interview BISHOP LAMONT (Part 1) (February 2008) | Interview By: Eddie Gurrola

       Dubcnn linked up with Bishop Lamont for another in-depth interview. This time, we set the focus on questions from the fans. Bishop answers what you would like to know about "The Reformation", West Coast radio DJs, and his taste in literature. After this, we address the J Wells situation, which apparently has not been resolved. We close things off with some exclusive news about Dr. Dre's "Detox", which is now coming before "The Reformation" and is being recorded right now. Find out about all of these topics and much more by reading the interview.

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 February 2008.

Questions Asked By :
Eddie Gurrola

Full Interview In Audio : Click Here


Dubcnn: We’re here with Bishop Lamont. What’s going on?

Right now we’re at a million, katrillion times elevation with the pimp DJ Khalil, Dae One, & Taje. We’re just in the studio man with some new ingredients, you know, same ol’ same ol’.

Dubcnn: We’ve got a bunch of questions from our forum and from your Myspace page. All of the fans had a lot of stuff that they wanted to ask you, so let’s get into that.

Let’s get into it! I mean, they make me beautiful!

Dubcnn: Let’s start things off with a question from Meho. A couple months ago you mentioned that you were going to New York for studio sessions with The RZA, Primo, and Just Blaze. How did that turn out?

You know what, actually Blaze is out here right now, RZA’s out here actually too. At the time, they were doing a tour, we talked on the phone a few times, [and] we’re still trying to hook up a day a New York where we’ve got some time. Blaze is actually out here for the Grammys, so I think he’s gonna be here for a while working on some stuff for Marsha. We’re gonna try to get some stuff in there. Primo as well, I’ve been trying to get out there, but right now I can’t move yet because we need to get to “Detox”.

That comes first, and then finishing up my album. So with producers that are flexible to be down here, we’ll get it in here. Then once I’m freed up in a few more months, I can get in there with them. I really wanna go to New York and jump in D&D Studios with Primo and do it the thorough way, while I’m out there see my big bro Buckwild and Pete Rock as well, and just really get to enjoy New York like I’ve never gotten to before. Whenever I’m there, I never have no time! We go to meetings and I go do what we’ve got to do. Respect to the whole town, I mean it’s back home! So I really wanna get out there and hit the streets.

Dubcnn: This one’s from Lonestar from Illinois….

Pimp ass Lone!

Dubcnn: He wants to know after listening to your lyrics, how do you gain so much knowledge? What kind of books do you read?

You know what, I’m basically illiterate! *Laughs* I think it really comes from living life man! My Granny, rest in peace, was a big part of my life. She’s always been that Rock of Gibraltar and she always had a saying. She said, “Just keep on living, and you’ll learn more and experience more”. So really, my lessons have come from just living life and being able to understand the number one thing: everyone should learn to listen. Everybody has something that you can learn from, and everybody has something to say. They can be the stupidest motherfuckers, but they’ve got some real fly shit to say that your brain may not be able to articulate. You can learn from any and everyone, so I’ve always had mentors and blessed people in my life to give me knowledge, either through my own struggles and plights, or through their plights and struggles. So really, I just voice what I’ve experienced or what my people have experienced.

There’s really not too many books, but I can say one. [There’s] an OG cat named Mark Batson that’s one of the flyest producers. He works with Dre and did a lot of stuff with Dave Matthews Band. What dude and his wife do for me is they give me books, and one of the greatest books [they’ve] given me so far is “A Taste Of Power” by Elaine Brown. So Lonestar, you should get “A Taste Of Power”. That’s an amazing book! Another book that’s crazy to me that really inspired “N*gger Noize” was “Ancient African Civilizations of Europe”. That will blow your mind. There’s two good books, and then The Koran, The Bible, you name it man! I really don’t have time to read like I used to, but just live life man! Let God speak to you, let the world speak to you in a positive way, but also observe the negatives as well and it’s gonna teach you things. You [can] just switch the frequencies on it, and make those into positive things! Oh yeah, and “South Park”! Watch a lot of “South Park” and “Adult Swim”, and you’ll be good!

Dubcnn: This next one is from Matty.

What up Matty!

Dubcnn: “Honestly, what do you think ‘The Reformation’ will accomplish in the long term? Will it bring West Coast rap back to the forefront, and/or will it bring authentic hip-hop material into a public arena?”

