CREDIBILITY - Furious Styles
interview by LD Williams Jr.
CRED: I am sitting with Furious
Styles what’s up man?
FS: I am good what’s up L.D.? What’s good?
CRED: What made you want to pursue a musical career?
FS: (pondering) What made me want to pursue a musical career? I was
always into music I was always around it. Then I was listening to
Marley Marl and Chuck Chillout all of the KISS FM and WBLS stations
in New York. I could actually tell what they were about to play. I
could hear just hear a piece of the record and I would automatically
tell what they were going to play. After a while I was like I could
do that it took some time and I eventually did. That is what really
made me pursue music I could hear these thing before other people my
age. They would be like how did you do that? Can you hear that? But
I could hear it that is what made me want to do it man.
CRED: What are some of the artists that you liked?
FS: Whew! (laughs) You are bringing me back, Slick Rick, Just Ice,
Fat Boys, Kwame, Gangstarr, and Kool G. Rap. I could go on and on.
Fat Joe before he was Fat Joe when he was Joe the Fat Gangster. I
could go on for days.
CRED: How did you get involved with it?
FS: I got involved with it when I was ten. One of my friends named
Kalif he was a DJ. He would let me mess with his equipment. I was
young but I wasn’t that good but he gave me that opportunity. You
know how it is when you are a DJ you have a family member that is a
DJ or a close friend that is a DJ.
CRED: How did you transition from fan to the industry?
FS: OK this is how I am going to do it. Shout out to KISS FM WKYS
because you wouldn’t give me a chance. I tried to intern with them.
I had to go to the alternate route. I had to go the back door route
I went to Hot 99.5 the pop channel they let me in. They let me open
for 50 and Kanye and spin at the MCI center and do some things like
that. From there, I slide over to XM Radio shout to Leo G and Miss
Kitty they put your boy on. The rest is history I got the mixtape
game popping. I won a Justo award. DJ Dubbs is my partner and we got
CRED: How did you start in the mixtape game?
FS: I started in the mixtape game… I started this showcase called
Shine it got real huge and basically I went to this thing called
Sunday School. I used to travel from DC to New York to go to this
thing with Tone Capone. It was a workshop, Tone Capone used to bring
label people in there and show people how to get in the game and I
was a student. I would come from mad far just to sit down and listen
for two or three hours and right then I knew I had something. A lot
of people coming up wouldn’t get played on the radio for whatever
reason. I decided it makes perfect sense I am going to mess with the
people on the come up. Let me give them an opportunity to be heard
on a national platform like XM and it made perfect sense. Then from
there it started to blow up.
CRED: Then the Shine mixtapes came out?
FS: Yep. After a couple of Shine shows the Shine mixtapes came out.
I just kept breaking new artists on the show. I’ve broken records on
artist like MIMS, Yung LA, Serius Jones; it is what it is all you
have to do is check the BDS XRAW is the symbol.
CRED: When did you branch off and do other tapes? I know you got the
Shyne joint out.
FS: One of those this with that is. I didn’t start off doing just
unsigned mixtapes. Me, DJ Scream, and DJ Dubbs did this mixtape
called Hovember. It was a mixtape for Jay-Z and it was my first
major guy tape. I also did the Allhiphop.com Breeding Ground tape
and that was with DJ Drama, Talib Kweli and David Banner. I won a
Justo mixtape award for that for best promotional mixtape.
CRED: What other avenues are you involved with outside of DJing?
FS: I am also involved with management. I manage a couple of
producers I manage a producer named Doc J. I also do some consulting
and I got a few major placements. I only manage one producer so I am
still looking for more producers! I also did a production mixtape
the PMP mixtape that was hosted by Hi-Tek, Vinny Idol and 88 Keys.
What I did with that was I intertwined advice on the business about
how to not get jerked and I intertwined that to a CD.
CRED: How much has the music changed since you made a transition
from pure fan to an industry person?
