BISHOP LAMONT (Part 1) (February
2008) | Interview By:
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
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 February 2008.
Questions Asked By :
Full Interview In Audio :
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
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’
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
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,
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
Full Interview In Audio :