While visiting The Breakfast Club on New York radio station Power 105.1 recently, Jadakiss and Styles P described their approach to label politics and releasing music independently as opposed to when signed to a major label.
“We’re actually free agents right now, for about a week now,” Jadakiss said. “Maybe two, week and a half. We handled business.”
“We business men, we gentlemen at the end of the day,” Styles P said. “Nah, seriously. At the end of the day we businessmen. You come into this game as an artist, as a person who wants to rap, and then through years and developments and ups and downs, and mistakes, you learn your business. We don’t just handle ourselves as artists, we handle ourselves as businessmen, label-owners, CEOs, marketing, we’re each other’s A&Rs. We know how to do the whole shebang.”
Styles, who has publicly praised artist independence in the music industry previously, spoke about his motivations to sign a collaborative deal with a major label for the upcoming Lox album. “I’m the opposite man,” he said referencing Jadakiss’ interest in signing a deal and receiving a check. “I think with the Lox, a perfect situation would be a indie-major kind of movement.”
“You’re not looking to blow the roof off the building,” Jadakiss said of negotiating a contract with a label. “You just want something nice, do the project, maybe one-off. And come back and keep negotiating.”
“That’s what I’m saying,” Styles added. “We’re gonna do both. I’m with a major, one or two off…This what people say, you gotta learn early as an artist depending on what power and status you have and what angle you’re using, a contract is made to be broken and made to be rearranged and redone.”
While on the show, the two members of the group were asked about possibly signing directly to another Hip Hop artist’s imprint with Rick Ross’ MMG being offered as a prominent example. While Styles P shook his head no to signing with MMG, Jadakiss left open the possibility that the group could sign to any label that fits their music. “It’s open, we open to sit down with everybody,” Jadakiss said.
Styles referred back to his preference for a collaborative deal when the idea was mentioned. “I would like to do business with a lot of labels,” he said. “Good Life. MMG. Eminem. Hov. I would love to business with all of these people. RocNation, all that. I don’t want to be signed to people, but I wouldn’t mind doing any business with people, putting out whole projects. There’s a lot of money out there and there’s a lot of money to be made and a lot of business to be handled.”
Jadakiss downplayed the thought with a comment about difficulty agreeing to a deal. “A lot of people don’t want to break the bread, Styles,” he said.
“Yeah, you right. But that’s what it’s about business and meeting at the table like gentlemen,” Styles added. “We don’t gotta be no slaves or partners for too long, but here, let’s work this out for now.”
Styles P also described his motivation for independence as stemming from diverse experience within the industry personally. “It’s a lotta hats you have to wear once you sign into this,” he said. “You a businessman, you have to be an emcee [and an] artist. You have to be a warrior. You still have to keep it gangster and gentleman and that same time. It depends on what you doing, on what the moment calls for. It’s like outside, there are some people I had beef with as a child that are some of my closest friends. And it’s some of my closest friends who I probably wanna pop. Life happens that way.”
Jadakiss And Styles P Talk About Their Industry Clout And Relationship With J-Hood
Before speaking on their current relationship with the former D-Block emcee J-Hood, both Lox members described to The Breakfast Club their method of navigating the music industry after being involved for so many years.
“I think in the industry we cool dudes,” Styles P said. “We down to earth. We fair. We live by our word. And we stand up guys, we respect those that came before us, those that came after us.”
“You gotta embrace the new stuff,” Kiss said. “You get a one-way ticket out of here trying to front on all the new dudes. Whether it’s your cup of tea or not, you gotta show them respect, those that pay homage.”
In a separate interview recently released by REVOLT related to the topic of new emcees, Jadakiss broached the topic of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ win at the Grammys. “The Grammys is always the Grammys, it’s not geared towards Hip Hop,” he said. “They say the Hip Hop Album of the Year. Only two of the nominees, or maybe one, is really Hip Hop. Just when you thought the Grammys was loosening up, it just shows you that, ‘This ain’t what we’re doing here.’ Macklemore though, to be independent to do what he’s done, he deserves everything.”
“Respect when it’s somebody else’s time,” Styles said in the Power 105.1 session. “Respect their time. Everything from the streets, to basketball, to music, to just being a man, everything is a young man’s sport or game, everybody aspires to be a veteran. You wanna turn a hobby into a job into a career. You can’t be the hottest out forever so you want to have a career where you’re steady and you put out work people could believe in.”
Despite their public falling out with the rapper, both Styles and Jadakiss described believing in and hoping the best for their former protege J-Hood. “We still be seeing Hood, it’s love,” Styes P said. “I be trying to tell Hood, I love him as a person, just as the Lox sometimes, as grown men, we try to say we wanna move forward. How it ended and closed with paperwork and all that. I’ll always love Hood as family, you know what I’m sayin’ and look to him like a little brother, but there’s some people in my family who I wouldn’t do business with. And I take it like that. There’s real family members, even though you’re my family and I love you, I just can’t rock with you business-wise. But peace and blessings to him and I hope noone out there holds him back and holds anything against him because of us. Give him his pass. Let him get a deal, give him his G pass. I want the whole word to embrace him. Real talk…He’s a talented dude. He’s got good work ethic, I think he’s learned from his mistakes. I feel like he really deserves a shot somewhere.”
When asked if the group ever physically reprimanded the younger rapper for his public show of disrespect, Styles replied in the negative. “Nah, never,” he said. “We actually—I’m surprised we didn’t. I got love for him. It was a lot we didn’t do. We didn’t do no sucker crap with the paperwork. It was like, ‘Alright, you off.’ You know he was dragging the chain and everything, but we let all that go. It was like, we not going to hold you. And then it was like, not only us. There’d be people who call you on the jack, ‘He’s here right now, what you want done? Put it on him? Put him down?’ No. Leave him. Pass. That’s baby bro. You just gotta let him chill and go his way. But we really wish him the best and just hope, like I said, [the public] treat him with open arms.”
On their 2013 remix of Drake’s “Pound Cake,” Sheek Louch raps about the falling out near the end of his third verse. “I done made a millie, P and Kiss made a millie / Hood could have if he wasn’t acting silly / But no hard feelings,” he raps.