Show & Prove
Just because the West is known for starting this gangsta shit doesn’t mean its MCs aren’t nice. “When you’re too lyrical, people say you sound like you from the East Coast,” explains Carson, Calif., native Bishop Lamont. “MC Ren, Lady of Rage and Del wasn’t lyrical? We the churchiest! These niggas are masters and never got their just dues.”
Hoping to alter mindsets, the vicious MC spits plenty of food for thought on his latest mixtape, Nigger Noize, with DJ Skee. Evoking the spirit of N.W.A on wax, it’s no wonder Bishop Lamont is signed to Aftermath.
It was back in ’04 at The Game’s video shoot for “Dreams” that the 28-year-old rapper first met Dr. Dre. This, of course, came after sneaking onto the set, stealing a golf cart and waiting outside for eight hours. When Dre emerged from a trailer, Bishop handed him a demo. “Dre was like, ‘I’m getting in the car right now. I’ma pop it in,’” Bishop recalls. “I was like, ‘Yeah right. You gonna throw it out the window and give it airtime.’” Two weeks later, when an L.A. radio host asked who he was working with on Detox, the good Doctor rattled off the usual suspects, with one surprise addition: Bishop Lamont.
Despite the radio shout-out, the superproducer didn’t sign the MC until ’05. Recently, Dre appeared with B. Lamont on an Internet video clip to announce that Detox is on its way. Bishop, however, is less than forthcoming with the album’s details. “I work at Area 51,” he jokes. “We’re engineering UFO technology. We got a Chupacabra working on the album with Dre. Bigfoot just finished up his shit. We’re on another level.”
With his solo debut, The Reformation, Bishop wants to shock and awe listeners. Shouldn’t be too tough with easy access to Aftermath’s all-star roster. Although heads may already know his camp’s history, Bishop is most concerned with the Golden State’s lyrical legacy. “If you don’t know about Souls of Mischief or Medusa, you’re wack,” he says. “If you don’t have Compton’s Most Wanted, you deserve to be pimp-slapped.” Brace yourself.
------- Read the rest of our Show & Prove picks in XXL’s June 2007 issue (#92)