He pretty much answered both of them. I like to tell cats that I’m not doing this just for the West Coast – I’m doing it for hip-hop, period. I’m doing this for real people that love real music. Really with “The Reformation”, I just want to cause rebellion, I want to cause thought. I want to [bring back] individualism again. I want to [have] people really push themselves to create real music, and not [just] do whatever’s out. I always tell people, “It ain’t in if it’s out”. So you do the math. It’s gotta come from you. It’s gotta be shit niggas ain’t heard yet. If it’s already out, it’s already been done. It’s like doing a trick another magician did. Stop giving me Criss Angel shit, and be a real “Mindfreak”! Give me some next level shit. You can’t do what Houdini did. You’ve got to be your own person and come up with that next level. Like “The Prestige”, you’ve gotta come up with that next level of creativity, and that’s the way I want to do it.

I show people how to have fun, and then remind people of the classic shit. I remember seeing a “106th and Park” last week, and I didn’t realize Big Pun’s been gone for eight years. So there’s a lot of kids, a lot of people that are born now and are coming up that don’t know who the fuck Big Pun is, or kids who are teenagers that don’t realize the impact of Big Pun like we received it. And even longer years for Biggie & Pac, Big L. They don’t know the impact. When they see Run on “Run’s House”, they don’t realize what impact Run DMC had on hip-hop. So it’s just breathing that air back into their lungs and letting them know, “Yo, we came from this shit!” Niggas don’t know who Keith Murray is, or EPMD is! Some of these niggas think Redman and Method Man only did comedy and had a movie. They don’t realize what they mean to the game, or what Wu-Tang means to the game. So really, for me, it’s just showing them all that again but from a new voice. These are my influences. Niggas don’t know what kind of a monster Kurupt is, Daz, that whole movement, and what Death Row was. Because of that, we’re here today.

So that’s a long ass answer, but that’s what I want “The Reformation” to do – just make motherfuckers move and get back to the art that they forgot about. I was trippin’ the other night, talking about “Sucker Free”, MTV, all that bullshit, because it ain’t real hip-hop no more. This shit is corny. You’ve got all these reality shows and these dance shows and shit. That’s cool for their dreams, but the shit’s so watered down. All these corny “You Got Served!” movies now and shit. When that movement was underground, it was real life. Now it’s just corny.

But I remember back in the day when “Rap City” was the real shit. Now it looks like an art lost, like I said before. Niggas get in the booth now and you could give a fuck. I used to ditch school sometimes to come over and see that shit, to hear niggas go nutty in the booth. “Yo! MTV Raps”. The first hour with Doctor Dre and Ed Lover, the second hour with Fab Five Freddy! Niggas don’t know nothing about that. I’ve still got copies and episodes. I’ve got the last episode of “Yo! MTV Raps”, the grand finale, still on VHS! And that’s what niggas need to know about, in my opinion.

Dubcnn: So do you feel that with “The Reformation” you’ll appeal to these kids that might not know what real hip-hop is, and then get them into it?

Yeah, because it worked with “N*gger Noize” on “First They Love You”. When I was talking about Freestyle Fellowship and The UMCs, Black Moon, and this and that, they’re like, “Who?” So they go Google it and that’s the power of technology. They’ll go type these names in. A lot of them know about Digable Planets through the sample E-40 used for that record “Yay Area”. But they still don’t know the power of Digable Planets, or who C. Knowledge, Butterfly, [and] Doodlebug are. So that’s what it’s about. You can just mention some shit and they’ll be like “Who’s that?” Then they’ll go do their own research and hopefully they’ll like what they’ve heard!

Dubcnn: This one is from BOX5. He says, “How do you really feel about the radio DJs out here on the West Coast. Do they give the artists a fair shot?”

Most of them don’t. Most of them are bitch ass niggas, and they know who they are, and I’m gonna beat them up when I get to them! But anyway, there’s a select few that are true to this and really about this. You have to realize most of the DJs out here are not niggas in the streets. They’re geeks, they’re nerds, they used to be hall monitors in high school. They were never cool. When we were in the cafeteria beating on the tables, freestyling and having all the bitches, they were over in the corner looking all gothed out and listening to The Cure or some shit. There’s nothing wrong with The Cure, but you get my point!

Either that, or they try to act like they really run things. They’re not trying to give real MCs from the West Coast, or singers or producers, a shot unless they can get a percentage of it, unless they can put they’re name all over it, [or] unless they can be the dude. That’s a lot of shit that we have to deal with, with the politics. But God don’t like ugly, so we’re gonna deal with these Whoopi Goldberg niggas! Shouts out to Whoopi, no disrespect.

