Styles P

Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman) | Koch
By LAUREN CARTER  |  February 19, 2008
2.5 2.5 Stars
STYLES-P_inside
In a genre where bravado regularly trumps skills, it’s not surprising that Styles P, a survivor of the ’90s D-Block crew, keeps touting his own greatness, as if making the statement could make it come true. Yet for every overblown claim to the rap throne on this ambitious 19-track release, P musters a degree of menace few can match. The mood is reminiscent of early Mobb Deep, and though P’s tales of strife and borderline paranoia aren’t quite as gripping as Deep’s Prodigy/Havoc tag team at their height, his rhymes are generally engaging enough to prop up the album when guests including Ghostface Killah, Beanie Sigel, Black Thought, and fellow D-Blockers Jadakiss and Sheek Louch aren’t chiming in. Sinister Alchemist-produced numbers like “All I Know Is Pain” and “Green Piece of Paper” plus the dark “In It To Win It” prove that though the top may be a stretch, P at least belongs in rap’s upper echelon.
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