Bumps INF’s transparency, storytelling shine on album ‘Man vs. Machine’
Even Bumps INF wasn’t sure he should get this transparent.
On his debut album Pain in Paragraphs in 2012, he opened up about his divorce, as well as the depression and struggle to live out his Christian faith that followed. Two and a half years later, Bumps still receives thank-you messages about his honesty, which is why his God Over Money boss Bizzle thinks it’s so valuable.
“Bumps is one of the most transparent artists I’ve ever heard period — any label, any genre,” Bizzle said. “I think it gives hope to those who think they’re the only ones who deal with those struggles. I know when I first got saved, I questioned my salvation every time it seemed like nobody else was dealing with the struggles I dealt with.
“I think Bumps provides that ‘you’re not the only one’ feel for a lot of people.”
Bizzle told Rapzilla that Bumps’ sophomore album that he released on Feb. 11, Man vs. Machine, is more upbeat than Pain in Paragraphs. But Bumps still brought the honesty.
On track No. 10, “Desperate Measures,” Bumps tells the story of how mistakes put himself in position to ruin his second marriage.
When Bumps met producer Big Juice in the studio, he told him what he wanted to tell on “Desperate Measures,” but Bumps didn’t know how transparent he should be. After all, this is his marriage he was talking about.
Big Juice told him to be as honest as possible. He has heard his friends discuss about the difficulty of marriage, and he knew listeners would relate to the song.
“I’m a big advocate for honesty and transparency on records,” Big Juice said. “You see it from mainstream guys. For better or for worse, they don’t filter anything. I think sometimes as Christian hip-hop artists, we can get very [politically correct] … I think sometimes it’s glossed over how much people really wrestle with real life.”
Initially, Bumps’ wife didn’t appreciate the song as much as Big Juice. She thought it glorified a rough patch in their relationship. They discussed the scrapping of the track, but Bumps convinced her that what “Desperate Measures” glorified was God’s grace.
“Wise people tend to learn from other people’s mistakes,” Bumps said. “I think just by maybe hearing the track, they can hear how I made a bunch of little mistakes, and it almost came together to create this catastrophic situation.”
Big Juice, who called Bumps INF one of the best storytellers in Christian hip hop, believes “Desperate Measures” will make an impact, especially because Bumps put his heart into the recording.
“That’s one thing I love about Bumps,” Big Juice said. “He’s very emotional with his delivery, even just the way he articulates words.”
“Desperate Measures” will remind Bumps INF fans of the title track of his debut album. For Bumps, there was no glossing over how much he struggled after his divorce.
“I’ve heard it said that some of the most comforting words are, ‘Me too,’” Bumps said. “When someone identifies and resonates with your struggle, there’s something encouraging about that. … If I just be honest and talk about those things, I know that it’ll help people because I’m not alone.”
I’ve been through the furnace boy /
I’ve been through that meat grind /
Got enough opinions here /
Surely you don’t need mine /
So what I’ll do is just spill my pain out on each line /
And tell you how I feel when experiencing mine
This is how Bumps began the song “Pain in Paragraphs,” in which he proceeded to paint the picture of the pain on his daughters’ faces, his three-year-old son asking why his mother left, and how he turned to women and alcohol in an attempt to escape the pain.
Some fans who sent thank-you messages for “Pain in Paragraphs” even asked for marital advice. Bumps told Rapzilla that he isn’t qualified to give marital counseling, but — like on “Desperate Measures” — he used himself as an example of what not to do. And without the positive feedback on his vulnerable Pain in Paragraphs moments, he may not have opened up as much on Man vs. Machine.