Dubcnn: We had an interview with J. Wells up earlier last week where he said that after releasing a diss track toward you, the two of you have sat down and it’s all squashed now…

Now you know I always keep it 100 percent. We never sat down. So I’ll go on record because I always shoot from the hip. We have never sat down. I saw the interview earlier tonight, and I was like, “Wow, we sat down and squashed it?” I saw him also say that the record got released by accident, but that isn’t the real story. He released the record on purpose, thinking that was gonna help his album sales, cause controversy, and make it seem like I’m thinking about dude.

Last time I saw dude was when we went down there for his video shoot with Kurupt, and I went down there to see Kurupt. We [J Wells & I] had issues before and I squashed them. I’m like, “Dude, it’s cool.” But dude kept running his mouth about me in different circles, but around niggas that know me! One of those times he almost got beat the fuck up, but I told niggas, “Don’t do that to him. Bless him. Leave him alone.” But every time I turn around, somebody’s saying, “Yo, this nigga’s talking shit about you.”

So, here we go. He puts the record out. Shit hits the fan. My issue is, I don’t give a fuck about what you’re going through. My blessing’s too big for me to be on some punk shit and diss you back like it’s important to me. You’re not on my radar. I already blessed him, and last time I saw [him] at [his] video set, I wanted to put hands on him then. But the nigga had his arms out to me with cameras and came and hugged me. So I was cool. I was like, “Fuck it.” He keeps saying shit, but if somebody can’t say something to your face, it’s not real to me.

The way I came up, if it’s “fuck me”, say “fuck me” to my face, and we can handle it however it needs to be handled. So we chuuched there at the video. I seen Kurupt, I seen 40 Glocc, Tash, Roscoe. Me and Glasses was there, you can see the shit on Youtube or my Myspace page – all of us being together for this video. If I’m not fucking with you at all and I want to beat you up, I’m not gonna come out to your video and be in your video. He shouts me out on the record, and that was then. So how can you put a record out now dissing me if you were just showing me love on your record then? Really, what is the issue at the end of the day?

So then, shit jumped off really bad. I spoke to the dude that made the beat [Ervin “EP” Pope] and he was like, “Man, I didn’t even know he was gonna do that with the record!” I was like, “Don’t even trip off that shit, I’ma holler at dude.” Dude was in Atlanta at the time. I wanna go get this nigga at the airport. I’m waiting for this nigga at the airport. Niggas know I’m not gonna lie about shit. I’ma come see you. Couldn’t catch dude at the airport. He finally gets here, [and] I tell the nigga [I want to see him] through other niggas…because I ain’t had the nigga’s number in years. He would text me from time to time or e-mail me somehow, and want to send me beats. I’m like, “It’s cool.” I would actually listen to the beats and see if there was something fresh, but there was nothing fresh, as far as what I’m trying to do.

I can’t operate as a negative person and still receive the blessings that I receive. So I want to make sure that I go on record. I didn’t want to say anything, but after I saw the interview today, it really got under my skin because we’ve only spoken once on the phone since that shit happened, and I yelled on a nigga. Then he talked to Kurupt, he talked to my boy Jack Bomb, he talked to Battlecat. I know if he talked to Battlecat, I’m gonna listen. That’s Mr. President. I respect Battlecat to the utmost. Battlecat was the one that made me seek peace for it like, “Fuck it.”

I wanna beat this nigga up, [but] he ain’t trying to show up. All the homies were gonna get together and make sure it was a fair fight. He didn’t wanna show up for it. He kept switching the dates around like he was De La Hoya. I’m like, “Yo, it’s just a simple fight. After that, we’re cool.” Because if niggas wanna talk tough on records, then come on. This is what I live for. After that, we can be friends. A lot of my friends I’ve got to this date, we met in school fighting, and we became best friends, so it’s nothing to me. Then Battlecat shut me down. I texted the nigga [and] I said, “Peace be with you and to your family. It’s chuuch. This is what you have to do, verbatim. Apologize for the record. Denounce that record.” That’s what he agreed to do, and then he didn’t do it.

Dubcnn: So he was supposed to publicly apologize for the record?

Yeah! And in the interview, you see what he did. Then he says that the record got out by accident. No it didn’t! You were calling people telling them you were gonna put the record out and what you were gonna do. But the fans heard it and they were like, “This shit’s garbage!” He’s throwing people’s names in the record that didn’t endorse that. You speak on Tha Alkaholiks like you can speak for them. Speak for you. If you have an issue with Bishop, then you call Bishop. We know enough people that you come talk to me. But what other better way to get attention and to get on Dubcnn then to do a diss record? Like I have time in my life [for this]! I’m too fuckin’ old.

