BISHOP LAMONT (November 2007) | Interview By:
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:
Interview was done in November 2007.
Questions Asked By :
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Bishop Lamont & Black Milk -
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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,
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
Dubcnn: You’re also going to be releasing “Caltroit” on vinyl without the DJ
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 :