Bishop Lamont Leaves Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Label, Walks Away With Masters

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By: Vibe / January 11, 2010

After nearly five years of sitting on the bench, waiting for a release date for his debut album, Bishop Lamont is a free man. Yes, he’s officially off Dr. Dre‘s Aftermath label.

During a recent radio interview with The All Out Show (with Rude Jude and Lord Sear), the west coast rapper revealed that he’s been working behind-the-scenes for some time to part wayst with his longtime label, and finally got the okay.

“It was ‘Shawshank Redemption’, and finally, I’m pleased to announce — because there’s no gag orders, any legalities … my lawyer told me I can speak — I’m f***in’ free! I’m a free agent,” an excited Bishop said. “I still love them over there, but thank God. It was ‘Shawshank Redemption’ n****. I was going out to the prison yard, shaking gravel out my pants every day, going back in trying to crawl through the sewer.”

While Bishop didn’t explain in detail the politics and/or conflicts behind his desire to leave, he did say he started to feel like his solo debut was becoming a myth like Dre’s long awaited Detox record. And with most of his music never seeing the light of day, it was time for a change.

“After almost five years of sitting there and working with every producer in the world, it’s kinda unfair to the fans and my family, and myself to keep telling people something when the release dates change,” the rapper explained. “People are waiting. People are anticipating. [They be like] ‘When’s it gonna happen?’ After a while, it’s just like ‘Damn.’ It kinda becomes like my album is Detox like, ‘When is it coming?’

“I can’t afford that kinda situation. I signed in 2006. A n**** is 31 now. … That’s simply what it is and it feels so good,” Bishop continued.

He didn’t walk away empty handed, though. According to Bishop, Dre allowed him to leave with the masters to more than 700 songs he recorded while signed to his label. So, he says he’s got music ready to go.

However, Bishop made it clear that the split was amicable and that he and Dre are still on good terms. He says Dre has so many business ventures on his plate that breaking a new artist like himself isn’t a high priority.

“[Dre's] got other obligations and responsibilities that’s bigger than breaking new artists,” the rapper said. “It becomes a corporate situation. If you don’t understand the business side, it can put a strain on your personal sh**, and think it’s intentional. That’s not the case.”

Bishop Lamont has been in New York, secretly, over the past week “having fun, taking meetings and things.”

It’s still unknown what his current plans are, musically, and if his meetings where to potentially sign with new record label.