When legendary Chicago rapper Bump J was released from federal prison this past April, it was a glorious moment for the city’s rap scene. Last night (May 15), he took to the Windy City airwaves for his first interview in 8 ½ years.
The Windy City don made a visit to Chicago’s WGCI 107.5 on the Tone Kapone Show this past Monday (May 5) to talk about his prison stint. He explained to Tone Kapone, his cousin, what occurred on the night of his arrest and how, despite his national fame and success, why he never left the streets alone and never considered himself to be a rapper.
“Really, to tell you the truth Tone, I never really made a transition fully over [to] rap from the streets,” admits Bump. “Everything happened kind of fast and I just was out there in the streets real heavy. I always had one foot in the streets still. I just never made that transition fully and I was still doing what I was still doing.”
Bump says that he was arrested while he was on his way to a show. Police officers discovered he had active warrants and immediately hauled him off to jail. During the conversation, the Goon Squad rapper also explained how he still managed to keep his ear to the streets of Chicago by being able to download music from the computer (despite constantly being monitored) and received much of it from his older brother Chi-Town Shake.
“I always had a relationship with [Lil] Durk. We’ve been talkin’ since he really took off,” he said. “Lil Herb [G-Herbo] and Lil Bibby they’re from over east and that’s a proud moment when I see that. I mess with all the artists really, like [King] Louie…I got a guy right now and I’m on the first single on his album, Ty Money. I mess with the whole city, really.”
As far as mainstream artists, he says he’s a fan of artist such as fellow Chicagoan, Chance the Rapper, as well as Young Dolph, Yo Gotti, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, and Future, among many others. When asked about Chief Keef’s rapid rise to fame and the troubles that came with it, he had an eye opening response. “I was reading something from—I forgot where I read it, but Lil Reese had a quote [that said], ‘In all of the other states I’m a rapper. In Chicago, I’m BD (Black Disciples).”
Bump J left no stone unturned in their 11-minute conversation as he gave his perspective on on the rampant street violence in Chicago. For context, when he was arrested in 2007, the number of homicides was 443 compared to 2012’s total of 500 and 2016’s staggering total of 762.
“From the outside looking in, it looks crazy just sitting in my cell looking at things. But, when I was in it, like you said, it was always violent. Chicago always been a violent town. It’s just now it’s a lot of silly stuff happening,” said Bump. “More than that, it’s just so much more magnified now with social media and everyone being a reporter with their phones. It’s a lot more magnified, but it is getting reckless and it’s out of control really. We gotta start with the youth in my opinion.”
Bump concluded with advice to the younger, up and coming artists in Chicago, in regards to how they should stay focused on making music and what he would have done differently during his ascension in the mid-2000s. He even revealed what rappers reached out to him, whether or not he will sign to a label, and how it felt to play basketball with his son after being incarcerated for so long.