James Bomb has been with Public Enemy since the 80’s. In July, the new Public Enemy album, Man Plans God Laugh’s dropped and James Bomb was instrumental in writing the song, Mine Again, which also dropped as a video, gaining much attention. I had the chance to chat with James about the song, how he met Chuck D, as well as find out why he thinks PE has such a huge fan base overseas and why he thinks videos are important in the music business.
The SpitSlam Record Group (Kate G): The new PE album, Man Plans God Laughs just came out. You wrote the song, Mine Again. What was your inspiration for the writing of those lyrics?
James Bomb: The song, Mine Again, was an idea Chuck came up with initially. He wanted me to write a song that talked about what is going on with Africa and what was happening in the past as well as the present. It really is a tribute to Africa. It was very easy for me to write about it because we discuss what is happening in Africa all of the time.
You have been with PE since the 80’s. Share how you became a member of Public Enemy.
James Bomb: It really goes back to the beginning of the S1W’s. We had a company called Unity Force that I was a part of with Professor Griff, James Norman, Roger Chillious and Brother Mike. We used to do all of the security for all of the Spectrum City performances and when PE was forming in 1986, we still kept doing the security which was the thing that Chuck and the Bomb Squad were a part of. At that time, Chuck approached Griff and asked him to join PE. Then Griff had the idea to get all of us who were part of Unity Force to become part of PE as the S1W’s.
Public Enemy has a huge fan base overseas. What do you think attributes to this popularity?
James Bomb: I think a lot of things attribute to us having a huge fan base overseas. Although, going overseas from day one in 1987 and putting all of our energy into every performance like we always do has only helped create this wonderful fan base. We respect our fans and they respect us. We see them as family, part of PE.
You recently appeared in the PE video, Mine Again, and it has been receiving great reviews. Why do you think videos are important in the music industry?
James Bomb: Videos are important because it is gives you a visual look at the group. Also, there is a concept in a song that you want the audience to understand. Videos help to show this concept. Of course, it is also a visual tool that helps sell the records. It makes sense to have something visual that people can view on the internet because then if people see it and enjoy it, then they will buy the records, as well as support you.
In the future, what will your fans see from you?
James Bomb: I am planning on putting a solo spoken word project out as well as a book, and I will be excited to see how it is received. I enjoy expressing myself both in written and verbal form, and I am looking forward to these projects.
Kate G is Kate Gammell for Update Reports on The SPITdigital SLAMjamz Recording Label Group