Markel Scott is the 19-year-old New York rapper known as Bishop Nehru. The Spring Valley native has been working towards the spotlight since he was 13 years old, when he went by “Kelz Scott” and made jazz and hip-hop instrumentals. At 14, he became Bishop Nehru, a name change which coincided with his increasing popularity. Early on, Nehru would seek exposure by posting his music on the Odd Future forum, “Odd Future Talk.” He went on to release a couple mixtapes that arouse buzz, eventually signing to Nas‘ record label Mass Appeal in May of 2014.
As is typical of up-and-comers in this era, Nehru doesn’t have a debut album out yet, but has quite a bit of music to his name. Over 6 years, Bishop Nehru has released a collaborative album with MF DOOM, 3 EPs, and 2 mixtapes, with his debut solo album coming out sometime this year . Both of Nehru’s mixtapes, Nehruvia (2013) and Strictly Flowz (2013), dropped when he was only 16 years old. briLLIant Youth (2014), a collaborative EP with Dizzy Wright, dropped a year later. NehruvianDOOM, a collaboration with MF DOOM, and the only album that Nehru has put out, also came out in 2014. This year, Nehru has put out two EPs, Nehruvian EP and Bishy’s B-Day Playlist.
Eastern religion plays a major role in Nehru’s lyrical content. He often raps about meditation, his third eye, and other Eastern ideologies. The song “Om” off of NehruvianDOOM, for example, has hints of these ideals sprinkled throughout it. The intro and the outro both explain meditation, while the hook sees DOOM give his take on the idea of having a “third eye.” Nehru also raps about typical teenager problems: not fitting in, girl troubles, and being uncomfortable in your own skin. His song “Her Ballad,” off of the mixtape Nehruvia, is an ode to teenagers being the “friend zone”.
See I was different // I was giving you a chance // I let you know in advance // I wasn’t there for your pants // But that didn’t seem to matter.
DOOM and Nas are significant influences on Bishop Nehru. He makes this thoroughly apparent with his music. His flow and vocabulary are outstanding. He feels like an organic rhyming machine, the way he strings together his intricate bars with ease:
Melancholy days got me held in a spotty faze // Delving in my body trying to be common anomalies //Praised honestly dazed and toppled and in amaze
Nehru is constantly being compared to fellow New Yorker, Joey Bada$$. They both have a deep voice and use similar flows. It is a pretty easy comparison to make, but if you pay attention to the two, it becomes clear that they are very different. Joey raps about more political matters, while Nehru raps more about teenage struggles and Hinduism. Their stark comparison parallels that of fellow NY rappers, Ghostface Killah and Action Bronson, similar voices but completely different lyrical content.
Regardless, one thing is for certain, Bishop Nehru has a bright future ahead of him. His upcoming album is going to be entirely produced by MF DOOM and will have at least one Nas feature. Check True Too for updates on the upcoming MC, Bishop Nehru, and his future in hip hop as we count down until his debut album.