interview BISHOP LAMONT (November 2007) | Interview By: Eddie Gurrola

Dubcnn recently sat down with Bishop Lamont for an exclusive video interview. In this feature, we discuss his new street album with Black Milk, “Caltroit,” including details about the record-making process, and what he hopes his fans will draw from it. We also discuss his many upcoming projects, including the street albums “Caltroit Metropolis,” “The Pope Mobile,” “The Collection Place,” “Ill Clinton” with Damizza, and “Team America: Fuck Yeah!” with Indef. All of these projects will eventually lead up to the release of Bishop’s debut album “The Reformation,” which we get some new information on as well.

At the end of the interview, Bishop reveals to us what he can about “Detox,” and gives us a little bit of insight as to what Dr. Dre’s last record is shaping up to be like.

As always we have both the transcript and the video for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: eddiegurolla@dubcnn.com

Interview was done in November 2007.

Questions Asked By :
Eddie Gurrola

Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)

Bishop Lamont & Black Milk - CALTROiT (FREE DOWNLOAD)


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Bang! This is your boy Bishop Lamont. We’re chillin’ backstage at Club Element, we’re here for the exclusive. “Caltroit”: trick or treat bitches, Happy Halloween!

Dubcnn: Tell us about the general vibe you were going for when you were making “Caltroit” with Black Milk…

Just fun man - something that had no strings to it [and] no formulas. I didn’t give a fuck about radio, didn’t give a fuck about Billboard charts, [and I] didn’t give a fuck about trends. I just [wanted to capture] the essence of hip-hop - just MCing, beatmaking, digging in the crates, just rhyming - just the fun again, the freedom. It’s uninhibited, it’s going there! I got to work with all my favorite MCs, so it was just fun for me, and it was therapy. At the same time [I was] working on my album and “Detox,” and a gang of other shit [was] going on. So basically the premise was: let’s do something fun, fresh, and different.

Dubcnn: You’ve been working on this for a while, so how long would you say it took to complete the whole thing?

I think we started on it sometime last year, but we really got into the trenches with it around February or March of this year, and really went hard. [Black Milk] was working on stuff in Detroit [and] I was working on stuff in L.A. I was working on stuff in between sessions while working on the album stuff with Dre, and then even when I was in the UK. I was out in London - shouts out to London, Metropolis Studio, all the fly DJs out there. Front to back, I love the UK. I can’t wait to come back! Even at Metropolis I was working on stuff for the album, [but at the] same time I was doing “Caltroit.”

So the dope thing is, I don’t know if you’ll be able to recognize it, but I recognize it in the music, because [it shows] how I was acting and how I was feeling on a whole other continent, as opposed to what I was doing when I was in LA, [or what] Black was doing in Detroit, or what Kardinal Offical?? was doing in Canada. You’re gonna feel those different energies and it’s just a worldwide type thing. We worked really hard for it, so I want y’all to enjoy it. That’s why it’s free!

Dubcnn: You were planning at one point on putting it out as a retail album, so why did you decide to release it for free?

That’s what I wanted to do from the beginning, but it started getting so big that we started having offers come to us. It was cool, but when you start doing that, it puts restrictions on the music. It creates a lot of red tape, it creates a lot of [sample] clearances, [and] a lot of legal headaches. It’s just like, “Fuck that!” I’m not in it to make money, that’s why I was doing what I was doing. I was working off an album budget in between my own records. I’ve got to recoup this shit regardless next year. I don’t give a fuck because I want people to have fresh music and for the hottest quality to be available. You ain’t got to pay for it! I think of myself - as a fan for years, I spent a lot of money on CDs. It’s no wonder motherfuckers is bootlegging shit, because it’s trash. Who wants to pay for trash? So I’m gonna give you top quality shit!

