Bio: “Bumpy Johnson”
Coney Island producer and rapper Zakariyya “Bumpy Johnson” Amin isn’t about the fame, the money, the women. He doesn’t give a shit about fitting his music into some neat “genre” or even about sales. He’s making music because he can’t imagine doing anything else. And as a result, Bumpy Johnson is forging some of the rawest, most honest hip-hop out there. Not surprisingly, a growing number of up-and-coming artists are seeking out his superb production talents, as well. Life in the hard, concrete reality of Brooklyn laid out some harsh tests for Bumpy. Yet, these life experiences taught him lessons more powerful than anything he would learn in school. Driven to succeed—and eager to soak in everything he could about music—he began to explore. By his teens, he was immersed in hip-hop, and began putting his life experiences down as lyrics, and beats. “Running around with my crew doing all types of wild things but at the same time trying to stay straight on a decent path…all of these experiences are expressed through my music,” Bumpy states today. Within a few years, hip-hop consumed him, and there was no looking back. Bumpy started a group with his cousin James “Soprano” Rice. Here, he discovered a second passion: producing. Watching his producer make beats from scratch—no samples—Bumpy learned how to craft beats from the ground up. Later, he and another cousin, Hakeem “Haz” Dolphin, started their own label, “Real Records,” along with Jerome “Maoz” Morris. Here, he developed his skills, challenging himself every day. Once his label was up and running, Bumpy began circulating several projects on the streets: his debut, Know How 2 Hustle, first mixtape, Definition of a Hustler, and latest mixtape, Commander Status. At the same time, his production business picked up, as he became a highly sought-after producer, providing beats, vocal recordings, mixing, editing, and mastering services to hip-hop, R&B, and pop artists. From the first intro, you can feel what that the buzz on Bumpy is well-deserved. His music is completely modern, yet honors the spirit of the hip-hop pioneers. Imagine a little piece of B.I.G. and Jay, add some of the wordplay of Twista, and a dash of Nas’ energy—fueled by a visionary, hardcore sound. Unlike a lot of his prepackaged peers, Bumpy actually has a voice, and this voice is on full display on each of his tracks. Bumpy’s production work features this same respect for originality, musicianship, and craft: “garbage in, garbage out, I like to warn my production clients,” he adds. In other words, he seems to gravitate towards production clients that are into creating real, genuine music. In the near future, Bumpy will be aggressively promoting his latest album, Commander Status, and continue to record and produce other artists in his studio. About the only downside will be if Bumpy’s production business continues rolling, that it might take some time away from crafting his own new songs.