Members: all shows listed at http://www.bobbybishop.com and http://www.beatmart.com
In the music world, the lines dividing the underground and the mainstream are becoming blurred. In the past, the underground was considered edgy, streetwise and unreachable, while the mainstream was often labeled lacking street depth and credibility. But now, select artists are able to bridge the gap. Artists with the passion, tenacity and originality to pass the test of time, and bring these two worlds together.
Now introducing Bobby Bishop, the latest glimmer of hope to come out of the underground hip-hop community. Residing in Lynn, Massachusetts, Bobby has the lyrical stamina and natural ability that separates him from many in the genre. Bobby's quest in hip-hop has reached back a decade, but the sound is anything but dated. It is a part of a growth process that brings skill and maturity to the mic. This talent caught the ear of acclaimed producer Todd Collins and his label Beatmart, and Government Name was born.
Bobby started recording rhymes in his college dorm room, seeking the advice of industry mentors and performing with the likes of KJ-52, Sev Static and Grits. He was second runner-up in 1999's Cru-Vention/BET Soundstage/House of Blues new artist showcase, which allowed him to work with Deftone, a producer who was just starting ReServed Records. Two albums followed â the ReServed Project in 2000 that featured KJ-52, and The Hip-Hop Alternative (Community's Call) in 2002, and the Community Music EP in 2004. Most notably, "A Song For Amy" from the 2002 release received extensive internet/radio exposure, and appeared on the Elementz of Life compilation, released by The American Bible Society. Bobby also began to write monthly for Feed Magazine, and began submitting music to Collins. Two cuts "One Hit Wonder" and "Lunchroom Freestyle" landed on Collins's project Best of the Submissions, which led to a deal on Beatmart Recordings.
Government Name, Bobby's debut project, has something for everyone, balancing fun songs with others based around the serious issues that Bobby faces daily as a youth pastor in inner-city Boston. Bobby's mission for Government Name is clear, "I'm attempting to release a versatile record. One that any kid from my neighborhood can connect with, but on the other hand, that a soccer mom can confidently play on the way back from practice in the Windstar! I want there to be pieces that any of the brethren on the HHH message boards will be yacking about, and I want those that haven't even heard of Christian rap to be introduced through this record."
The sound of Government Name has the bass thumping club vibe that producer Todd Collins is known for. With Todd's production work for KJ-52 in the minds and feet of many, Bobby musically sets a precedent, distancing itself from other TC productions. This is all Bobby, enhanced by Todd's signature skills. The icing on the cake comes from fellow Beatmart artist Pee Wee Callins. The R&B singer's vibe on tracks "Pursuing Amy", and "He Wont Leave You" add versatility to the more rugged, street vibe that appears on this record.
With the success and recognition of his craft taking shape, Bobby realized his calling for ministry. The bi-lingual artist helped start the East Coast International Church in Lynn, Massachusetts, and became their youth pastor. Bobby was inspired even more to use his hip-hop skills to reach his community and mentor and reach the youth of his neighborhood. Bobby's involvement is extensive, and his lyrics reflect these relationships and provide encouragement to youth across the country.
Bobby speaks volumes in his approach to writing the song "He Won't Leave You." He explains, "The lyrics are specific encouragements to several of my youth in Lynn, and tell what God is doing. This one is meant to show that, through adversity, God always prevails when we let Him make us stronger people through life's trials, and especially that He won't ever leave us to figure it out on our own."
2005 is the year destined for Bobby to step up and take charge of the destiny God has placed on his heart. With years of perfecting his craft, a heart that has been poured out to his community, and a life full of experience well beyond his years, Government Name will enable him to rise to new heights. "I just want to help and inspire others. I'm not a superstar," Bobby says, "I'm just a guy God's using to share what I've learned about myself and the world so far."