Dubcnn: You’re also going to be releasing “Caltroit” on vinyl without the DJ tags…

Right, and the same thing with “Nigger Noize.” We’re going to release “Nigger Noize” on vinyl too. I love the DJs, the DJs support me worldwide. I know a lot of cats are like, “Damn, I can’t hear all the words! I want to hear all the records with complete clarity.” So Black and Hex are putting that out probably in December. Since I’m dropping it on Halloween, they want to drop it in December for your Christmas stockings. I’m saying “Trick or treat bitches,” [so] they’ll say “Merry Christmas bitches!”

Dubcnn: Are you going to be dropping those projects on the internet as well for paid download?

I think it’s only gonna be in stores. That’s really up to Hex and Black Milk on that side. When it comes to selling shit and that whole she-bang…I’m the artist guy. I’m business savvy, but y’all put the price tags on it. I’m just going to make sure that we put it together correctly, and that’s [Black’s] side too because Black is a genius with it, we [both] make fresh music. So, I don’t know! I just know that you’ll have it for free on Halloween, on my birthday, so it was a gift to myself to be able to give y’all a gift!

Dubcnn: We’re looking forward to it…

I’m looking forward to it!

Dubcnn: It’s gonna be awesome! One of the guest appearances on “Caltroit” is Dr. Dre!

Yeah, AKA “Hell Yeah!” Bless you man. He’s in Detroit right now working with Em, and they’re coming up with some lovely shit, I can’t wait. Em’s shit’s gonna be amazing, because we need Em back, but [the collaboration on “Caltroit”] was just easy. It was spontaneous. He just jumped into the booth and was like, “What y’all want me to do?” It’s easy. So there’s some surprises coming, that’s just a little taste. I just want to floss. Most people can’t even get a Dre beat, let alone get him on a mixtape, so it’s fun.

Dubcnn: Have you been working on Eminem’s new project at all?

No, but we’re actually going to be doing…I don’t want too get deep into it. It’s a lot of magic going on, you know what I’m sayin’? You could see a “Bad Meets Evil” part 2, just like Royce and Em got down, shouts out to the big homeboy Royce. We’re brainstorming something really fresh, so you’re definitely gonna see a collaboration. I’m gonna stop there! I want surprises for “The Reformation,” but yeah, there’s gonna be some magic. Em’s got a crazy album, I can say that!

Dubcnn: As far as “The Reformation” is concerned, you’re going to do a video for the first single soon. Do you want to tell us anything about that?

We’re going to be going somewhere real exotic. Thanks Dre! We’re gonna be having a ball and doing something real stupid, doing something real fresh, real fun for the West Coast. [It’s] not the typical “I’m in the parking lot, I’m in front of a liquor store.” You know what I’m sayin’? That shit is pretty much played! “I’ve got a graffiti backdrop! I’m hood!” I’m 29 by the time you see this, so I ain’t no little kid. We’ve got to do things on a classier level, on a grown man level, and still be big kids and be foolish. So you’re going to enjoy it! I’m gonna leave it alone, but just to let you know, the song is called “I Dominate.” That’s what we’re going to do. We’re gonna dominate the charts, we’re gonna dominate hip-hop. You’ll see!

Dubcnn: A lot of people on our forum were worried that with all the recent album delays at Interscope, your album release date may get pushed back as well. Are you at all concerned about that?

No, not at all! We’ve been making such amazing music, I’m happy it didn’t come out any sooner, so that we’ve had more time to work on it. We basically came in and even revamped the revamp because there’s so much mega stuff in there. Me and Dre just started going crazy and cutting so many records that 70% of the record is all him now! He’s rapping on it, he’s in there coaching me and inspiring me. Usually there’s nobody pushing me except Warren G or just myself, so to have him get in there, [and we start] bouncing off each other, [and] do fly stuff, what you’re about to receive is going to be worth it!

I’m not even worried about a date because I feel like it’s fine wine. When it’s ready, it works off of synergy. It’s the principle where it’s just gonna happen – and it is happening. It’s starting to roll out. That’s why I’ve got all this material coming out, because I just want to keep upping the ante. [I’m] giving people windows into different dimensions of the creativity: of my ideas [and] of the soundscapes. Then, boom! You’re gonna get hit with “The Reformation,” which is gonna be a full plate.

