Moe: I am so stoked to have you with us Bumpy 103, for this exclusive interview with Atlanta Cosmopolitan. Man, how are you doing?
Bumpy 103: I’m feeling good. Thank God we’re here. I am just happy to have been a part of your (Blog Talk) show. Thank you so much for the invite and for reaching out. I just appreciate everything.
Moe: Absolutely. It is a pleasure. I love speaking to artists who are what I consider to be definitely radio ready. You are polished and I love your song. So, what I want to do first is get some background information about you. Let’s talk about your name. What does Bumpy 103 represent?
Bumpy 103: Alright. Well, we got the name Bumpy from the old Harlem gangster, Bumpy Elsworth Johnson, you know. He was a stand up guy. I kind of took his name on at a young age. I read a couple of articles about him and I was like, 12, and I was like, you know what? I like the name. The 103 stands for the block I come from. I’m from 103rd Street, and you know, in New York, we rep our block. We kind of take that serious. So, I just put everything together. It’s a nice, you know, well-rounded name, Bumpy 103, and there you go. We have just been running with it ever since.
Moe: Got it. Let’s talk about 103rd Street and how important it is to you, and how it has inspired you as an artist.
Bumpy 103: Wow. That’s a great question. Well, basically, you know, I was born in the projects. The Frederick Douglas Housing Projects on 103rd Street and Amsterdam Ave. It is a pretty big housing project. I have two older brothers, and I kind of grew up around them. They are nine years older and 14 years older. It sounds crazy, but, I grew up around them and their friends, so all I knew was the area I came from and how they represented. My brother was a DJ and an Emcee as well, so the neighborhood was a big influence on me since birth. So, when I say Bumpy 103 or 103rd Street, it’s a lot more to it. It’s the neighborhood, it’s the culture, it’s the history all behind it.
Bumpy 103: So, I’m carrying all that on my back.
Moe: Well, I think you are doing a pretty good damn job. I’ve listened to your music and your song, “Why You Wanna Do Me Like That,” and I really feel that you are radio ready. I wanted to talk to you about this particular track, and what it means to you on a personal level. If you could give us some feedback on that. It sounds like some relationship gone wrong, shit, and we just wanna talk about it.
Bumpy 103: (Laughs) Umm. Definitely. I mixed everything in that song. It’s funny how that song actually came about. I had actually done a show one night with some friends, and somebody I knew that lived on the block I used to live on in the Bronx came to the show. So, we lived on the same block, and he didn’t know I rapped and I didn’t know he could sing. Long story short, we met up at a show one night and we both performed. So, we were like, intrigued with each other because he sings and I rap and we didn’t know that. We had a meeting the next day, and it was a couple of artists there, and we were just kind of jamming. My boy at the time, he had that actual beat playing on his phone. So, he’s playing the beat and all of the artists in the room were kind of just jamming together, and my boy that I know that sings, started singing, “Why you wanna do me like that? Why you wanna do me like that?” and he was just going with it. So, it kinda came from…he actually came up with that hook that caused that. No one had anything solid to it, so I was like, “You know what? Send me that beat. I don’t even know what to do with this.” At the time, yes, I was going through what was the end of a relationship and then it was kind of a reflection of all the different types of relationships I was going through in the past. I just kind of summed it up into one song, and that was it, you know? I needed something different at the time. I never did a song like that to that extent before, so that was big to me that I could go totally left on that one.
Moe: So, it sounds like it came about, sort of like, by fate. You’re in a place and all of a sudden, here is all of this stuff going on in the background and you have this beat correlating with your life and you were able to make magic happen.
Bumpy 103: Absolutely.
Moe: I love that. It shows that you are a true artist. Only an artist can go into an empty room and visualize how they want that room to appear. Same thing with the music. You hear something, and you’re like, I can do something with this, and you made something beautiful happen with it. Now, you know I gotta be nosey. I gotta go in.
Bumpy 103: (Laughs) Let’s go.
Moe: I’m not going to get too personal. You know, I worry for our millennial generation, and I blame the generation before them, because I believe we, as the parents, are the perpetrators and the spawners of everything that is happening with the millennial generation today. What do you think as a young man, is the disconnect in relationships right now? You know, loyalty does not seem to be an honorable thing anymore. What is your opinion on that?
Bumpy 103: I think…well, personally, I think it’s all about a vibe, you know? If you vibe with a person, if you connect with a person, if it works it works. If it doesn’t it doesn’t. Some things are meant to work and some things don’t. But, overall, I believe there are a lot of distractions out here. There is a lot of social media. There is a lot of TV. and a lot of things you see in the streets that kind of distracts certain people from focusing on a solid relationship. You’re always looking at something else, or, want to be like something else, instead of just being grounded and down to earth and attracting what you like or what you wanna be. That’s what I think.
