In 2004, Kanye was clearly the most famous rapper from Chicago, but the artist who was running the Chi-City streets was Bump J. Even Kanye would tell you that Bump J was the Chief of Chicago—it wasn’t really up for debate. Bump had the hottest mixtapes on the streets, and had songs in rotation on both WGCI and Power 92 without a record deal.
Despite having a brief beef years prior (Kanye thought Bump sounded like Jermaine Dupri, and Bump thought Kanye jocked east coast artists too hard), the two settled their differences and came together to work on Bump’s Atlantic Records debut, Nothing To Lose. After Lyor signed Bumpy for a cool mill, it seemed set in stone that both Bump and Ye would be the new faces of Chicago hip-hop.
Unfortunately, Bump’s deal didn’t quite work out and Nothing to Lose was shelved indefinitely. But that’s not before Kanye gave Bump some of the better beats of The College Dropout-era. “Pusha Man” featured and was produced by Ye, who gave Bump a crazy verse that finally addressed the most frequent mistake of Kanye’s early career: “I’m Kanye not Kayne, but to you, I’m Rick James, bitch.”
Despite Bump’s current legal situation, Ye still finds time to shout out his homie, most recently on Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like (Remix)” with: “Free Bump J, real nigga for life”
Fun Fact: Many of Ye and Bump’s collaborations were recorded and spearheaded by Kanye’s righthand man IBN JASPER, a mutual friend of both parties.