Bishop Nehru may have only caught the tail end of the 1990s but he is on a mission to bring back the sound of that decade. The 16-year-old rapper, who started rapping at 14, has an old school style that can be compared to “boom bap.” He not only raps but he produces, directs and writes. He does it all. The 11th grader made it known that he loves everything about the decade in which Bill Clinton was President and Biggie was still alive. He’s on a mission to bring the 90s back, and as quickly as he can. Mechanical Dummy caught up with Nehru and he talked about his influences and his musical style.
Words by N.Sella
Mechanical Dummy: What’s your name and what do you create?
Bishop Nehru: My name is Bishop Nehru and I create dope ass music that nobody has really heard before. Well, they heard it before, but not too much now and I plan on brining it back.
MD: What are trying to bring back? The New York sound?
BN: Yeah. The New York style. I think it needs to come back.
MD: When did you start making music, and how did you know you wanted to make boom bap?
BN: When I started making music it wasn’t like that, I just wanted to make music. It started about two years ago and this is where it came to.
MD: What was it about old school New York rap that connected with you?
BN: I liked that it was complex and hard to do. You had to listen for double entendres and stuff like that. I liked it and I think that’s what made me connect to it.
MD: Who were some of the artists you listened to and got you into that style?
BN: MF Doom, Wu-Tang and artists like that.
MD: Did you feel different growing up listening to that or did your friends listen to it too?
BN: I didn’t feel different. I felt the music I listened to was better than what they listened to.
MD: Artists like Joey Badass and others are coming back with that sound, are you getting or expecting comparisons? What makes you different?
BN: I knew I was gonna compared to somebody regardless. It doesn’t really bother me that much. What sets me apart is I do everything myself. I produce, I direct, all that. I think that’s what separates me.
MD: When did you learn to direct and do all that stuff? Was that after rap or have you always been really creative?
BN: Producing I did before I start rapping and directing wasn’t something I had to learn, it just came to my head when I did the song.
MD: What are the kinds of things that inspire you to make a song or produce?
BN: What makes me want to make song or a beat, is it’s a hobby and I like doing it. If something is bothering me or I want to talk about it, that’s when I’ll make a song.
MD: How do you feel about that New York sound coming back around? It is a trend or do kids really love this style of music?
BN: 50/50. The people that aren’t really dedicated to it, it will show sooner or later.
MD: What do you have coming soon?
BN: I’m working on a mixtape called Strictly Flows that should be out in the next two or three months. It was supposed to be an EP but I extended it. It’s just me showing what I can do.
MD: Going forward, what’s the message you are trying to get across?
BN: I’m bringing the 90s style back without a doubt. I’m gonna do everything I can to bring it back.
MD: What made the 90s great?
BN: I liked the beats a lot, I actually liked the beats better than the ones now. I liked the style a lot. Everything was different back then. The sitcoms, the way people dressed.
MD: What do you think of hip-hop now? Is there anybody you listen to?
BN: TDE and a little bit of A$AP, that’s honestly it. Other than that I listen to Madvillian still.
MD: When did you first start listening to Doom and what is it about him that makes him special?
BN: I think it was an episode of The Boondocks or I heard his verse on “All Caps.” I looked him up and started listening to his music. It hit me instantly. His lyrics are incredible. He makes his own beats. I would tell someone to listen to “Rhinestone Cowboy.”
MD: Who is someone you would like to work with?
BN: Kendrick, Nas, Joey and Wu-Tang. People like that.
MD: Have you been able to reach out to anyone yet?
BN: I meet Joey a couple times, he’s cool. There was a beat too he liked so something might happen with that.