It’s cool when you get to blog about people from your hometown, but when they are your former high school classmate it’s a plus! Wayne Ford better known as Bingo has been in the rap game for quite sometime, but unlike a lot of rappers around this milestone, most tend to fizzle out in their late 20’s and 30’s…Bingo is just getting started.
Before we get into the interview, let me tell you about the history me and the OG rapper from Columbus Ohio have. Aside from being former Vikings of Northland High School. The year was 1996 and I was working at the Post Office. (a job most veterans went to after the military) This one particular Sunday, the work was light in the mail room so they put me in another space to help out. A couple of stools next to me was a gentleman I recognized from high school but he looked slightly different. If I can be honest, he looked like a pimp. He had a perm in his hair and he looked a lil too clean to be working there. As we worked, I started singing to make the time go by faster. He said “Aye dude, I’m puttin together this album, you mind coming to the studio to lay down a hook?” I couldn’t say yeah fast enough…The day of, I get to Nu Breed Studios on Hamilton Rd and I meet a producer that went by the name of Maestro. Wayne was already in the booth. Being that I was a family man at the time, I brought my family to the studio with me. As Maestro is telling me how the hook is supposed to go, there’s a concerned look on Bingo’s face. He states that the hook was supposed to be a duet but the girl didn’t show. Mind you my then wife at the time was 8 months pregnant with our second child, and I told him “well, my wife can sing real good”. So we wobbled her in the booth on some Hu$tle and Flow type shit and she sang her little heart out. I did my thing as well and we left it up to fate from there. It was all love. A year goes by and we’re in a club called The Classic on the east side of Columbus. As Bingo walks in, the DJ plays the song that my ex-wife and I sang on….we felt like stars that night. When he gave us the CD, I cheesed from ear to ear, just to see our name in the music credits.
Throughout the years Bingo and I would lose touch with each other, but recently I ran into him again at a DJ function about a year ago and he mentioned he was still doing music and that I should check some of his stuff out. As I was expecting to hear dated tracks with an old school flow (typical of rappers past the age of 40)….I was quite impressed with how fresh his sound was and the production behind it was simply amazing. Hearing the songs was one thing, seeing his videos completely blew me away because I got what he was doing. He was using current industry producers and up-to-date visuals to bring about his vision while at the same time staying true to himself. The next thing we had to do was a no-brainer. We had to blog about the many dope things he’s doing throughout Columbus and how he does it BIG in Atlanta.
Brace yourselves as State of Hip-Hop takes a musical ride with BINGO!!!
SOHH: What can we expect from this 2018 Bingo vs 1997 Bingo?
B: I’ve always worked hard at this craft, so the goal this time around is to give the people nothing but singles. A complete hit record. I’m not in anyway comparing myself to Pac but when people hear this they are going to say, we haven’t heard anything this impactful since Pac. I’m talking about from start to finish, this will be a dope album for everyone to enjoy.
SOHH: Who do you have on the production side?
B: So I hired Kool Ace which is a producer and official Underground King. And it’s a great experience because this was my first time working with an industry producer. But to be honest it was a building process because he would come up with an idea, and I would add to it and all of the sudden you would have a finished banger. He came along to fine tune what I’ve been doing for years but me being humble and receptive to his interaction can be the reason you’re hearing the quality of music from me that people are getting these days.
SOHH: Share with us some of Kool Ace’s industry credentials…
B: Well, he help to produce Too $hort’s 10th album, he’s Curtis Mayfield’s grandson. He’s also (as I mentioned before) a UGK affiliate so he’s done plenty of work with Pimp C and Bun B. And he’s spent a number of studio sessions with Lil Jon. So you know he’s certified and dipped in that sauce ya heard me?
SOHH: You put in 20 years at the United States Postal Services before really taking a leap of faith into this music thing….was that like insurance for you financially?
B: I stayed at the post office out of necessity. I was able to maintain a job while still working hard. Plus when I was 21 I had a child so it was just the man in me to provide while still pursuing my dream. I was raised right and I was raised to know that it’s family first. 70’s baby you know, so I figured I had to make it work while providing for my family. But I’m glad I took the route I took because I got an opportunity to learn the business. While most cats were shopping their demos looking for deals, I was shrink wrapping my product with bar codes selling them out of the trunk of my car and hitting record stores on consignment. So I don’t regret taking this route one bit.
SOHH: Being in the game so long, how would you say your style has changed from when you started up until now?
B: I started out telling street tales because I was in them streets, but after a while I wanted to make music for people to look up to, so then I made a tape (yeah I know I’m dating myself) but I made a tape called Respect Yourself for the ladies. And then I found my niche because one of my mentors in the game always told me, if you can capture the ladies the men will follow. But through a bunch of tweeking and tinkering I think I have a formula that suits both sexes.
SOHH: So talk to us about the single you have out right now…
B: Ok so the single that’s buzzing right now is called “Step” it hit over a thousand views in over a month so the numbers are going in the right direction. The video has been playing on Bounce TV (public channel in Columbus) and we’re gonna get it popping on State Of Hip Hop video voting list. Through that exposure, I’ve received a few endorsement deals for a cognac and a few other commercials we’re in the works of inking that deal too. Haha, I wouldn’t give up on my dream man and it’s finally happening. I spoke this into existence. It’s on iTunes and all other streaming sites so make sure you go get that and please tell them to check out my video on Youtube.
SOHH: Thank you so much for speaking with us. Anything else before we split?
B: Nah Man…Just Keep God first and all good things will be added to you. I see you doing it too Layne, I appreciate you man! You are a good brotha!