Moe: Huh. Wow. That’s a wisdom bite y’all. You better be listening to this young man.
Bumpy 103: Right (laughs).
Moe: Well, I also noticed that your track was produced by Thomas Crager. I don’t want to leave anyone out. Definitely want to give him a shout out. What’s the situation? Is this going to be part of an album or is this already an album?
Bumpy 103: Actually, that was just a promo single. My boy found that beat off of YouTube, and once I wrote to it, I got in touch with the producer, Thomas Crager and told him I liked his stuff. I think there is a sample in it, so it’s not totally original, so it’s not for sale, but definitely a nice promo song that catches people’s attention and builds from there.
Moe: Wonderful. That brings me to the next segue way. You are definitely not a novice at this. You are not brand new to the music scene, or wake up and just declare that you wanted to be an artist. You have been doing this for a while. Talk to me about some of your experiences thus far and what you are doing now.
Bumpy 103: Well, I like to work. I really do. I’ve put out previous projects. I’ve been really by myself, recording. I’ve been in a group. I’ve worked with my brothers at the beginning stages of my career. But, around like 2007, I really started working on my own and started just mastering my art myself. So, since ’07, I’ve been putting out projects and done a lot of local shows in the city and stuff like that. Brushed shoulders with a few artists being in the city and being at certain places at certain times. I’ve seen Cam’ron here and there and a few artist around the neighborhood. Where I am now, I’ve seen Monifah across the street. These are all artists that I grew up watching. So to see them as I get older, it’s like right place, right time. I know where I need to be kind of thing. Lately, I have been doing a lot of shows out of town. The next one I have coming up, is 420 in Denver, Coast to Coast Live. I am going to head out to Denver and perform this song actually, “Why You Wanna Do Me Like That?”
Bumpy 103: Yeah, we’re just working. I like to move forward. I’m working with a few artists right now and doing some writing and producing, so, it’s time to work harder now more than ever.
Bumpy 103: As time goes by, just work harder and harder, because being independent, you gotta work. You have to do the work. Nothing is going to come to you. Nobody’s going to do it for you, so, I am all about the work.
Moe: I definitely respect that. I was doing a little research on you and I found out that you are quite the entrepreneur. Are you the owner of 103rd Street Entertainment?
Bumpy 103: Yes, I am.
Moe: Did that start in 2007?
Bumpy 103: That started in 2008. I believe August 2008.
Moe: What is your vision and objective for your company at this time?
Bumpy 103: Basically multi-media everything, film, music, books and all kinds of arts. I know so many talented people that do so many things that I just want to be able to have a situation where if they need, or if anyone needs anything, I’m here. I’m legit and I’m able to help. It helps me. It helps them. It helps everybody. You know what I’m saying?
Bumpy 103: I try to put out music that everybody can see exactly what I’m doing and they can see the vision. Sometimes you have to lead by example. People can say things all day. I can sell you a dream. I’d rather not. I’d rather do the work and show you myself. So, basically, I’m looking for all kinds of artists. If you dance, if you sing, if you draw, if you paint, if you write books, novels or films, there’s a home. There is a home for everybody that needs a home.
Moe: Excellent. So, you definitely are working towards your career, but definitely interested in working with people who are talented in all those artistic mediums you just mentioned?
Bumpy 103: Yes, definitely, because that helps me. That inspires me to see different things, to say different things. It helps me build myself and to build my character by helping other people. Steel sharpens steel. We all need inspiration from somebody so that works for me.
Moe: That’s great. I definitely agree. Now, you mentioned going to Denver, which is very exciting. I have found that traveling to other states is cool because vibes may be a little different. How did that opportunity come into play?
Bumpy 103: Well, my home girl that I am also working with out in Michigan, Thirteen East Entertainment, we have been working together for a while and she has a YouTube channel and her own empire and company. I linked up with her by getting on a New Years Eve competition she was having and I won two times in a row. We have been working since and whatever situations I may have on my side that would work for her, I would send her way, and she sent me the Coast 2 Coast thing recently. So I looked into it and its funny how things play out. For a couple of months I was like I want to go to Denver for 420. It’s marijuana. It’s legal out there. There are going to be people out there. I need to be out there performing. You know what I’m saying? So she found the info just on time and I just set it up. I was like it’s perfect. I can’t wait. I gotta get out there.
Moe: Understood! Now, you mentioned Coast 2 Coast, and I am familiar with the person who actually owns that operation, so you will definitely be in good hands. We have not had the opportunity to connect in a long time, but it’s legit, so I will definitely say that much. I want to definitely say to the audience to anyone who may be reading this now or in the future, that you are listening to an artist that cares about people and definitely someone who is interested in collaborating with people who have various talents. Please make sure that at the end of this interview you get his social media information and definitely connect with him. In addition to your song, “Why You Wanna Do Me Like That?” you also go hard. Your talents are diverse. You are not a softy. So, let’s talk about your writing skills and what motivates you to write.
