Definitely, the sound is different. But as long as people are saying something that’s intriguing and makes you think, I’m comfortable. Times change. Even with the music that I absolutely do not like at all, I don’t mind, because that’s still a young man and a young lady that is fortunate enough to make a career and not have to worry about going to jail, or getting in trouble, or getting in harm’s way every day to make a dollar.
The Knockturnal: What about the music industry motivates you?
Styles P: When I see someone come from a certain background, and they’re able to feed their family and get themselves out of a certain situation, it’s beautiful to me. Whether I like the music or not, I love the situation. I love that someone is able to build a career, and build a life, and buy homes. I’m pretty cool with it. There’s always dope music. You just have to fish around for it. The game will always elevate young brown people, black people, even white people who can make money and provide for their families through their passion. That’s a beautiful thing. It’s good enough for me.