The cover for Styles P’s PRESENCE contains the title word’s definition, the MC leaving nothing to interpretation in his second full-length release of 2019. This project follows S.P. The GOAT: Ghost of All Time, another title that speaks to the unshakable self-satisfaction the MC has earned over the course of some 25 years in the game. To that end, PRESENCE is a continuation of The Ghost’s lifelong mission: to make music that represents the streets of New York and to do so with bars and style.
The production here is polished boom-bap, in as many iterations as there are tracks, while Styles’ raps—even when sandwiched between verses from hungry young guns like Conway, Chris Rivers, and BENNY THE BUTCHER—come off as the musings of an OG with much to teach and nothing to prove. It’s an astute sense of self that powers an artist a quarter century into his career, and Styles himself distills this plainly on “Gotta Know”: “Gotta know your weakness, gotta know your strength/Are you built for the war, can you go the length?”
Bad Man (feat. Butta)
Blam, Blam, Blam (feat. Conway & BENNY the BUTCHER)