Bone Thugs N Harmony Break down their album catalogue

Shoutout to Vibe.com for this story. Bone Thugs N Harmony are probably one of the most innovate and underated groups to ever come to the game. They have established a legacy, a cult following, and spit with the best of them(Pac, Biggie, Pun, Eazy).

The final Death Row Installment(Part 5) is on delay due to my computer being cleaned out meaning I had to delete the whole story and start over. But in the meantime, Enjoy this 3/4 part series of Bone breaking their down albums(Similar to Scarface)


Faces of Death

Layzie: “Faces of Death was the very first album we put out. We were B.O.N.E. Enterprise at that time. We were just trying to make music and were still in high school doing our thing. Our main objective was to show everybody in school that we can do music besides rapping in the lunchroom. We were always fans of hip-hop. We were into everything from Biz Markie and Big Daddy Kane to NWA, which came from us being from the Midwest. People at school used to swear me and Krayzie were Kid N’ Play [laughs]. Then later they started calling us Kris Kross…we were kind of mad about that shit [laughs]. Everyone always ask us how we came up with our fast rap styles. The way I answer that is we were living in poverty. I remember when we were in 9th grade. This has to be 1989-1990 and we were doing this school talent show. What ended up happening is we got all geared up, spent all our money on some clothes and we ended up doing talent show—which we found out was a gong show…and we got gonged! [laughs]. Them motherfuckers were like, ‘Get your ass out of here with that Oriental shit!’” No one had ever heard that rap style before.”

Krayzie: “It was really hard to get people to take us seriously, especially before we got signed. People looked at us like, ‘What the fuck are y’all doing?’ The gong show story that Lay just told was so real. We ended up whipping somebody’s ass over that shit [laughs]. That’s how passionate we were about our music.”

Flesh: “I remember that! But looking back, our song selection might have had something to do with us getting gonged. We picked an old school doo-wop style and made it into a rap song. They gonged us and we didn’t know how to take that. But what’s even crazier is with that same doo-wop song we ended up using bits and pieces for a song we later recorded.”

Layzie: “You have to remember…we come from the city of the O’Jays and Gerald Levert, the Rude Boys…we have a whole bunch of soul in our background. We were singing way before we were rapping.”

Layzie: “By us going through the struggle we were going through in Cleveland and Eazy E being an underdog, we thought it was a good idea to go the West Coast. When we met Eazy in 1993, we were still Bone Enterprise. At that time, we had a song called ‘Gangsta Harmony.’ And we were rhyme-singing, ‘Thug, thug, thug, thug…’ And E was like, ‘Ya’ll should be Thugs & Harmony. Just drop the Bone.’ And we like, ‘Fuck that…nigga, we Bone…’ So then Eazy says, ‘Well, just name yourselves Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.’ And that’s how it all started.”

Flesh: “We were on an inseparable note. Niggas were really tight. We had a bond that was so strong. I remember times of being up early in the morning and just kicking it the whole day in one room. That’s how you had to be in Cleveland because it was really rough. The circumstances of being from the ‘hood was real. There was so much going on…so much violence and we had the opportunity to get out of that situation. So when we got out to L.A., we were even closer as a group. We were in a foreign land and city. It was just us and our craft and talent. That’s all we had.”

Layzie: “When we came out with “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” that’s when all the comparisons started to happen with Twista (formerly Tung Twista). We had already grew into our style, but let me tell you what I remember. I remember not even knowing Twista. Then when I heard his music, I thought he was that rapid-fire spitter like the Fu-Schnickens and Das EFX. And we were into all that shit as well. But Twista, at that time, didn’t have a rhythm to his flow. He was just straight going. He didn’t have a rhythm until Bone came out. But we never had a real beef with Twista.”

Flesh: “Right. I wouldn’t say we had the same style as Twista. We were singing rappers. Some people would say that we are singers first. But we ended up later working with Twista (on Strength & Loyalty’s ‘C-Town’). That was a cool moment.”

Layzie: “This was also around the same time when Eazy was going at it with [Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Death Row]. We would ask Easy, ‘You want us to get these niggas?’ Because before the Cleveland Browns were sold, I was like, ‘Cleveland Brown, the dog pound home, it’s on nigga.’ That was for them. But Eazy was like, ‘Nah, stay out of it. I got this, man. I see something better for y’all.’ Still, we had something ready just in case [laughs].”

Flesh: “We stood down because we had respect for Eazy. We said what we had to say at a radio station and that was it. The crazy part is Kurrupt [of the Dogg Pound] ended up becoming one of my closest friends. I love the fuck out of Daz & Kurrupt. A lot of the artists on Death Row ended up becoming our friends.”