Right now I’m just giving out samplers, I’m giving out snippets! So I’m not worried about it. Trust me, it will be worth it! That’s why I’m delivering this “Caltroit” to you. That’s a good home-cooked meal. Then we’ve got “The Pope Mobile” - that’s a great home-cooked meal. I’ve got a fly street album with Whoo Kid, “The Collection Plate,” that’s another good one for you. I’m gonna take them to church on that and “The Pope Mobile.” So there will be enough material to go through this year and be ready for the first quarter. And [there’s] another surprise!

Dubcnn: Another surprise?

Yeah man! It’s a lot of material. I’m on my seventh album and shit with all the stuff that’s about to come out. But yeah, I’m not worried about that. I’m so locked in the studio that time doesn’t even matter. A guy said that shit on a movie, “Time is an illusion!” It is, dude! When you’re in that studio it could be morning when you come in and it’s two or three days later when you come out. But don’t worry out there, it’s gonna be worth it. That’s why I’m tired like this right now. We’re going hard for it!

Dubcnn: What’s the concept behind “The Pope Mobile”?

Just like “*igger Noize” was based on racism and hypocrisy that you find in America and abroad, and just looking at an Arian-based situation or the Ku Klux Klan, “The Pope Mobile” is dealing with spirituality within the church. Corruption happens in the church and they live lavishly, yet the people are poor and starving that worship them and give all their money. So I look at the Pope and I look at televangelists and [people] like that [as] rock stars, because they be rich and they be having the flossiest stuff on. They might as well be rappers and rock stars! I’m like the West Coast Pope anyway, Bishop Lamont, so you’ll see. We’re gonna roll like the Pope Mobile! It’s real flossy man, so that’s basically what it’s about. It’s gonna be fun, [and] it’s gonna be in your face. It’s no-holds-barred! It’s just what I feel, and [what] I think the times are progressing towards. So it’s just another breath of fresh air.

Just like “N*gger Noize” caused trouble, “The Pope Mobile” is gonna cause trouble, but it’s gonna be fun at the same time. I just look at society and how the church [and other organizations] pimp society and pimp the people. It’s such an easy hustle when you can’t see what they’re saying is gonna happen. But they want to see your money – they’ve got ATMs in the churches! So that’s what “The Pope Mobile” is gonna be about. A lot of people are gonna hate me!

Dubcnn: Speaking of controversy with your last mixtape “N*gger Noize,” Nas is naming his next album just…

“N*gger!” Ain’t that dope? Yeah!

Dubcnn: What’s your take on that? He’s been getting a lot of heat for it, but I’m sure he’s gonna come up with something good for it…

Well that’s the whole thing. It’s amazing that word has so much power, and if you use it in a way to diffuse what it is, it’s gonna be a big thing. Nas is too deep and too mega – he knows what he’s doing! That’s why I’m glad it’s causing this much controversy. [There] wasn’t this much controversy on his last album when he did a record with Jay-Z! But there you are with “Nigger.” I mean, that was big with Jay-Z and Nas together, I think that should have gotten so much critical acclaim! But he knows what he’s doing, just like I knew what I was going with “N*gger Noize” in the Ku Klux Klan outfit. That’s what it’s about. You’ve got to put these things in peoples’ faces. There has to become a time when all of that stuff becomes a butter knife. It can’t be sharp anymore, we have to really dull the effects of that word: [both] the perception of that word, and [any of] that bullshit period! That’s what I think. I love it because it’s about shocking people and making people think. Shouts out to Nas!

Dubcnn: Is there a possible collaboration in the works between you and Nas?

My big brother Mark Batson has been trying to hook that up, Nas already blessed me, so we’re gonna definitely do something. That’s one of my favorite MCs. I had the red tape, I had “Illmatic” on tape, I had the CD, I had “Live From The Source BBQ,” [and] “Back To The Grill Again.” I’ve been on Nas since day one, so it’s an honor. You’re definitely gonna see something with Mr. Jones. That’s an honor to me.

