Fake Shore Drive caught up with Bump J in Big Springs, Texas, where the rapper is currently serving a 10 year prison sentence in federal prison. In the middle of the decade, Bump was one of the rising stars coming out of Chicago’s hip-hop scene. He was arrested in November 2008 on federal bank robbery charges. He faced a possible life sentence in the case so in June 2009, he accepted a plea deal that carried a minimum sentence of seven years.
In the plea deal signed June 26, [Bump] admitted his guilt in the Jan. 4, 2007 robbery of the Chase Bank, 800 Madison St., which netted $108,135. He also admitted threatening bank employees with a gun.Under federal sentencing guidelines, Boykin, 28, faced between 37 and 46 months in prison for the bank robbery itself, but life in prison for menacing bank employees with a .45 caliber handgun. (SOHH.com via Wednesday Journal)
He had been signed to Atlantic Records during the time of the robbery. He was later dropped from the label and his album was shelved indefinitely. This is the first interview he’s done since his arrest and incarcertation.
Bump, it’s good to hear from you, bro. How have you holding up since being incarcerated? How have you been spending your time?
I’ve been good since I’ve been locked up. My time is flying. I spend a lot of time on the weight pile, gamblin’ and writing. I just try not to think about the outside world too much.
Have you been keeping up with the Chicago hip-hop scene at all?
As far as the scene in Chicago, I’ve been seeing a lot of L.E.P. on MTV’s Sucker Free. These n***** down here where I’m at really fuckin’ with them. They always run and come get me like “Your n***** from Chicago on TV! Them n***** spittin’ that real shit” so I’m proud of them and what they’re accomplishing. I talk to Moonie and Count every now and then and me and Bo Deal been talking back and forth, too. Mikkey and Sly Polaroid finishing up this song I started before I left. No I.D. did the beat, and that shit’s gonna be nuts. I’ve also been hollerin’ at MarVo and my man Jay-J, so all those n***** keep me in tune with what’s going on.
Is there any chance you’ll be out sooner than we think? Your sentence seemed quite lengthy.
As far as my case goes, I just filed my 2225 and that’s something like an appeal. If I win, I could be right out. But even if not, they’re voting on a lot of laws right now that could put me closer to the door. People out there don’t know, but they could be very useful by just keeping up with these things, and calling their Congressmen and letting them know that they want these laws passed. For instance, they are only giving us 54 days a year for good time, but they have a law that they are voting on that will make it 120 days a year. I have five years left, but that will take me all the way down to two. If people want to keep up with a lot of these things there’s an organization called FAMM, and their website is FAMM.org. That’s just one of many ways to stay in tune, but we need y’all to be instrumental in these changes. They already passed the crack law but it still hasn’t gone retroactive, and doesn’t affect people already incarcerated. Federal parole is also up for vote. A lot of these things will put me closer, if not out the door.
Do you plan to jump back into rapping if you were to get out within the next two-to-five years?
I will definitely jump back into rap. Like I said, at the worst I have five years of my sentence left. My release date is March 2016 and that’s not including the halfway house.
Right before you went in; you were hard at work on your official post-Atlantic debut with No I.D. How far along were you two on the project? There were also a lot of rumors that this album was set to drop on Kanye’s G.O.O.D. Music
No I.D. and I knocked out a few songs before I left, but we were really supposed to go hard down in Atlanta. I got locked up doing a show at Southern Illinois University on a Sunday, and that Monday I was suppose to go to Atlanta for a month or two to record. No I.D. had already booked my hotel rooms and everything. If I had known I had a federal indictment, I wouldn’t have even done that show. I would’ve gone straight to Atlanta and recorded as much as I could’ve before I turned myself in. So, unfortunately, we really didn’t get a lot done for the project. We had a few winners and some ideas for bangers but that’s about it. I hadn’t even gotten far along enough to name it. As far as the G.O.O.D. Music situation, Kanye is a good friend of mine. He helped pay for my lawyer and he’s making sure my books are straight while I’m in here. But as far as signing to G.O.O.D. Music, I feel like I would’ve gotten a deal with whoever I sat down to talk with. At the time, I was focused on recording and having an album already done before I tried to sign with anybody. But G.O.O.D. Music would’ve been one of my first options.