FS: You are always a fan of music. You really the music business
when things happening around you. When record label reps start
calling you and you have I don’t want to say power but you realize
that you are a tastemaker. Your phone will not stop ringing and it
is just music it is crazy how people will persuade you to like their
music. Anybody who knows music knows music knows that it is based on
emotion. It just so happens that people choose you and respect your
emotion to convey it to the public and that is all it is. Shout out
to Leo and Miss Kitty they taught me how to be biased and respect
everybody’s story. Once I started to develop Shine I got to
understand different aspects from people who had been in the music
game or radio game longer than me. That is when it started to change
I wasn’t becoming industry I was understanding the music business.
CRED: How much has the business evolved?
FS: I am going to be a 100% honest all of these people that have all
of these distribution avenues don’t do it. All you have to do is go
to tunecore.com and you have free distribution. They will put your
stuff all over the internet and they only take ten cents per sale.
Why would I want to sign with someone and they are taking dollars
that doesn’t make sense. At the end of the day the internet changed
a lot of the music game because people have more information. Did
that answer your question?
CRED: Well how is the whole business model changing?
FS: There is no business model. They are losing 60 percent sales. It
has to change because their business model is not right.
CRED: Ok how has the model changed from the time you came in? They
must be making changes and have you seen the implications of those
FS: No I have not. They are not making changes, that is why iTunes
came in and is making more money than the labels. The music industry
is like the G.O.P the Grand Ole Party they don’t want to change.
Like, they should not have banned Napster they should have found a
way to partner with them but they are stingy and want all the money
so they were like we are going to sue them instead of partnering
with them. They wanted to find ways to protect copying a CD. You
know how many hackers there are? You will never in a million years
be able to protect CDs from being copied Apple cant even do that!
Right now Apple is the premiere business model. The only person that
is buying CDs right now is the dude that is interviewing me.
FS: Let’s keep it real. I hate to say that but I was playing
basketball with a bunch of kids and no one buys records no more. We
can’t relate to these kids. Nobody makes a full album to make them
want to buy it they rather buy singles. It is the whole digital age.
Do you know what the whole digital age is? It is the CD singles, the
Maxi singles it is all that joined into one. The iTunes right now is
the tape singles from when I was young there is no business model.
CRED: Do you think the onus is on artists to make better music?
FS: Yes I do. They have to make whole bodies of music. You know what
that is it is like a book. If you buy a book shout to all my readers
out there you don’t want to start at Chapter 8. You want to go from
one all the way one, two, to three it has to be respected and it has
to be consistent. That is what albums don’t do nowadays. When I pop
in B.I.G. I can listen to the whole thing I can close my eyes and
see the whole thing and it is like a book. I can see it from
beginning to end.
CRED: Do you think a lack of balance on the radio has had an adverse
effect on the music industry?
FS: Of course y’all know what radio is man.
CRED: What is it? FS: It is what it is. (laughs) the radio is what
it is. (Laughs)
CRED: Radio is a business.
FS: Radio is a business.
CRED: Does the radio business have an adverse effect on the music
FS: It does have an adverse effect on the music business but the
radio business doesn’t make those decisions the music business does
because it is what it is and you can quote me on that.
CRED: With the way that is set up right now what do artists on the
come up right now have to do to be successful?
FS: The way it is now it is all online. Your marketing campaign has
to be really good. Your money definitely has to be right. You have
to save for years to be in this business. You have to try to be in a
lot of places your network has to be real tight. You have to just
put yourself out there.
CRED: If you are in control of the music business how do you fix
FS: You can’t double dip. Which means you can’t sign an artist and
get a piece of the publishing. I think that Conflict of Interest
rule needs to be enforced. They have a piece of the deal that they
shouldn’t have it is like nepotism. I would cut all of that out.
CRED: So when you cut that out the A&R wouldn’t get that money?
FS: No you just get the bonuses. You are going to get the bonuses of
you sell records why do I pay you to sign people and then you go do
a side deal where you get a percentage of the publishing? No! Get
out of here! Stop being greedy I would cut all of the side stuff
out. You get one deal you sign a dude he do the numbers you get a
bonus. You can’t get a double bonus where you sign the dude’s
publishing away too? No you aren’t going to do that.
CRED: What else needs to change?
FS: It has to be based on real hip hop that is present within the
time. I can’t expect teenage kids to like KRS-One but I can expect
kids to expect hip hop from up and coming people if they can relate
to it. All types of individualism is not respected in music right
now everything is the same.
