Next Wave Class Of 2014: Bishop Nehru

DOOM, sure, but no gloom...
Bishop Nehru shot by Neil Bedford for Clash

Many young, hungry artists exhibit determination, to make something of their obvious potential. That relatively few achieve it is no tragedy: it simply highlights the voices most worthy. Bishop Nehru is worthy.

“I can really get my vision out there this time, and show people my creative vision,” says the New York teenager – real name Markel Scott – as he looks ahead to 2014 and a debut album ‘proper’. “I have my own land, and I want to expand and dominate that land.”

The foundations for a fine next 12 months have been laid via some envious associations as well as the release of two mixtapes: 2012’s ‘Nehruvia’ and its ’13 follow-up, ‘strictlyFLOWz’.

“I’m happy I got those mixtapes out,” he says, “as they attracted enough exposure for me to work on this album.” The album in question is a collaboration with critically acclaimed rapper (MF) DOOM – the pair has been tight for some time.

DOOM and me chilled multiple times before we ever went into the studio. We vibed off each other, and now we’re super cool. He’s hilarious, and I’m a huge fan of his – I don’t understand artists who have a problem with saying they’re fans of others. They must have self-confidence issues.”

It’s not just DOOM who has spoken up for Bishop’s abilities – Kendrick Lamar has also voiced his enthusiasm for the young MC. “For him to say that, it was cool! I try to not let it go to my head – but it does put a little pep in my step.” Bishop also opened for Wu-Tang Clan on their 20th anniversary tour in 2013.

Speaking to him, it’s clear that even if the rapping doesn’t work out, his appetite for creation in the arts is unbounded. “There are a bunch of videos right now that I’m looking to direct, and I really want to get into that. It’s expanding my mind, and keeping the juices flowing creatively. I want to do movies.”

So whether it’s in front of or behind the camera, on the airwaves or the big screen, the man’s hunger is going to carry him far.  

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‘Exhale’, from ‘strictlyFLOWz’

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WHERE: Rockland County, New York

WHAT: ’90s-vibed production and an eagle eye for contemporary lyricism.

GET 3 SONGS: ‘Mobb Dizzle’, ‘Misruled Order’, ‘SweetLips’

FACT: Bishop’s favourite album ever is Nas’ ‘Illmatic’. “I met him in LA, too – we were talking like friends. He’s really cool.”

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Words: Mike Diver
Photo: Neil Bedford (website)

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