Now, it’s pretty dope that Kanye and No I.D. still look out for you while you’re in there. I’m guessing you still have some good contact with them?
Well, since we now have access to internet and email, communication has been better. But like I said, I try to stay out of the world. It helps my time fly by better. The less I’m hearing about what’s going on out there, the easier it is for my time to fly. That’s how I do it. When I hear from people and they’re telling me about a lot of the things that are going on out there, I get in my “Damn, I’m supposed to be out there” mode, and it can really slow time down. So I try to limit a lot of contact with the outside world. Period
Do you think if the Atlantic Records situation would’ve been different you wouldn’t be in the position you are now?
As far as the Atlantic situation goes, yeah, I know I wouldn’t be in here right now. It is what it is, though. I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I was out there a little too reckless. There’s no telling, I probably would’ve ended up in here for something worse. Atlantic had to pay me several hundreds of thousands of dollars to release me, but Free [owner of Free For All, the label Bump was signed to through Atlantic] wouldn’t sign the papers. He didn’t sign the papers until a couple of months after the robbery, which was a year after Atlantic presented the release papers to me. So if he would have signed the release papers when they were first presented, I would have been a few hundred thousand dollars richer, and there probably wouldn’t have been a robbery. So no, I wouldn’t be in here for the crime I’m charged with.
I’m glad you touched on the contract with Free, as a lot of people didn’t even know there was a third party involved. I’m assuming just about everyone thought the deal was directly between you and Atlantic. Would you say that Free’s involvement was the biggest reason the Atlantic deal went sour? I, for one, thought Nothing To Lose was a great album – it still boggles my mind that they didn’t move on releasing it. Was it because of the situation with Free, or did Atlantic pull the plug on the album?
As far as the Free situation, yeah he was the reason the Atlantic deal went bad. I had no beef with Atlantic, the beef was with him. My album was ready and he wouldn’t let them [Atlantic] hear the songs. He wanted to spend top dollar on everything, when at times it wasn’t necessary. For example, the “Move Around” video. Me and Atlantic agreed to have Jesse Terrero direct the video, but he insisted Hype Williams do it. In the process of the debate, the song started to decline in spins and we ended up not doing a video at all. A couple of months later Jeezy drops his video for “And Then What”, and Jesse Terrero directed it, and used the same treatment he and I discussed for “Move Around”. There was just a lot of ego that came along with Free, and it ended up destroying our relationship with Atlantic. When they eventually heard it, they loved the album. That wasn’t the problem at all, it was the relationship between Free and Atlantic that destroyed the deal.
Yeah, I always wondered why you never had a video for “Move Around”. It really confused the hell out of me that there weren’t more visuals of you despite your insane buzz. So many of your songs could’ve had incredible videos. What other tracks were set to be singles from Nothing To Lose? I know the streets loved “Our Father”
Yeah, “Our Father” was one. I had a song with John Legend called “You and I” that was definitely going to be one as well. I also had one with Jagged Edge and Twista (“Damn Girl”) that was going to be one. There were a lot of songs that could’ve been singles, but I think those topped the list, being they had the most commercial feel to them.
Around the same time you began to bubble, Lupe Fiasco also signed with Atlantic. Do you think it hurt having two new lyrically inclined artists from Chicago trying to come out at the same time on the same label? Twista was also on Atlantic during those years, and you two were beefing. Speaking of Twista, did you know that he recently shouted you out on his new album The Perfect Storm?
I don’t think it hurt at all having two lyrical artists from the crib on the label at the same time because we were in different lanes. I don’t think the thing with me and Twista had anything to do with it either. I know for a fact that my relationship with Atlantic ended because of the problem with them and Free.
Nah, I didn’t know Twista shouted me out on his album, but I’ve been hearing the new songs he’s putting out and I like the one with him and Chris Brown, and the one with Raekwon. But off the subject a little, I just heard some of Sly Polaroid’s new shit and the n**** is going crazy. I think once the world gets a taste of him, he’ll have huge success. He was one of the only n***** that could really motivate me when I was home.
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First time I heard Bump J was from Kay Slay mixtapes in ’05.
Pushaman (feat. Kanye West)
Ride Or Die