Dubcnn: You’re working on this project with Damizza, “Ill Clinton,” as well…

“Ill Clinton!” We got so backed up, we’ve been working so hard on my debut album, doing “Caltroit,” working on “Pope Mobile,” there’s so much going on. We wanted to have it ready for election week, and we might get behind, but “Ill Clinton” is gonna be dope! Damizza’s really into conspiracies and politics and things like that. He’s really like the President of the West Coast, because he’s done so much for the West Coast and in hip-hop period. It’s gonna be a fun project. We’ve just got to really get in there, he’s been doing a lot of business and a lot of work, just like I’m doing, but [it’s coming.] We’ve got a record called “Motorcade,” and we’re gonna deal with a lot of different conspiracies as far as the Kennedy situation, [with] both Robert and John. It’s gonna be a lot of fresh stuff! We’re gonna fuck with Roswell, we’re gonna fuck with Area 51, pyramids on Mars, whatever, we’re just gonna do some real geekish, fresh hip-hop shit, just because I like that kind of shit. I watch porn, I watch the Sci-Fi channel, I watch Cartoon Network, and I watch “Mr. Meaty” on Nickelodeon - it’s the hottest shit!

Dubcnn: You’ve got so many projects coming out that we can probably be looking forward to something from you every month until “The Reformation” drops…

Yeah, “Caltriot” [just dropped,] “The Pope Mobile” is coming, The Whoo Kid “Collection Plate”…

Dubcnn: Is that dropping after “Pope Mobile”?

Man, Whoo Kid might drop that even faster, I don’t even know. But “Collection Plate” is coming! Then you’ve got “The Pope Mobile.” I think “The Pope Mobile” is gonna come in December, because I want to keep it real church. I want to keep it real fresh for Christmas time, you know what I mean, have some stupid jingles, it’s gonna be stupid!

On “Caltroit” I didn’t do any skits, I just wanted it to be just complete, back-to-back hip-hop shit. I wanted motherfuckers to break dance, spray graffiti, get drunk, get high, bust a bitch, whatever they do - I just wanted a continuous feeling. We’re also doing “Team America: Fuck Yeah!” That’s one of my pride and joys. [It’s a collaboration between] me and my boy Indef. You hear him on the first “Caltroit” record, the intro record. I was looking at Bin Laden, and I was looking at Kim Jong-Il, and they’re both rich. I’m like, “Really these motherfuckers are ballers, so why not turn them into rap stars?” So I became Kim Jong-Skill, and he’s Spin Laden, and they’re [both] billionaires. It’s gonna be stupid though!

Dubcnn: That’s gonna be hilarious!

It’s stupid! We come to fight terrorists - terrorists in hip-hop, wack motherfuckers in hip-hop, wack motherfuckers at labels, wack ass A&Rs, it’s gonna be stupid! The cover alone is gonna be fucking stupid. “Team America: Fuck Yeah!” We’ve just got to get some time to get in there, we’ve got a lot of hot records already. Me and Indef, we’re like Method Man and Redman with it. I guarantee it’s gonna be stupid. I think it’s gonna be my stupidest shit to date!

Dubcnn: I think we’ve pretty much covered it all…

Are you sure? You’ve got nothing left? *Laughs*

Dubcnn: All right, is there anything you can give us about “Detox” as far as what the album is going to sound like?

I couldn’t even explain it man. He’s just taking it to a whole other level, and you’ll appreciate it when it finally drops next year. And I did say next year! I know last time I said this year on the Youtube in February, and I jumped the gun. A lot of shit happened. But it’s amazing what he’s doing and where he’s trying to take it for y’all and for music period – for hip-hop. It’s gonna be crazy, that’s all I can say. It’s gonna be crazy. I’m proud of what I’ve heard so far, just in its fetal stages. It’s already a real problem. The dude wanna take it *holds his arm up high* and he buff, so the beats is buffer!

Dubcnn: How many tracks have been completed so far?

