Styles P and his wife Adjua Styles’ love for hip hop made it easy for them to unite as one, but they believe similar goals, values, and friendship are what helped them remain married. The Yonkers native is recognized as a true lyricist as part of one of the most respected hip hop groups of all time, The LOX. He and his collaborators, Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs and Bad Boy Records in the early ’90s before leaving and signing with Interscope to continue their careers. With hip hop being a major influence for him, Styles P knew from a very young age he wanted it to be a part of his life in a more intimate way.
“I’ve loved hip hop since I was a child, practically my whole life. I knew I wanted to definitely be involved [thanks to] two different moments. Audio-wise, it was hearing ‘The Message,’ and visual-wise, it was watching Beat Street. It was just something I knew I wanted to be a part of the rest of my life,” Styles P told REVOLT in an exclusive interview during the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture. “Hip hop is an amazing thing. It’s our culture, our language, our creativity. It’s something I felt was made for my generation, and people who lost their history, and lost their original tongues and made their own thing up. I’ve always loved it since the beginning.”
As two people born and raised in New York, the couple takes a ton of pride in being birthed in the same place hip hop originated. Although their home state has influenced America in many ways, they believe hip hop is one of the best things bred from the Big Apple because its impact is international.
“I look at New York as the mecca of hip hop to be honest with you. It’s where it all started; it’s amazing to see. Besides, New York has always been a pretty influential state and city, and to see something that spawned out of the poorest parts of N.Y. become worldwide,” the rap icon began. “We’re all related and connected whether it’s West Coast, whether it’s down South, whether it’s Midwest — to see N.Y.’s contribution, not just to America but the world, is a pretty dope thing. To actually be from where it started is pretty amazing. You see people live their lives basically [according to] hip hop, so it’s pretty awesome.”
“I obviously love hip hop. It’s a no-brainer, us being together. Initially, I was thrust into the limelight and public because of him, so I had my journey with that. It’s 50 years and we’re still on top — and I’m from New York, so I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Adjua added as she smirked and chuckled with pride.
In an interview with Billboard, Styles revealed he was retiring from music, his first love, to pursue other desires he has in addition to the health and wellness business ventures he’s opened. Ahead of his announcement, the known vegan launched some of those endeavors. He owns Juices For Life, which has two locations in New York, with his childhood friend and bandmate Jadakiss, as well as Farmacy For Life, a health store focused on bringing wellness to underserved communities.
Having the opportunity to work with his wife, who’s been by Styles’ side throughout most of his music career and personal life journey, has made him feel blessed in this lifetime. The couple has been married for 28 years, which is not only considered a long-running union in general, but it’s pretty iconic in the music industry. Despite hip hop fans knowing the lovebirds by default, more people learned about the couple because of their recent appearances on WE Tv’s “Marriage Bootcamp” and season two of MTV’s “Couples Retreat.”
Adjua shared that the key to a successful relationship is to never stop pursuing each other and aiming to have the best communication possible even when facing the many obstacles a marriage can endure.
“I think for us, just keeping the communication healthy and open as possible. Making sure we have fun, still date each other, and still get to know each other because there are growth spurts and ebbs and flows, and then there are incidents, and losses and gains, which bring different dynamics to the relationship,” the author said. “We’re authentic and what you see is what you get, and we’re consistent with that.”
Life isn’t always easy, and in light of having to navigate through the loss of their daughter, who committed suicide in 2015, the pair went on to share how their partnership has been vital. Having their union to uplift each other during times of hardship is priceless.
“We balance each other; where he’s weak, I’m strong and vice versa. I think that’s important; it heightens and makes everything magnified when you’re together as opposed to being singles,” the mother of two said.
“The love keeps you going. As they say, I believe it’s a statistic where married couples and people that enjoy each other live sort of the longest. Anyone can do great on your own, but when you have someone to share it with… the right person, not that it’s all lovey dovey, and flowers and roses all the time because you have trials and tribulations sometimes,” Styles P said to add more context to his wife’s statement. “To have someone when you’re at your weakest moments or down, and you’re not feeling great, that you know has your back also and your best interest is the beautiful thing. That’s what keeps it pushing and that’s something that you have to value because a lot of people aren’t lucky enough to get that.”
Many couples say friendship is very important in any blossoming romantic relationship, and Styles P agrees. He spoke on it being a necessity for a thriving marriage because when things get challenging, friendship helps maintain the respect and admiration both parties have for each other. Furthermore, when you have a partner that’s equally yoked, the possibilities are endless.
“I would also say make sure you guys can be friends, so when the times get rough, you have a friend, chemistry, and make sure you have like-minded goals. They don’t have to be the exact same, but if you’re headed in the same direction or the end destination is the same place… [and] you have someone that’s a friend, hold on to that,” he passionately said.
The pair also tapped on the importance of them telling their narrative in hopes of helping others, as they believe no one else should be relaying Black stories.
“I think that’s part of the reason we delve into TV shows — to keep that perspective going. We need more balance and more positive figures thriving, so for us, that’s an incentive for anything. Give us a platform where we can highlight our Black love and the things we do, health and wellness in the community,” Adjua explained.
“No one can tell our stories like we can tell them. It’s not for our counterparts or other people to tell our narrative; it’s for us to tell and share our narrative because what other people will do will not always highlight your people in the right way, the way you want — or they’ll highlight it to their benefit,” Styles P expressed. “When we tell our own stories, we get the good, bad, ugly, indifferent, and you have a better understanding when we’re telling it.”
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