Hip-hop discourse has always been heavily slanted toward the hottest and most hyped. MTV doesn’t list the best rappers, it ticks off “the Hottest MCs” in the game. Rolling Stone has its own chronicle, where it recently tabbed Ladera Heights product Tyler, the Creator as its “Hot Horror Core Revivalist” -- even though he doesn’t really make horror-core.
For rappers who maintain an Internet-centric fan base, falling outside the purview of the blogs is akin to the plotline of “The Net.” You are erased.
Two years ago, Bishop Lamont burned locally like the Station Fire -- at least, as much as you can without your own viral video. He was signed to Aftermath/Interscope, and his mentor Dr. Dre tabbed him for ghostwriting duties on “Detox” and compared him to Eminem. Gunning for more than mainstream ears, Lamont released an impressive Caltroit collaboration with production from Fat Beats favorite son Black Milk and guest spots, including Slum Village, Busta Rhymes and Ras Kass.
When the time came to drop the lead single from his much-delayed “Reformation,” the Dre-produced “Grow Up” immediately entered the Power 106 playlist and illuminated Lamont’s contrarian worldview. While most of his peers attempted to patronize teenagers, Lamont inveighed against dropping out of school, leaving your kid at home while partying and thirtysomethings who still sagged their pants. Unfortunately, a label-ordered cease and desist letter quickly took the song off the air.