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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

classic: divine styler

At the beginning of the last decade my homie Ryan Somers aka Fritz the Cat did a show called In Divine Style. Before that he had a magazine called In Search of...The Divine Styler. Back then, thinking that I knew a great deal about the culture and the music I surrounded my life around, had no idea who The Divine Styler was. Ryan taught me. Now, almost ten years later, I'm a full fledged fan. For those who don't know about Divine Styler, here's some education for you. You're welcome, but you should thank Ryan first.


He first emerged as part of Ice-T's Rhyme Syndicate. His first LP, Word Power, was hailed by critics and fans, but was not a commercial success. His second album, the wildly experimental Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light, also failed to sell well. In 1998, Divine Styler hooked up with the Quannum Records crew, teaming up with his dear friend and fellow Rhyme Syndicate alumni Everlast, Styles of Beyond, and the Beat Junkies. The latter also appeared on his third LP, Wordpower, Vol. 2: Directrix (Featuring Exceed), which trafficked in information-age paranoia.

Divine Styler is a convert to Sunni Islam after a number of years spent in the Faradian Islam offshoot known as the Nation of Gods and Earths; he influenced the decision of Everlast to become a Muslim. Many of the songs on Spiral Walls Containing Autums of Light are songs of praise to Allah, and the 1999 song "Make it Plain" (recorded for the Funky Precedent compilation) details the joy he feels at having finally found a way of life he loves after decades of uncertainty and woes.

Aside from those major albums his tracks are scattered among other artists' albums and projects. He has done several tracks with John Tejada but they're scattered on several compilations and albums by Tejada. He appeared (along with Sadat X and Cockni O'Dire) on several tracks on the final House of Pain album Truth Crushed to Earth Shall Rise Again. His most recent work has been with Len, Swollen Members, and DJ Shadow, as well as with guitarist, bassist, and emcee Gabe Rosales.


Albums

Word Power (1989) Epic/SME
Spiral Walls Containing Autumns of Light (1992) Giant/Reprise/Warner Bros.
Word Power, Vol. 2: Directrix (1999) DTX Recordings
EPs
Ain't Saying Nothing (1988)

Appears on
Truth Crushed To Earth Shall Rise Again (1996)
Strength Magazine Presents Subtext (1999)
The Funky Precedent (1999)
Hell's Kitchen (2002)
Razor Tag (2007)
Reseda Beach (2008)