CRED: Let’s talk about some of the projects you got out in the
streets. You have Shyne 25 to life plus 9.
FS: Yes that is real big. Shout out to Shine. Clinton Max
Correctional Facility he will be home real soon in the summer if not
sooner. Shout out to Gangland Records.
CRED: Why did you pick Shyne
FS: Shyne sometimes I wake up at 5 in the morning and I am like who
do I want to do a tape on? At first I was like Nas. Now I have to
come up with a creative title then I came up with Reverse Racism.
With Shyne I don’t know how to explain it. I do the tapes that I
want to do. I don’t care if they sell. I put it out and if the
public accepts me then they roll with me most of the time they roll
CRED: Are there plans to do an official tape with Shyne when he
FS: I am trying to get that in place. I am working on it.
CRED: What else are you working on?
FS: I am working on shout to my man with Dry Millz. Stack Bundles
album coming real soon holla at me!
FS: Shout to my man Dry millz and Violator management. Stack Bundles
album coming real soon. That is all that I can say.
CRED: When is that coming?
FS: Very soon that is all that I can say. You heard it here first
CRED magazine. Stack Bundles album Koch ENT or E1 Music. All
original never hear shout to Lil Wayne on the first single. Holla
Back! The album is crazy it is called Rockstar.
CRED: How are you going to keep it from leaking?
FS: I am not an executive on the project. I just happened to be in
the right place at the right time and I happened to hear that the
album is a real great album.
CRED: Where is the mixtape game going to go?
FS: The mixtapes are always going to be around. People eat good off
of these mixtapes do not get it twisted. As long as there is
internet people are going to buy tapes that is just what it is. The
mixtape where is it going to go?
CRED: Do you think the digital age killed the music industry?
FS: I think that it is killing them because they are slow and they
do not want to find a new way to do business. The labels are dying
look at Slim Thug he did 33,000 CDs. Jim Jones did 43 and he is on a
major. That is a 10,000 unit difference c’mon man you don’t have to
be a scientist to do that math. Who won? How much do you think it
cost to market Jim Jones album? How much do you think it cost to
market Slim Thug’s album? Ok so Jim Jones sold 10,000 more units but
Slim Thugs marketing budget was way less than Jim Jones’
CRED: Independent is the way to go?
FS: Absolutely depending on what your situation is.
CRED: When is it better to go to a major?
FS: When you are broke, in the street and want to get out of your
situation. It is different strokes for different folks. If I am
dealing or doing what I got to do to survive and someone going to
put a couple hundred thousand away it is different for each
Me personally what a label needs to give me is at least a million up
front at least.
CRED: What clauses in the contract?
FS: I keep my masters, a decent rate of publishing, I am not into
360 deals so I keep my show money. I get to keep my merchandising
after that holla at Tracey Lee and let’s see what happens.
CRED: What is next for you professionally?
FS: I just want to keep moving. I got a producer that I manage. I
want to get on the grind. I want to have my management company up
and running consistent. I wouldn’t mind owning a production so I can
help people get deals then we can do joint ventures I might own a
label. I just want to keep it consistent man I want to move forward.
CRED: What would you do over if you could in your career?
FS: I wouldn’t do anything over. I think I was trying to be a Mr.
Nice Guy. I wish I could have recognized the people that didn’t have
the work ethic so I could tell them to keep it moving. I had a
couple of failures that I really believed in but that’s me I believe
CRED: Tell the readers something they do not know about the music
FS: Save your money for various
things. It cost a million dollars to have a platinum record. That is
marketing, promotion everything it cost a million to sell a million.
CRED: Give me something about you the reader’s don’t know.
FS: Y’all don’t know nothing about me. (Laughs) What you don’t know
is that I am between DC and New York three times a week sometimes I
drive, sometimes I take the bus, sometimes I take the train. I am
always all over the place. I will do anything to go where I have to
be in the country to do what I have to be successful in the
CRED: Any advice for artists coming up in the game?
FS: The advice that I have is to build your network up, keep
grinding and don’t give up. Travel outside of your comfort zone.
Travel outside of your neighborhood to accomplish what you are
trying to accomplish.
CRED: Thank you for your time
FS: No Thank you I appreciate it.