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Bishop Nehru: "A Lot of The DOOM Project is Really Emotional"

We caught up with Bishop Nehru to talk his collaboration with DOOM, being a teenager, and why he only eats bacon and chicken and fries.

All photos by William Coutts

At 17, Bishop Nehru’s a young blood with staggering ambition. Since releasing his first project two years ago he’s come up hard in the rap game. 2014 has seen the New Yorker tour with Wu Tang and Earl Sweatshirt, collaborate with DOOM, and perform with his biggest influence, Nas, who introduced Nehru as “the future of music”. A pretty big accolade for someone fresh out of high school.


Despite writing and producing his mixtapes when he was 15, his sound reflects a musical understanding spanning back generations. The Nehruvia and strictlyFLOWZ mixtapes look backward to the Golden Era, prompting nostalgia for 90s boom-bap that was conceived before he was. His lyrics, however, bring us back to contemporary New York. Densely written bars chronicle his experience as a Rockland teen, which has encouraged predictable comparisons to Joey Bada$$ and other East coasters.

After talking about what it’s like getting props from Kendrick and sharing booths with DOOM, there was another thing I wanted to straighten out. In a recent interview he stated his hatred for British grub. Whoever made him food last time he was in London really fucked up. The poor guy had obviously just had a bad experience. So I brought us some snacks and caught up with him after a show to chew the fat, literally and figuratively with a pork pie in my pocket.

Noisey: Hip-hop doesn’t always come with a considered message. How much thought is behind your lyrics?

Bishop: Yeah, I always put a lot of thought into the things that I’m saying, especially on the Nehruvia side. On the strictlyFLOWZ side it’s more just writing and rapping. Putting another tape out, get more music out. But when I’m in my Nehruvia mode I’m always going to put an art project together.

How is it working with DOOM? He’s one of your favorite artists.


It’s awesome. A lot of the DOOM project is really emotional. There’s songs that are angry, songs that are sad, happy. So I guess it's a reflection on the transition between my early and late teens.

Dude your list of collaborators is mad. Wu Tang, Nas, DOOM, Earl Sweatshirt, who's next?

I gotta get Pharrell, Eminem, 50 Cent. I met Kendrick but I haven’t worked with him, I’d like to do a song though. J Cole I wanna work with. Kanye. Kanye's cool, he's real spiritual. I can tell he's deep to his spirit.

Are you a spiritual person?

Yeah, yeah. That’s why I say there’s such a difference between my 15-year-old stuff and my 17-year-old stuff. [In] my 15-year-old stuff I wasn’t as into myself, I was just blind. Walking around, moving, living, wake up; do this, do that, do this. There was a structure, there was an order I had to follow. Once I got outside of that order, there was just me. And nothing. And I was just confused, and I kinda thought like, is it me? Or is it everyone else around me? Everything just crashed.

Errr… When did everything crash?

That was after I started writing, after I’d turned 16. Around there I was like what the fuck. School wasn’t working out, I don’t know. It felt like everyone was against me. So I started looking into myself, researching more about myself, because I felt like all I had was me.

You’ve said before you that you like being independent. How are you feeling now with everything that’s happening to you? Not just as an artist, but as a teenager?


I don’t know, I don’t think I’m 17 to be honest.

DOOM said you’re an old soul.

That’s what I think. I think my parents lied or something.

So, last time you were here you didn’t get on with the food?

British food is nasty.

Alright, no. I can’t say it’s nasty because when I went to Paris and Belgium I was about to cry. When I came back to London I was happy. Here’s what I’ve got to say: it’s not all British food, you guys have good fries and chicken…

That’s just American food in Britain!

The eggs you guys make are too soupy. I can’t be dealing with soupy eggs. They made the fried egg with the yolk funny. You can’t do that. And the bacon, what is up with the bacon!? The bacon is weeeeird. It’s like ham. In America we have it crispy. Here it’s wet. What is that?

Ok well I brought you a present.


You’re not going to like it. Because it’s British food. You guys don’t have this stuff in the US. Firstly, Jaffa Cakes.

What is it?

It’s cake base with orange jelly and chocolate.

That sounds nasty. I’ll try it.

*opens Jaffa cake packet*

Oh my god these are so fucking gross. Is this dark chocolate…?

*takes a bite*

Oh no this is actually pretty good…

*stops chewing*

No it’s not, it’s bad.

*spits it back into the packet*

Ok what about this? Danny Brown really doesn’t like these. It’s a Scotch egg.

What is this?

It’s a boiled egg. Wrapped in sausage meat. In breadcrumbs.

You almost got me to eat that?! Nah.


Ok what about this? It’s just a tiny pie.

What’s inside of it?


A pork pie?!

Yeah, these are great.

No thanks. I don’t eat pork. I only eat bacon.

What about sausages?

No. Sausages. Fucking nasty. I only eat bacon. Bacon and chicken and fries.

Ok well, I think you’ll like this. It’s my favorite. It’s Marmite. Smell it.

*tentatively sniffs jar*


It goes on bread with butter.

That’s disgusting. What’s that taste like? Come on let me see.

*dips finger in jar*

eeeeeeerrruuuuugh eurrrrrghhhhh

*tongue hanging out of mouth*

*Wipes tongue frantically*


…That is nasty.

The slogan is you either love it or hate it.

I’m against it 100%.

Follow Alice on Twitter: @Al__Lewis