David Styles (born November 28, 1974), better known by his stage name, Styles P, is a rapper, author, and entrepreneur. He is prominently known as a member of Hip Hop group The LOX, founder of D-Block Records and is also a part of the Ruff Ryders hip-hop group, and in addition has released multiple albums and mixtapes as a solo MC. In 2002, he released his debut album A Gangster and a Gentleman. He went on to release Time is Money (2006), Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman) (2007), Master of Ceremonies (2011), The World's Most Hardest MC Project (2012), Float (2013), Phantom and the Ghost (2014), and A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy (2015).
Styles P, a member of The LOX and the larger D-Block Hip-Hop collective, grew up in Yonkers, New York rapping alongside Jadakiss (Jason Phillips) and Sheek Louch (Shawn Jacobs). In their late teens the trio met Mary J. Blige who was so impressed with their tough street east coast lyrics, she gave them a big break by putting their demo in the hands of Sean “Diddy” Combs. Diddy immediately hired the trio to write for Bad Boy Records. With the label, The LOX quickly started collaborating on hits with Diddy, the Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, and Mariah Carey which gave them instant notoriety and status within the hip-hop and mainstream charts.
In 1996 and 1997, the group wrote and performed on a number of Diddy hits, including "It's All About the Benjamins" and "I Got the Power", Mase's "24 Hrs. to Live", Mariah Carey's "Honey", the Notorious B.I.G.'s "Last Day", and Mary J. Blige's "Can’t Get You Off My Mind". In 1997 The LOX received international acclaim when their tribute to the late Biggie Smalls, "We’ll Always Love Big Poppa", was picked as the B-side track from Diddy’s No Way Out album (3x Platinum) with the number one hit, "I'll Be Missing You". This single was the most played hit in 1997, which opened the door for The LOX first solo album debut in January 1998 entitled Money, Power & Respect (Certified Platinum). Though the album was a chart-topping success, The LOX felt the glossy image of Bad Boy Records conflicted with their grimier rap aesthetic and therefore cut their ties and moved on to Ruff Ryder Records.
After another LOX album, We Are the Streets (2000) and appearing on albums with Ruff Ryders, Styles released his first solo album, A Gangster and a Gentleman, in 2002. Four years later he released his second album Time is Money on Ruff Ryders which was followed by Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman) a year later. After recording many mixtapes Styles returned to the Hip-Hop scene by releasing two retail albums in 2010, The Green Ghost Project with DJ Green Lantern on Invasion Records and The Ghost Dub-Dime a retail mixtape on E1 Records (formally Koch Records). This began a string of annual retail releases with his fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh albums (2011's Master of Ceremonies, 2012's The World's Most Hardest MC Project, 2013's Float, and 2014's Phantom and the Ghost) all being released within a year of each other.On February 28, 2012, he released an EP with CurrenSy titled, #The1st28.
Invincible: A Novel
In 2010, Styles P released his first novel, Invincible, through Random House Publishing Group. The main character, Jake Billings, goes to prison after he shot at two stick-up kids trying to rob his record store. He gets stabbed five days into his sentence and ends up in a coma for two years. Two years later, he wakes up and finds out that his prison sentence has been commuted and that his enemy still wants him dead. This causes him to develop a mantra of not trusting anyone, not even his own family.
- Studio albums
- 2002: A Gangster and a Gentleman
- 2006: Time is Money
- 2007: Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman)
- 2011: Master of Ceremonies
- 2012: The World's Most Hardest MC Project
- 2013: Float
- 2014: Phantom and the Ghost
- 2015: A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy
- Collaboration albums
- 1998: Money, Power & Respect (with The LOX)
- 2000: We Are the Streets (with The LOX)
- 2009: No Security (with D-Block)
- 2010: The Green Ghost Project (with DJ Green Lantern)
Styles P is married to Adjua Styles.
In 2015, His daughter Tai committed suicide. According to Sheek Louch, he and Styles P learned about the news when after flying from L.A.; they just finished doing a rehearsal for the BET Awards. According to his interview with The Breakfast Club, Tai took her life while living away from her family.