Representing the fair city of Lynn, Massachusetts, Bobby Bishop has made it his daily goal to reach the world with his music. His latest offering, the One Shot EP, is much more than just another five hip-hop tracks. One Shot overflows with his raw energy, and he uses this energy to tell a unique story that pulls the listener in. Songs and interludes are carefully and passionately woven together to form a complex type of art that Bobby refers to as "hip-hopera."
"One Shot is my most evangelistic tool to date," shares Bobby. "It was inspired by years of ministering to people suffering from addictions and other social issues present in urban America. I pray the intensity of the story convicts people to evaluate their position with God!" The One Shot EP is currently being packaged with the re-release of Government Name, Bobby Bishop's Beatmart Recordings debut.
What makes Bobby's EP so unique? The project opens with "One Shot", an interlude and verse that shows you a struggling father and the decisions that lead him to become involved with pushing drugs. Over steady synthesized keys, Bobby Bishop flips his flow into a rapid-fire delivery and begins the hip-hopera in first person, telling the story as if it was straight out of his personal experiences. As "One Shot" closes, Bobby's persona makes a defining decision that eventually reaps unexpected events.
As the drama continues, Bobby unveils "I'm On The Run", a pounding track with plodding base that has just a hint of old school laced in its veins. "I'm On The Run" takes Bobby's rapping to a new level; you've never heard him this intense. As the song plays out, you begin to understand more and more of the father's life and the draw of the streets. Bobby's alter-ego carries his piece, protects his territory, sells his dope, and dodges the cops. However, far from glorifying a criminal lifestyle, "I'm On The Run" gives the listener an insight into the pain felt by the hardest of thugs. Bobby Bishop tells us that no one is as confident as they might seem.
One of the most emotional and honest hip-hop songs Bobby Bishop has ever done, "Where Were You?" paints a tragic picture of a son's bitter memories of his abusive and alcoholic father. Accompanied by Fort Minor-esque piano, a haunting and atmospheric hook sharply contrasts with the anger and sorrow of Bobby's verses. This graphic portrayal of a broken home and the consequences that follow concludes with a prayer for the strength to forgive.
Bringing it back with another interlude, we soon learn that not all is well in Bobby's alternate reality. His choice to run the block eventually leads to clashes with the law and finally imprisonment. Fellow Beatmart Recordings artist Soul P. briefly joins Bobby's world and ministers to the broken man that Bobby has become. Soul P. effortlessly compliments Bobby on the "One Shot" beat, adding yet another point of view to the still developing hip-hopera.
Introduing a new character to the EP, "I'm Trying" reveals life on the other side of the coin: the horrible experiences of the chronic addict. She's a social worker by day, fixing families that have been torn apart by a drug-affected lifestyle. But outside of her job, she slips into her other world and shoots up to escape reality. While the bouncy beat and radio-friendly hook might seem out of place, "I'm Trying" has a hope for the future. Despite her addiction, she truly wants to let go of what holds her and asks God to help her out of despair.
"Jump Off" closes One Shot with an anthem for those turning their lives around. Bobby Bishop controls the track, dominating the gritty rhythms and mournful organs. How does One Shot end? It's safe to say you won't see it coming, and Bobby makes the sorrowing point that we never know how or when human lives will interact. Quite simply, the One Shot EP is by far Bobby's most personal and intense work to date, raising the bar for storytelling in hip-hop.