Sierra Leone, hip hop star and CEO of Noble Square Music, Yusuf Osaio Kamara VII aka YOK 7 is about to go global by featuring a top American Hip Hop Star, the CEO of D Block David Style. He is better known by his stage name as ‘Styles P’ or simply ‘Styles’ and best known as a member of hip hop group, ‘The Lox,’ alongside his childhood friends Sheek Louch and Jadakiss.
Along with the other members of ‘The Lox,’ he is a founder of D-Block Records and is also part of ‘Ruff Ryders.’
In addition to his group work, he has released multiple albums and mixtapes as a solo MC. In 2002, he released his debut solo album ‘A Gangster and a Gentleman,’ which contained the hit single “Good Times.” The song peaked at No. 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and received massive nationwide airplay in 2002.
Apart from his debut album, he released several other albums, including ‘Time is Money’ (2006); ‘Super Gangster’ (Extraordinary Gentleman) (2007); ‘Master of Ceremonies’ (2011); ‘The World’s Most Hardest MC Project’ (2012), Float (2013), ‘Phantom and the Ghost’ (2014), ‘A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy’ (2015), and ‘G-Host’ (2018).
He started rapping career with ‘The Lox’ in the mid-1990s and started to build a steady underground following, thanks to their performances and street freestyles later. Even though as teenagers they met Mary J. Blige who was impressed with their lyrical skills and gave their demo to Sean “Diddy”, Combs Diddy immediately hired the trio to write for Bad Boy Records.
After signing with Bad Boy, the Lox quickly started collaborating on hits with Diddy, The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey, which gave them instant notoriety and status within the hip-hop and mainstream charts. In 1997, the Lox received international acclaim when their tribute to the late Biggie Smalls, “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa”, was picked as the B-side track from Diddy’s ‘No Way Out’ album (3x Platinum) with the No.1 hit, ‘I’ll Be Missing You.’
After releasing another Lox album, ‘We Are the Streets’ and appearing on albums with other Ruff Ryders artists, Styles released his first solo album, ‘A Gangster and a Gentleman’, in 2002.
The album was supported by the hit single, ‘Good Times,’ which peaked at No. 22 on the US Billboard’s Hot 100; and No. 6 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. The song also received widespread airplay on the radio throughout 2002. In 2004, Styles was featured on an alternate version of Akon’s hit debut single, ‘Locked Up’. Two years later, he released his second album, ‘Time is Money’ on Ruff Ryders which was followed by ‘Super Gangster’ (Extraordinary Gentleman) a year later.
According to YOK.7 he had done seven albums but that had not taken him international so his team, Noble Square, decided on doing songs and working with artists that will take him and his songs global. He said the mission started with a song he did with Nigerian female singer Tini in “Fire Dance.”
The title of the song is THE LION and the story will tell the narrative about how he is coming from a very small country, Sierra Leone and fighting to make it big in the global music industry.
The beat was produced by Tai Young, the vocal was recorded by Jada Vizos and he did the premix as well. According to YOK 7, he later moved over to New York where the final production of the audio and video were done. He said he is on a mission to put his country on the map and to make money out of what he is doing.
“For now, I will work on singles until I get the recognition needed,” says YOK 7; “and that people should be looking out for this song because it’s going to be a banger!”
By Ishmael Daddys Banguraby