Styles of Beyond is a Los Angeles based duo made up with the two members Takbir and Ryu. Their music is provided by the Flavor Crystals (Cheapshot and Vin Skully), who largely produced the debut, and have worked with artists such as Linkin Park, Beastie Boys, Nappy Roots, Vishiss, Kurious Jorge, Breeze Evahflowin, Lexicon and Apathy. The group has toured the United States with such high powered acts as Linkin Park, Len and the Jungle Brothers. They also made their way around the country with label mates Lexicon and 4-Zone on the SpyTech Records tour in the winter of 2001. Ryu was featured on the Crystal Method's hit song "Name Of The Game" and toured extensively with the group in support of the project. People will reconize Ryu with his raps on a recent Gatorade commercial. The video game community has been blessed with the sounds of the SOB on popular game titles Tony Hawk Pro Skateboarder 2 and Knockout Kings 2002. The music of Styles of Beyond is featuredd in the New Line Cinema film, "The Corruptor," starring Mark Wahlberb. The group recently released their sophomore albm "Megadef" on SpyTech Records in conjunction with Ill Boogie Records featuring the hit singles "Mr Brown" and "Fuck You Pay Me." They're definitely the hottest duo in the hip-hop scene right now!See Also:
M. Villa: The group recently released their highly anticipated sophomore album "Megadef." Tell us about it.
Takbir: Basically it’s been a long time in the works. It came out September 9th on SpyTech Records.
Ryu: It’s got the songs “Mr Brown”, “Fuck You Pay Me”, “Bleach”, “Live Enough”, and “Be Your Dog” along with many others. This record will probably go down in typical Styles of Beyond fashion where everybody will sleep on it and three years later people will talk how it was a great album. So for the next three years we're going to be sitting low waiting for that to happen.
M. Villa: One thing that people noticed is that the group has incorporated a lot of classic rock. What made the group move towards that direction?
Ryu: On our first album "2000 Fold", we used rock samples for songs such as "Killer Instinct" that touched on the classic rock thing. The samples that Jason (Vin Skully) were using that we liked happened to be rock samples. On "2000 Fold", there were about three songs on the album that had rock samples. So, that’s the direction we took for the album "Megadef."
M. Villa: The group hooked up with Celph Titled and Apathy of the Demigodz for the song "Playin with Fire." Can you talk about the collabo?
Cheapshot: I created a relationship with those artists a few years ago when I was working for a publicity company. Takbir and Ryu were feeling Apathy and Celph Titled and vise versa. We made the song "Playin with Fire" originally without Celph Titled and Apathy. After a while, we thought it would be a perfect fit for those to work with Styles on the song. So, I contacted the duo and then it worked out.
Ryu: We wanted a guest appearance on the album "Megadef" and we didn't want to put just anyone on that record. We wanted artists who share the same views and hate on the same things we do, which are pissed off as we are. We were happy to do the record with them especially since they're very angry artists.
M. Villa: I read a story in the LA Weekly by writer Oliver Wang that says "Megadef" is Styles last underground album. Is the group signing with a major label or is considering signing with one?
Cheapshot: I think from an artist standpoint that every artists dream is to get better promotion and money behind their music. I wouldn't count it out that we're in the direction on getting a major record deal. But, we do have our own record label and work hard together. And, we'll do this as long as it takes to get to the next level. Ya heard!
M. Villa: When is SOB going on tour?
Ryu: We're going on tour December 1st with Swollen Members, High & Mighty, Cage, and with many other artists. We'll be doing the entire West Coast and some dates out in the Mid-West. In January we're doing another tour with Celph Titled, Louis Logic, and Lexicon. Make sure to check out SpytechRecords.com for the list of tour dates.
M. Villa: Who else would you like to work with that you haven’t yet?
Takbir: School boy
Cheapshot: Dana Dane
M. Villa: Ryu, you were on the Crystal Method's smash single "Name of the Game." How was it like to work with that group?
Ryu: It was a really good experience. It took me fancy travels that had nice hotels, Cristal by the gallon, private jet rides, ground transportation in limousines, stages size of football fields that had audiences of 30,000 people and it put money in the bank. It was awesome!
M. Villa: How did the group hook up the song "Style Tips" for the game "Knockout Kings 2002" and the song "Subculture" for the video game "Tonyhawk Pro Skater 2"?
Takbir: That was a hookup through Cheapshot. He does most of our networking. He acts as our manager since we don't have one. So, that was the work of Cheapshot.
M. Villa: Ryu, how does it feel that people are now comparing you to Rakim after Gatorade begun airing a commercial using a song that you did?
Ryu: I heard people saying that they thought it was Nas rhyming in that commercial. People didn't know it was me on that commercial rhyming. I thought it was actually good that people assumed that because I was able to sellout and other artists got to take the blame for it.
M. Villa: Ryu, Word on the street is that you now produce. Have you thought about producing some tracks for SOB?
Ryu: I've been producing and I had a hand of bringing a few samples to the beats which kind of sparked me on producing. I always been into it but didn't have my own equipment. I went out and got my own stuff. Tak is doing the same thing as well. I got a lot of beats and I'm giving them out right now. I gave some beats to Apathy for is upcoming album. I'm putting myself out there right now. If anyone needs any, whisper at me.
M. Villa: Takbir, you were in a major film in 1999. Have you thought about making a career as an actor?
Takbir: I love film like I do music. So, in the future when we blow up, I'll like to merge into film.
M. Villa: Rumors have floated around for years that Takbir and Ryu are perusing solo careers. Is this true, and if can you shed some light on the subject?
Takbir: I can't say I'm going to branch out and do my own thing. But, I love doing music as well. When we grow I'm sure we're going to do various projects. I think we're always going to hold it down as a group.
Ryu: We're always together as Styles of Beyond. But there are certain things I'm interested in that I do and there are certain things that Takbir does by himself. But, we can't do everything together. But, when it comes down to it we work best together. If there is a song that Tak wants to do solo then he does it. I do the same thing. It's all fun. It's all music.
M. Villa: What can people expect from Styles of Beyond in the future?
Ryu: We're working on a new album right now as we speak. We're trying to have it done quickly. I don't want to get into much deal on what our plans are. But, we're going to keep on moving and putting out records. We're going to have records out quick. It isn't like before when we was taking three year breaks between albums. We're going to knock them out quick. We are going to keep pumping them out there. When music is changing constantly, you have to keep on flooding the streets. So, we're going to flood it.
M. Villa: Who are some of the artists that you two are feeling at the moment?
Takbir: There isn't much on the rap scene that I'm really into. There are artists that I respect like Ludacris from a lyricists standpoint. I like Radiohead a lot, Coldplay, and stuff like that.
Ryu: I'm into the mix-tapes, G-Unit freestyles, all the new people JHood, Jae Millz, and all them kind of people. Kind of like the East Coast mix-tape thing. I wish they had mix-tapes out here. I like Sly-Boogie a lot. I'm really feeling him right now. G-Unit, Jay-Z, same shit other people like.
M. Villa: Everyone wants to know, when can we expect a Girlscouts album by Vin Skully and Cheapshot?
Cheapshot: Late 2004.
M. Villa: Any shout outs you like to give?
Takbir: HipHop-Elements.com for throwing our album release party because that shit was hot! And, shout outs to all the fans and people that are supporting us.
Check out their latest single “Fuck You Pay Me” featuring the incredible remix for “Mr Brown” that isn’t available on their album.
For upcoming tour information and news regarding Styles of beyond, visit:
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