Styles P takes the title of MC very seriously. On his upcoming album Master of Ceremonies, the Ghost expands the acronym to exemplify what it means to be a rapper of the highest caliber. The LOX rhyme spitter broke it all down with Sway on Wednesday’s “RapFix Live.”
“I named it Master of Ceremonies because I’m an MC and I felt like I’m gonna bring something to the table that a lot of people forgot about — a lost art,” Styles told Sway of his album, which drops October 4.
In the beginning, it was the DJ who was the star in hip-hop. During the early house parties and park jams, the MC’s main function was to toast to the DJ using witty and rhyming wordplay. As hip-hop evolved, it was the MC or the rapper who emerged as the musical star. For Styles P, his MC influences included Rakim, KRS-One, Big Daddy Kane and the seldom-celebrated New Jersey rapper Chill Rob G. So when it came time for him to grab the mic, Styles took the title very seriously.
“It’s my job to say something. At the end of the day, I have to say something,” Peniro said, citing rap’s current lyrical deficiency as motivation for his first solo album in four years.
The Yonkers lyricist even joked that after announcing his Master of Ceremonies album title on Twitter, one fan thought he was down with the Illuminati — a powerful, cult-like sect that conspiracy theorists accuse artists like Jay-Z and Kanye West of being involved with. “I laughed, but I was sad at the same time,” Styles said, “because to them, a master of ceremonies sounded like some Illuminati term and I was like, ‘Nah I’m an MC.’ Do your history — this is where we come from.”
Styles, who is a self-described “fan of lyrics,” invited other MCs to be a part of his album. Not only do [artist id="2000082"]Rick Ross[/artist] and [artist id="1043"]Busta Rhymes[/artist] appear on Master of Ceremonies‘ lead single “Harsh,” other well-regarded spitters like Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Lloyd Banks are represented as well.
“In hip-hop, I think a lot of us forgot about MC and what MCing is,” he said. Luckily Styles P is about to give us a reminder.