We had such high hopes for Bishop Lamont restoring credibility to the West. Dr. Dre signed the protégé to Aftermath in 2005 and by '08 we could have drafted career eulogies for Lamont.
Irony is a cruel bitch. The song that garnered attention to Lamont's talent as a songwriter was the same jam that rang the bell on his downfall. According to an Aftermath Rep, “Grow Up” was originally intended for one of the Floetry chicks. Jackin' for beats is nothing new and in this case Lamont did us all a tremendous favor, but it came at the cost of upsetting Dre due to the poor mixing quality and the leaking of an unfinished beat. The leak also cost an Interscope employee his/her job, as Lamont's insistence to leak the track to LA's Power 106, led to a C&D letter and some serious damage control at the Interscope/Aftermath offices.
Intent on furthering his nuisance persona with Aftermath, he went on Sirius XM Shade 45 on Angela Yee's & Leah Rose's Lip Service show to voice negative comments on Eminem's “Crack A Bottle” single. Once again, Lamont is correct, that song was trash, but homie… that's his radio station and that's your labelmate.
But was the soap opera of tantrums worth being dropped from Aftermath? Was this his endgame all along? It's no secret that being “groomed” by Dr. Dre is similar to being the new pet to an 8-year old that has killed two hamsters, three turtles and a tabby by squeezing the love of out of them. It must maddening to be dressed up in doll clothes, sitting at a Playschool table with Stat Quo, Joell Ortiz and Saigon having a tea party. Chances are you'll never know freedom nor know what it's like to release an album by signing to Aftermath. Bishop Lamont left with over 700 songs recorded during his stint in Aftermath Penitentiary. But you can't help but wonder if a lack of patience prevented Lamont from completing his training as Dr. Dre's third student to become a master. Sure, there's a dozen rappers with careers similar to Knocturnal's lifespan, but there's also Eminem and Snoop Dogg. Worth seeing it through? Maybe?
Now we suffer through what could have been, as Lamont will undoubtedly drop 15 mixtapes of unfocused stockpiled work that bare titles referential to his time served with Aftermath. Oh, hello The Shawshank Redemption mixtape!
Bishop Lamont, “Rain” (feat. Liz Rodrigues of The New Royales)