As part of the ongoing celebrations for the 50th anniversary of hip hop, r/hiphopheads engaged in a Q&A session with Yonkers OG Styles P. During the extensive conversation held at the platform’s NYC office, Styles P responded to a wide array of questions, spanning from technology to health and well-being. Speaking specifically about his health journey, the Lox rapper delved into his newfound commitment to a healthier lifestyle and the driving force behind it.
Reflecting on his past, Styles P revealed, “When I look back, I’ve always somewhat been on the journey without really knowing. I quit red meat my first year on Bad Boy, but when I made my solo album I actually [redacted] ended up going to the county penn during that time for when I released ‘Gangsta and A Gentleman.’ That wasn’t my first time in the county Penn it was my second time. So sitting there thinking what is making me tick, what’s making me be pushed by ego and pride, what makes me do stupid things and I’m a smart person.”
Styles P attributed his shift towards healthier living to his relocation to a more affluent neighborhood, which exposed him to a different way of life. He elaborated, “I came up with my own conclusion that I was chemically imbalanced and it had to do with the food I was eating, and at the same time through music I was able to move to a more affluent neighborhood where I was seeing the differences in the stores that they have and the stores that we have back where I’m from.”
He continued, “You move to an affluent place and even when you drive by you don’t see a fast food place on every corner you don’t see a liquor store in every corner. When you’re in the hood that’s exactly what you see every few blocks. So I started understanding that health is a big part of the energy you take in, the energy you give off, how you’re feeling about yourself, and treat people. So 2003 when I got out I stopped eating chicken. I was a vegetarian from ‘03-13.”
From a career standpoint, Styles P shared, “if you know my past/history of violence, I was always a man that wasn’t afraid of anything. But then, I noticed after I was walking around with good energy, a duty within myself to inform myself that fruits and vegetables make you feel better. I don’t force the lifestyle on anyone, but I do tell people it makes you feel good. Most people don’t pay as much attention to the inside as they do the outside.”
“You need to know what you’re putting in your gut and clean it every once in a while. If you clean your body on the outside, think about how often you clean your inside,” he added.
When asked about the impact on his music career, Styles P noted, “It’s great, I have clearer visions and have more energy.”
Growing up in Yonkers, NY, Styles P witnessed the toll of substance abuse on his community. To address the lack of access to fresh, nutritious food in his neighborhood, Styles P (David Styles), aged 48, opened the first Juices For Life store in the Bronx in 2011. The store offers a variety of fruit and vegetable juices, wellness shots, protein shakes, and smoothies, aiming to bridge the dietary gap faced by individuals in his community.
“If you grew up in the hood, there’s a liquor store on every corner, there’s a fast food place on every corner,” the rapper told Hypebeast. “If you make money and you move to a more affluent neighborhood, you don’t see those same things so frequently.”
Styles P’s commitment to healthy living goes beyond Juices For Life. He and his wife, Adjua Styles, established a holistic “pharmacy” named Farmacy For Life, where they offer organic products such as black seed oil, Irish sea moss, and oregano oil. These products are available to customers outside New York as well.
In his conversation with r/hiphopheads, the 48-year-old artist also shared his reservations about AI, stating, “I feel creators should create and a machine creating or mimicking what a artist who is alive is doing is just not cool with me. I like my music with soul in it.”
You can watch the complete interview below, where he discusses the challenges of writing “I’m Black” and shares his thoughts on a potential Verzuz battle with Dipset.