Layzie: “What was it like to work with Eazy ? I remember when we were recording ‘Foe Tha Love Of $.’ Eazy wanted to rap on it. So he was like, ‘Write my verse.’ And I was like, ‘Nah, write your own motherfucking verse. You Eazy E, nigga [laughs].’ He put us out of the studio and ended up writing his own shit. As far as the “Mr. Ouija” song, people need to understand something. We were always spiritual individuals. We were not devil worshipers or any of that shit. We actually went to Toys R Us and brought an ouija board and we took it to school. We experienced something when we were playing on it, so we decided to write a song about that whole experience. A lot of people assumed shit. I remember when we bought that ouija board over to Krayzie’s mama’s house and she kicked us out [laughs]. But we were artists…everything we experienced we wrote songs about it. I think that the person that really helped us interpret our art was DJ U-Neek (who produced many of Bone Thugs biggest hits including ‘Crossroads’). It wasn’t just about his production. It was the fact that he helped us bring across the melodies that we were spitting. U-Neek was great at that. As a group we told him what we wanted…We were also producers…U-Neek just happened to know how to play those keys.”

Layzie: “We were on welfare before we got our deals. So we knew about that way of life. That’s how ‘1st Of The Month’ came about. Krayzie said it…when your mama get that check we are about to barbecue, we are about to do it. But it was so embarrassing to go to the store with some food stamps. Niggas would wait at the back of the line until the girls left.”

Flesh: “But we didn’t know ‘1st Of The Month’ was going to be so controversial. We wasn’t trying to make light of that situation. We were just young. We had become stars. Everybody had their favorite Bone. But the youngest of the group, Bizzy, that’s baby bro. He’s our rotten, spoiled ass little brother [laughs]. And I love him. Bizzy was just so different. He was yellow with a high-pitched voice singing like a motherfucker. He clicked with us cold. When the fans would tell us they gravitated towards Bizzy or that he was their favorite, we felt the same way. The nigga is raw. Actually, I’m sure each one us feels the same way about each other.”

Layzie: “You have to think about the losses that we took during this period. Our boy Wally died. And then we lose Eazy E. And in between that, us being young kids, we witnessed people die at 18,19 and 20-years-old. So the song ‘Crossroads’ was from the heart. It was like, ‘Who is going to die next? Hope it’s not us.’

Flesh: ‘Crossroads’ pushed us way past the mainstream. It took us to a universal level. It was the perfect situation at that time.”

Krayzie: The success of ‘Crossroads’ didn’t really hit me until I found out we were nominated for a Grammy. That was one of the first awards we were nominated for. It was shocking…like a Grammy? Then when we actually won I knew we were on the other side. We were them dudes.”

Layzie: “We tied the Beatles’ record for the fastest rising single in history. It was only right that we won The Greatest Hip-Hop Song of the VIBE era. All you have to do is look at the magazine cover we shot for VIBE at that time. You could see that unity was real. We grew up being in and out of trouble. ‘Crossroads’ became our meaning of life. I remember when we first met Tupac. He told me, ‘Man, when I was locked up my favorite song was ‘Crossroads.’ That was just crazy.”

Layzie: “Puffy called us and said, ‘BIG want y’all on a record.’ We are like, ‘Hell yeah…we coming.’ We end up being in the studio with Biggie all night. We did all of our verses and then BIG was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to take this home.’ When BIG went home we did not hear that record until after he passed.”

Flesh: “Hearing Biggie do our style was incredible. I understood why he had to take it home and study it for a minute. He put his own spin on our Bone flow.”

Krayzie: “It was bitter sweet. Biggie is ripped it but we didn’t have the opportunity to tell him how much he ripped it. He came out and did his thing on the song to where he put another notch under his belt because our style is not easy to where you can just say, ‘I’m going to rap like these dudes.’ Especially back then when we were first coming out. For a New York rapper to do our style was a risk. But when he did it that nigga killed it. New York showed us a lot of love off of that record. ‘Notorious Thugs’ and ‘Crossroads’ are the only songs they played in NYC by Bone. It was Bone and Biggie.”

Part II coming tommorow

About Vic Da Rula

What more can I say? I enjoy Hip Hop, Sports, and living the good life! var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; a2a_config.linkname = "Escobar300(Covering Hip Hop Culture, Sports, and Events)"; a2a_config.linkurl = "https://escobar300.wordpress.com/";
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