(AllHipHop Features) Nearly seven years ago, Terrence “Bump J” Boykin pled guilty to charges connected to a 2007 bank robbery, and the up-and-coming music artist was ordered to serve time at a Ohio federal prison.
The Chicago native was sentenced to 10 years for the offense, but Bump is likely to return home in the near future. While Boykin’s life is set to restart with his release, the period of incarceration at FCI Elkton is not the beginning of the Bump J story.
A decade ago Bump was on the verge of being the next great rap representative for Chicago. The Goon Squad general was putting the city on his back with projects like the DJ Drama hosted Chicagorilla.
This precursor to the popular Drill sound took place well before the current movement of rising Chi-town spitters found favor across the country. Many of those same street-oriented newcomers – such as Lil Durk, Lil Bibby, Smylez, and Rico Recklezz – have named Bump as a significant influence on their musical style.
At one point, backing from Atlantic Records and a co-sign from Chi City heavyweight Kanye West placed Bump J on a ladder to reach unimaginable heights in the industry. The business arrangement with Atlantic was eventually severed, and the “Move Around” rhymer’s scheduled debut album Nothing To Lose was scrapped.
However, his stretch behind jail bars has allowed the wordsmith time to craft new lyrical bars. Last month I spoke with Bump J over the phone, and the “Chief Of Chicago” discussed when he is expected to be released, his mindstate at the moment, and more.
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How are you doing?
I’m good. I’m ready to come home.
Do you have an idea when you’ll be coming home?
No later than January.
What do you expect will be the reaction from your fans when you get out?
I get a lot of support now, so I expect it to continue. I’m very appreciative of that. It really is some of the things that keep me going. I don’t need much to motivate me, but it’s been a lot of support within the Hip Hop community and from my fans period.
Do you keep in touch with other rappers like Kanye and Durk?
I talked to Durk the other day. I talked to Jeezy. I talked to Herbo. I talk to a lot of guys. But during my whole bid, I’ve been doing time and not really keeping in contact with the outside world period besides family.
Are you doing a lot of writing?
I do a lot of reading and writing.
What type of stuff are you reading?
I’m reading [Napoleon Hill’s] Think and Grow Rich. I don’t read novels. I read a lot of educational and motivational things.
Are you writing lyrics?
Yeah, I’m writing lyrics.
When you come out, are you going to be prepared to go right to the studio and start recording?
I’m trying to get right to work and hit the ground running.
There have been rumors that you’re signing with G.O.O.D. Music.
It’s an option that’s on the table. I have several offers on the table already. But Kanye is a good friend of mine, so I’m always going to give him the first dibs.
Have you been following what’s happening in Hip Hop?
I try to keep a close ear on it. We don’t get a lot of music. We get enough on the computer, but I keep up with what’s going on.
Who are some of the artists that have been catching your ear? Besides the people you associate with like Durk and Herbo.
I listen to almost everything – Future, Drake, Kendrick, Kevin Gates. I listen to everything. When I say “everything,” I mean almost everything. Those are some of the guys – J. Cole, Jeezy – that really got my ear.
That’s a wide range. They all have different lanes with different topics they focus on.
Being from Chicago and right in the middle [of America], I’ve always listened to everything from West Coast, Down South, and East Coast. My style may lean more towards the East Coast, but I’ve always listened to everything.
Speaking of your style, can you give a hint to where your mindset is with what you’re writing now?
With me, I always try to stay witty. Even with the way that I feel that rap is going – as far as the “turn up” kind of music – I still try to stay witty even when I’m doing that type of stuff.
So you’ve been able to pay attention to Hip Hop, have you been able to pay attention to the greater American society as far as social issues and politics?
Yeah, it’s hard not to pay attention. It’s a lot going on with the police killings. It’s starting to get out of control. I just saw another police killing. I’ve definitely been paying attention.
A lot of Hip Hop stars have taken it upon themselves to do more to help the community. Like Game and Snoop Dogg got together and called for a peace rally for the gangs in Los Angeles. Do you see yourself taking on that role as well?
Yeah, especially in my city. It’s a lot going on. It’s always been a lot going on. I want to have a positive impact on my city against the negativity that’s going on.
Even when I had my Goon Squad before I got locked up, it was based on unity. My crew consisted of different factions from everywhere, brought together despite the different affiliations, just to win.
I want to use my power and influence for that good and motivate others to stick together. It’s the same thing they’re doing in Atlanta culture and Cali culture – just to be able to bring our star power to the community and try to help change something.
Honestly, it’s so hard. Maybe in Chicago, they gotta make the bullets $10,000 or something. Because this sh-t is just out of control.
We talked before about you having this wide range when it comes to the music you listen to. When you look at Chicago right now, the same thing seems to be happening in the city. You have artists like Herbo, Durk, Vic Mensa, Chance The Rapper, and Mick Jenkins. They are all building their own wave and still being successful. What do you think it is about the city that’s producing this range of talent at the moment?
I think it’s a diverse city period. There’s a lot of different personalities and it shows with those artists you just said. Even with Vic Mensa, he touches on the same social issues. I was listening to his [“16 Shots”]. I think we’re all dealing with the same social issues, but we all come from different walks of life. It’s a diverse city and it comes out in the music.
Is there anything else you want your fans to know right now?
I’ll be home. I’m better than I was when I came in. As far as me as a man, I’m more focused now. And I’m ready to turn up.
You talked about how you get to listen to some music on the computer. Are you familiar with modern technology and apps like Twitter and Snapchat?
I try to stay in tune with what’s going on. I don’t know how to work the sh-t, but I’m in tune with it.
I’m sure your people are going to put you onto it as soon as you get out.
Yeah, I know that’s a big part of the business right now. I read a marketing book that was talking about a lot of it. I try to stay in tune with what’s going on.
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Bump J has released the collection Last Of The Giants. Stream the project below.