I’m 29, I’ve got too much to deal with. That’s the bottom line with it. Jack Bomb was like, “You can’t fall for the matrix. You can’t fall for niggas trying to do this little sly shit because they want attention.” They want to meet “Hell Yeah”. They want to meet “Buff Cuz”, or they want to do records with me. I don’t know what the fuck it is, but if that’s what they want to do, be a man and come holler at me. We can handle things a lot of different ways, and I don’t respect that shit. We’re gonna have to really holler now. I’m not pleased with that shit at all once I saw the interview. Then to say that we sat down, we spoke like men, and we’re family? Family don’t do that shit! I’ve never dissed my brother on a record. I’ve never dissed Taje on a record, or Mykestro, or Glasses. Family don’t fight – family can have arguments, but that shit is what it is.

So there, everybody! You have the complete…well I forgot a couple of things…but that’s the bare naked truth of it. But I forgive him, because sometimes niggas can make mistakes and go to far because they’ve got niggas hyping them up or they feel like it’s gonna be a great look for their career. Trying to create destructive shit only destroys you. Try growth, try positivity, try talking to Jesus, and you’ll see yourself like I did. And we’re done with that. We’re done with that ladies and gentlemen! *Laughs*

Dubcnn: Continuing on! This is another one from Meho. He wants to know about “I’ll Still Kill” song from 50 Cent. Was that originally your track?

Ahh, very good. Yeah, it was originally mine, but Dre didn’t like it. But I loved the record. When Khalil first played it for me on a beat CD, Kobe was already on it. Originally, Kobe was on the hook, and shit was crazy! I loved the record. I went in and played it for Dre and he was like “No.” I was like, “What?” He was like, “Nah, it ain’t the one.” So I said all right. I got wind that 50 had got the same beat CD sometime after me, loved the record, and had re-cut it with Akon. [He] wanted the record, but he still knew I was holding it for my album. So I got in contact with Sha Money, which is family, and I was like, “Yo, you know it’s family. 50 ain’t did nothing but look out for me.” I said, “Whatever you need. Go on and take that record! I just want to be able to put it out after 50’s version.” So that’s what happened with that.

Dubcnn: The record everyone’s talking about is “I Dominate”, even though no one’s heard it yet!


Dubcnn: One of the questions asked was, “Is it true that Dre spits a verse on ‘I Dominate’?” Then, “When exactly are you planning on releasing that record”?

I love to keep the people up to pace on what’s going on. There’s so many more records that will beat “I Dominate”. We had to switch gears because “Detox” really had to come. You’re still gonna hear it. I shouldn’t have said that, but we were so excited going to the Carribean, doing filthy things and mega things, so let me shut up from now on! He spit a stupid verse on there, but you’ll hear even stupider verses. You know, Dre is buffer. It’s Mega Dr. Dre Godzilla right now!

Dubcnn: So you guys are switching gears. You’re going to release “Detox” before “The Reformation” now?

Yeah. “Detox” is coming first. It’s been a lot of craziness up in Interscope and just in the industry, and the biggest thing that needs to be delivered first from the Aftermath team, that whole building, and the whole movement, is “Detox”.

I was like, “Hey, that’s cool with me!” We were coming down to a deadline of January 15th to turn in all the records, and I still didn’t have all the people I wanted. Even though it was already a mega situation, I still haven’t got that Dilla record I wanted from Mama Yancy, I still haven’t got my Primo record. I’ve [also] got a few outstanding features, but I’m not going to say anything, I want it to be a surprise! But there was still a lot of work that we wanted to do, and Dre would sit back and listen to records and go, “It can be better than this. I’m making new beats.”

It’s just, you grow as an artist. I’ve gotten to be here and watch these other people come through, so the experience had to be bigger. Thank God!

Dubcnn: You’ve been working on “Detox” pretty much non-stop for the last couple of months…

Non-stop man, non-stop! “Detox”. That’s really all that’s on my blueprint right now. My mainframe is dead, I’ve been doing my album simultaneously, and then Warren G is working on a new album. So I’m gonna spread myself thin working with Dre up there and working with Focus on his album. I forgot to include that; Focus has got a crazy album! He’s about to drop a mixtape and then an album later this year. Then [I’m] doing Warren G’s album. So it’s pretty much a fuckin’ brain scramble right now. I’ve really been in the trenches, you know?

Dubcnn: So tell us about what a typical session is like working on “Detox”…

Stay tuned for the second part of this exclusive feature, where Bishop Lamont tells us more about “Detox” and his forthcoming album “The Reformation”.



Full Interview In Audio : Click Here



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