Sometimes albums just fall though the cracks. That’s certainly the case with this week’s selection, Styles P’s Time Is Money. This was an album that I was really looking forward to, but by the time it finally came out, it had been bumped down on my priority listening list—which got it placed on the resolution list.
Once upon a time, I wasn’t Styles P’s biggest supporter. There was actually a time when he was my third favorite member of The Lox. But after the D-Block/State Property beef, Styles’ stock really grew. He was talking reckless and rhyming like crazy. That was when Styles caught my ear; from that point on I was a fan.
Now, the legend behind the album is that Interscope sat on the finished product at the behest of 50 Cent, because of 50′s beef with Ja Rule. Y’see, Jadakiss and Ja Rule were on a song together, so 50 went at Jada. Naturally, Styles got involved and Time Is Money was shelved.
But it finally came out, and it’s really a dope album. Actually, it’s very much one of those albums that serves as a snapshot of the time. Only one song doesn’t “feature” another artist, which would normally be a bad thing. But listening to Styles over a variety of different beats and collaborating with different types of sounds is kind of refreshing. I mean I love gully Styles, but sensitive Styles is kind of dope, as is club Styles.
Seriously, “Can You Believe It” is easily the best song ever to be produced by Lil Jon and to feature Akon. You’d think that the song would automatically suck balls, but it doesn’t. Even “Kick it Like That”, a song for the ladies, featuring Jagged Edge, is good for what it is—the song for the ladies.
Ironically, the song featuring Styles and his Lox brethren is one of the weakest. Granted, one of the reasons why it disappoints is because the expectations are high. And Swizz’s beat on the track is almost subpar.
On the plus side, “Testify” and “I’m Black”, which show Styles getting in touch with his more militant side, fit him well. It’s nice to hear him with righteous anger as opposed to the typical thug variety. Of course, “I’m Black” caused a minor stir when it was released as a lead single and some stations objected to the reference to rape.
A song that clearly suffered from the lack of release is “Favorite Drug”, a song that rides the same Crystal Waters sample as T.I.’s “Why You Wanna”. And even though it was recorded years prior, since it was released after T.I’s album, there’s the onus of biting that looms over it—at least to listeners old enough to remember when biting was a cardinal sin.
Still, Time Is Money is a dope album that’s worth the wait. It cements Styles as one of my favorite emcees out. And it was completely my slacking that landed it on this list.