He wanted to do it like a twelve step program, like if you go to detox, the Betty Ford Clinic, it’s a twelve step program. So it could only be twelve records. I don’t know if he’s sticking to that format or not because he’s always on the next level, thinking and figuring out some fly shit to do.

Dubcnn: So it’s definitely a concept-type album?

Oh yeah! I mean, it’s his last hoorah. I always tell people to make it make sense [to them,] this is gonna be his “Return Of The Jedi” in the trilogy of movies. So it’s gonna go hard! I think that’s all you’ve got to say really. THX it! But it’s his “Return of the Jedi.”

Dubcnn: Is there anything else you want to say to everyone on Dubcnn?

Thank you for the continuous support. I never expected this, this was plan C. I did music just out of love, it was a way to keep from going crazy, but I appreciate all the support and love and everybody [that’s] feeling the music. Thank you man! It’s West Coast to the fullest, from the East Coast to the South, all points in between into Canada, the UK, Japan, Africa. All over the fucking world and other planets, I appreciate the love and the want for real hip-hop music, for real MCing, for real production, and I’m gonna keep giving you the best I can give you until I don’t breathe anymore. There’s other cats coming in to help [with] taking that and passing that baton. That’s it! Bless y’all.

Hope you enjoy “Caltroit,” it’s stupid! All I want to say is, there’s a record on there called “Go At It,” one of my favorite records with Black Milk, I won’t even say who’s on it, just look for “Go At It” and you’ll understand where we’re taking it to. I’m excited about “Caltroit,” and I hope you cats out there really enjoy it. You guys just get that and bang it man! If you’re in your room, college dorm, your work, headphones, iPod, you’re at the gym, you’re at the corner, the park, wherever the fuck you’re at, please bang that shit until your head hurt!

Enjoy that shit, and look out for “Caltroit Metropolis.” That’s another thing I want to explain. There were so many records, and so many people got down, it turned into a double CD compilation album. So we had to cut it down to make sure it was me and Black Milk, and then a few friends on there, so we’ve got “Caltroit Metropolis,” that’s the DJ Skee version. That’s Edgar Allan Doe and Pimp Gary [behind the camera,] you can’t even see them. You might as well turn around! When you see them, give them money, give them pussy!

See, we share around here, that’s another thing I want to say man. Unity, man, unity! Stop hating on each other. I don’t get to be on the internet like that, so I never see all the bloggers, and they’re just talking all this shit. It’s like, dude, don’t waste time typing like that! Go outside and ride a bike. Go outside and get some exercise. Go fuck a bitch. Get away before you get carpel tunnel syndrome with your hands and shit. And try to make fresh music like these cats is making fresh music. Spend hours upon hours, days upon days in the studio before you sit right there in your home with your Casio keyboard talking about “Chocolate Rain.” Before you start talking about people, support the music. It’s not easy to do – it’s a lot of fun to do, but it’s actually hard to do. Instead of hating, try to match it or make it better. Instead of hating, try supporting. That’s what I do. I’m a supporter.

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got to say man! It’s about love, it’s about unity, that’s what we’re doing on the West Coast, that’s what we’re doing on the East Coast. I want to [do] shameless shout outs, I never really do shout outs. Shouts out to all my pimps on the East Coast, we’ll be out there soon, y’all show me so much love out there so it’s an honor, especially when I’m in Queens, shouts out to Ian. Being in Brooklyn, being in Bronx, being in Harlem, what up Dame, just love to Pete Rock, love to Premo, love to Lord Finesse, love to Reality, Steve Ripken out there, Donny Goines, of course 50, Yayo - my big bro, Busta’s out there, just all the family out there. Everybody up at Shady, up at Sirius - Lil Shawn, Whoo Kid, Rude Jude, Lord Sear. I appreciate the love man.

That’s it, it’s West Coast to the fullest. Next time you see me I might be buffer, hopefully I’m not, but you know! And I’m looking like a pumpkin because it’s Halloween. That’s reason I’m wearing all this shit, it’s Halloween bitches! Enjoy “Caltroit,” that’s it!



Full Interview In Video For Download : Here (Video: WMV)


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