Bumpy 103: I’ve been writing for a long time. Ever since I was a kid. It started off with just short stories in school and using my imagination. As I got a little older, like, even though I was young, around 8 years old, I started writing. We were around all of the music and it was so much of an influence. I was around my brothers. I was watching videos all day. I’m like, okay, I can do this too. So, I just started young. In school it started with the short stories, then I started rapping. I have sort of an advantage or a heads up because I have been doing it for so long, so I can write very well. I can write for females. I can write for males. I can write Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, or whatever I like, I can write it.
Moe: That is actually good information for me to know as far as personal intel, because I like to do a lot of connecting of artists with different people. We have to share your social media information. How can people follow you and network with you?
Bumpy 103: You can find me on Instagram, Twitter and Sound cloud at Bumpy103Music. You can find me that way on everything. That’s where you will find me, links to my songs, my projects, upcoming events, past events. You will find everything there. So check me out y’all at Bumpy103Music.
Moe: Perfect. What would you want people to know about you as a person?
Bumpy 103: I am regular, down to earth kind of person. I like to travel and I like to have fun at the end of the day. I’m the type of person who likes to party, have fun and I like for everyone to have a good time and be happy. That is the type of guy I am. Throughout my music, like you said, I go hard. That’s a lot of frustration, competition…frustrated from a lot of things I have gone through in my past, and things I am going through. At the same time, I’m a rapper and this is a competitive sport. You know there are a lot of people out there that rap hard so, I can do that too. But, right now, I’m just trying to put a little twist on things. My focus is global. I want to be able to move around the world, so it’s time to tighten up on the music to clean things up. It’s going to have the same feel, but I got kids, people have kids, I’m a little older now, so it’s time to tighten things up a little bit and shoot for the stars.
Moe: You just mentioned something so beautiful. I can hear it in your voice and I can kind of gauge and feel your energy, so I’m very excited for what you are doing and I can tell that nothing is going to stop you. I have two final questions for you.
Bumpy 103: Okay.
Moe: In terms of your dreams, at the absolute end of the day before you shut your eyes forever, what is it that you would want to have accomplished?
Bumpy 103: I want to be secure for myself and my family, first things first. For my son to be able to have the opportunities in life, where he can pick and choose what he wants to do and invest his energy in. I would like to make my family, especially my mother proud at the end of the day, and just to be successful and to reach the limit that we can actually reach. There are a lot of setbacks, a lot of people dying…Nipsey Hussle, that’s a prime example right there. We don’t want that. We’re tired of that, and its okay to get away. I grew up my whole life in the streets and I know how it is. So I want to get away, go somewhere nice and take vacations. At the end of the day that is what would make me happy, closing my eyes at night, knowing that everyone is safe and that everyone is happy to the best of their ability.
Moe: That’s awesome. I’ve got the banger here. I ask this question of every artist at the close of the interview. I would like you to give someone who is reading this article, who doesn’t have any hope or believes they can’t accomplish anything in their life some advice right now.
Bumpy 103: You can do anything you put your mind to. I know it sounds so cliché, I’ve heard it all my life, but it’s so true. If you focus your mind and your energy into something that you love doing, that’s what you have to do. You have to do what you love. Don’t let anyone discourage you and tell you that you can’t do it, or you’re not good enough. If they do, you have to show and prove them wrong. That’s the only way you are going to feel good about yourself and to gain your confidence to keep moving forward. You never know who is watching and who is inspired by what you do, so, you gotta be you. Whatever desire that is inside and is in your heart, invest your mind and your energy into it and it will definitely happen.
Moe: That is excellent advice. You just heard it from Bumpy 103, who also gave homage to the dearly departed Nipsey Hussle. We are all very sad and hurt about it, but we can definitely use a lesson and apply those principles to our lives. I just want to say to you, Bumpy 103, I respect your game, I respect what you are doing, I respect your entrepreneurial pursuits and I certainly do wish you well. Do you have any closing statement?
Bumpy 103: Thank you very much. This was a pleasure. Like I said, this is history and I glad to have been here with you. I love your show. Your questions were definitely on point and I am truly happy and just smiling right now.
Moe: This has been a pleasure for me. I believe in you and your vision and I definitely believe in reciprocal energy and I just want to thank you so much for spending time with us and inspiring the people who will be reading this. I just want you to know that you are important. You matter and we want you to do well. Wishing you the most and the best in success.
Bumpy 103: Thank you, and much success.