Styles P shocked fans when he took to his Instagram in October 2022 to announce he would be hanging up his microphone as a solo artist.
As surprised as fans were, there was a feeling that his decision wouldn’t be permanent — as history has shown rappers never truly retire. Music is his first love, but the Ghost has been prepping for this moment for some time now, and he’s as serious as ever because the stakes are even higher.
“If you look at the amount of solo albums I have compared to artists my age, I think I’ve done my job, and I’ve done it well,” Styles tells Billboard about retiring. “I’ve provided fans with so much music, and it consumes a large part of my life. But there’s a lot of other things I want to do, and now I’m ready to do that.
“At this point in my life, I’m focused on other things, like helping people through my creativity in a way outside of my music career,” he continues. “I’ve always been a messenger, whether it be for the streets or my people, and now I’ve grown into being a different type of messenger.”
Throughout his 29-year music career, Styles P became a prominent voice of the streets as a member of The LOX alongside his Yonkers brethren Jadakiss and Sheek Louch. He took things further when the trio embarked on solo careers in the early 2000s that kept their run going for 20-plus years.
Styles reached people through his music, and his devoted fanbase proved that with all the love and support they’ve shown him over the years. But while that was happening, the 48-year-old discovered he could serve people in other ways.
“I found myself going down so many avenues since I knew there was more I wanted to do,” Styles says. “I’m somebody that once I start or explore something, I’m going to dig deep and finish it, which is really what’s fueling this next chapter for me. My curiosity and determination to chase what I want for myself.
“It’s all about completing goals now,” he adds. “You can’t do that without using your talents, energy, creativity and passions. I’m putting myself in a position to say, ‘All right, here’s what I’m working on, here’s how I’m going to do it.’ And once I see I’m going to do something, I like to complete the mission.”
Whenever he clocked out of his job as a respected lyricist, Styles P discovered opportunities to reach more people and extend his creativity beyond music. According to Styles, he wasn’t wasting time putting his talents or passion to good use.
Healthy living piqued Styles’ interest, and led him to launch a juice shop with Jadakiss called Juices for Life in 2011, which offers healthy food choices to underserved families. Styles P then opened a local health food store with his wife Adjua Styles, called Farmacy of Life, which sells several herbal supplements to improve physical wellness.
In 11 years, Styles Pinero built a successful health and wellness brand, and he accomplished that by sticking with his vision and following what he loves — which is helping others. And people haven’t held back when it comes to thanking Styles for shining a light on health.
“I couldn’t truly tell you how I went from being one of the most hardcore rappers to the guy spreading the word about healthy living,” says Styles P while sitting behind the cash register at his Farmacy for Life shop in Scarsdale, New York. “But I can say that I took one big step in a certain direction and never looked back.”
In addition to his health businesses, Styles launched a line of organic peanut butter and jelly spread with Eleven Madison Park called Styles PB&J, collaborated with gourmet vegan shop Cloudy Donuts, created a health-focused Web 3.0 community called Farmacy Fantoms and much more. The rapper has so much on his plate outside of music that he tells Billboard he’s also stepping down from running Juices for Life to figure out “the things and ways of the business” that he can add to the company, and retirement is giving him time to do that.
“I have to reevaluate how I do the business and find a smarter way to do it so I can accomplish the goals I set out for myself with that. My retirement is letting me dedicate time to helping people with their health and other areas of my creativity,” says Styles. “All these businesses I’m involved with are ones that I love because it’s what I do, and it’s what my heart is into, and we’re just getting started.”
He continues: “I’ve written a fiction novel and want to write more scripts. I’m doing things I love — and the best part is, I’m serving others. The transition was easy, too, because it’s not like I’ve completely stopped rapping. I’m still with The LOX and doing work with them. But on the solo side, I have other things I want to do.”
Styles’ retirement party kicked off with his 15th studio album Penultimate: A Calm Wolf Is Still a Wolf, which released at the top of the year. He plans to drop one more album before officially shutting the lights off on his solo career, and he’s going to make it the best music experience for his fans.
“I put out a lot of music, and you never know how it’s going to go — but I certainly want you to appreciate the music,” Styles says about having a “grand closing” on his solo career. “I’ll probably do more features than I ever have with people that I’ve wanted to work with since it’s the last one.”
With Styles P embarking on this new journey in his life, he’s looking to accomplish so much more than what he’s done in his 48 years of living, and the most important thing for him is to continue being a messenger to his fans.
“My goal is to amplify the first part of my journey and grow even more while also highlighting that,” says Styles. “I started branching out to help my community, which are people of color in poor areas. But as I’ve matured, I see there are more people I have to help out. I’m a human and spiritual being, and it’s my job to care for others, period.”