In 1997, Brooklyn, New York emcee O.C.’s sophomore album Jewelz featured two appearances by Freddie Foxxx, who would use the appearances to hint at his new Rap alias. Soon to be known as Bumpy Knuckles, the Long Island veteran appeared on “M.U.G.” and “Win The G,” both produced by Gang Starr’s DJ Premier. Over 15 years removed from those features, last week, Bumpy Knuckles confirmed to HipHopDX that the longtime friends are at work on a collaborative full-length album.
“Me and O.C. are working on an album together right now, that’s gonna be insane,” Bumpy said by phone last week. “Like after performing ‘M.U.G.’ with O.C. at my [The Kolexxxion] album release party [at New York City’s B.B. King’s] everybody knew it was evident, we had to do it.”
Asked about the hiatus in the pair’s collaborative history, Bumpy revealed that logistics played a role. “That’s the beauty of it, O.C. came into my studio recently and he said ‘Wow, what a powerful energy is in this room, Foxxx.’ He said, ‘Yo, I wanna do my [next] album here.’ He got a mixtape he wanted to do at my place.” The conversation progressed to the duo planning to do something together.
The emcee/producer added that he feels as though the yet-to-be-titled LP could be a benchmark in a career that dates back to 1986. “When you get the opportunity to work with a O.C. and all of a sudden that magic just comes right back together, that’s the sign of a true artist. I’m not walking off of no assembly line saying, ‘I used to be a rapper,’ I’m not parking my taxi and jumping out—I’ve been doing Hip Hop since I started [and] I kept doing it. Yeah, we go through our financial ups and downs and all that but this is real art, man, we’re doing real art here. I’m like a painter, I’m not gonna stop painting just because I’m not selling paintings, that don’t mean I’m wanna stop painting I still have a desire to do it.”
Additionally, DJ Premier is expected to have a strong role in the album, having worked with O.C. extensively on Jewelz and “Return Of The Crooklyn Dodgers,” as well as having just released Kolexxxion with Bumpy Knuckles, in addition to a plethora of earlier work. “When O.C. and [DJ Premier] and people call me and say, ‘Yo, you and O.C. we got an idea to do [whatever],’ I’m down because I know what I’m gonna get. Me and O.C. have a great chemistry in the studio.” Bumpy praised O.C.’s 2012 album with Apollo Brown, Trophies, a body of work he frequently plays on his Krupt Mob Radio Show via UStream. “He’s lyrically sound, he’s somebody that I know I’m gonna have to chase on records as far as keeping up with certain things he says and vice versa, that’s how we feed off each other. It’s never gonna be just one song where one person totally slaughters the other one in reference to what we’re saying because we’re working together. Those types of collaborations are what’s valuable—not to [rappers] who don’t wanna send you his lyrics because he don’t want you to say a better rhyme than him so you gotta figure out what you’re gonna write on this beat and hope that it matches; we don’t do that. That’s the nonsense in the game, the better part of it is ‘Yo, let’s get together, let’s make this album and we design out a protocol, the concepts [and] how we’re going to approach the titles,’ everything is being worked on. This is not one of them slapped together e-mail situations—we not doin’ that. And that’s the beauty of it because once you become committed to being an artist and doing something.”
Additionally, Bumpy revealed that he and Premier are planning and recording a Kolexxxion 2 album, following 2012’s success. Noting that the Top 200 debut was victim to unauthorized bootlegging online and other pitfalls. “You just gotta figure out how to get through all of the rhetoric and enjoy the music for what it is. I loved Kolexxxion and I still bang it and I can’t wait to finish Kolexxion 2—which I’m probably 10 songs into already, but we got a lot of recording to do.”