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New CDs arrow Bishop, Bobby

Bishop, Bobby
Bishop, Bobby |

Government Name (2005)

Price: $6.00


Price Currently Paid for this CD: $1.50

This cd is brand new and still sealed.

Unless you're Will Smith and have a prior acting resume before your budding 'rap' career, it's very unlikely to find an emcee who uses his real name in hip-hop circles. Most rappers come up with all sorts creative monikers, nicknames, and aliases, hoping to build a more outspoken public persona and to gain a fresh start.

Newcomer Bobby Bishop will gladly tell you his is not a marketing tool or a funny one-liner, but his actual birth name—his Government Name, which is also the title of his debut for Beatmart Recordings, the upstart music label spearheaded by producer Todd Collins (KJ-52, Out of Eden). What Collins does for Bishop here is similar to his output for KJ-52—bouncy, poppy beats and a slight old-school vibe. Unlike KJ and John Reuben, however, Bishop keeps his feet firmly planted in hip-hop territory, avoiding unnecessary excursions into the nether regions of rap-rock.

This hip-hop foundation is the right vehicle for Bishop's testimonial storytelling, which focuses on urban life and the afflictions of others in order to make a point about life in general. But while it's well intentioned and well produced, the album is peppered with the usual hip-hop clichés and thus loses much of its impact. Whether it's the irreplaceable 'Intro,' the shout-out track 'Show Love,' the inevitable party song ('Get Down'), the autobiographical account ('Government Name'), the token hip-hop lamentation ('Change the Game'), or the too-serious-for-the-album-but-let's-include-it-anyway 'Amy's Song,' it seems Bishop is following a script. It's fun and carefree, but too calculated and picture-perfect to determine which parts are truly Mr. Bishop, and which are merely part of the standard hip-hop playbook.
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