F.E.D.S.: How long have y’all known each other?
Bone: Forever, basically. A few of us are related; we all grew up with each other. We met in school in , like, fifth grade. Krayzie Bone and I hooked up around ‘86. We’ve been rolling together ever since.
F.E.D.S.: Where did Bone get that unique sound?
Bone: Man, by being real hip-hop fans, we just sat back and looked at the game and knew we had to come up with something different. We didn’t even know we had a style until Eazy-E said something about it. We wanted to out-rap a muthafucka because everything else was ABC to us.
F.E.D.S.: How did niggas from Cleveland hook up with Eazy, who is from Compton?
Bone: We all plotted and were like we are going to hustle up some money and we’re going to buy some bus tickets to L.A. and we were not coming back until we get put on.
F.E.D.S.: Why did y’all choose to go to L.A. in stead of New York?
Bone: Flesh was going to school in L.A. for basketball. He was in college and he was going to all the aprties and he would call us like, “I just met such and such and I rapped for them. Y’all need to be out here.”
F.E.D.S.: Was Eazy impressed with y’all out the gate?
Bone: Yeah, we were nervous like a muthafucka. When we got with E, he already fired Jerry Heller. He cleaned his whole office out. Jerry was fired but he wouldn’t leave the office, and he was salty. He was telling us how he wanted to do this one more time. I remember we went to New York, I caught a cold, and Eazy caught a cold. We were in New York and it was cold as hell. We just left L.A. and it was like 70 degrees. We go back to L.A., and like three days later E gets sick and goes to the doctor. Ironically, the same muthafucking doctor he went to, Jerry sent him to. For some reason, E was rushing our album. He knew he was sick but nobody else knew he was sick. November is when he fired Jerry; it was December when we came to New York and [E had] gotten sick. About two months later, we were shooting the video for “Foe Tha Luv of $,” and E was really sick. All he had was the common cold. After he went to the doctor he just started withering away. First time he went to the doctor he had bronchitis, the second time he was HIV-positive, the third time he had full blown AIDS. Somebody killed that nigga to me. I keep telling his wife to put an investigator on that shit. Even his son knows his father didn’t just die from AIDS like that. E got real close with us before he died, that’s why we weren’t worried about him fucking with us. He wanted us to have a better deal than Snoop and them had. At that time, 12 points for a new artist in ’93 was some shit. We were real close, he used to be like, “If my group was still together y’all niggas couldn’t fuck with us.”
When we first started getting close with Eazy, he pulled out a stack of papers and told us how Jerry was stealing money from him. Almost in tears he was like, “I trusted these mutha****as for all these years, look what they are doing. Look at my bank account–Ruthless doesn’t have any money.” He was all the way real with us. When he died, everybody shut us out. He took us right away. My nigga had, like, 30 groups. When he died, they pushed us to the curb and we were selling records.
F.E.D.S.: How did y’all find out he was sick?
Bone: I found out on MTV. Niggas weren’t telling us anything. They told us at the last minute. He was on his deathbed. Wish and me went to see the nigga, this nigga Wish flipped out, and he was ready to fuck someone up because they wouldn’t let us see the nigga. They let Ice Cube and all those niggas see him. We were angry because we felt those niggas didn’t even like our nigga. That’s how we were felling at the time, but nobody would let us see him. Then when he asked for us it was too late. We were just bitter; we went home, like, fuck all of them.” We still don’t know to this day what was supposed to be our outcome. All we know is the broad got the fuckin company and everything went to hell.
F.E.D.S.: She made all the decisions?
Bone: Yeah, it just seemed like a big-ass plot to me. From that Ron Sweeny muthafucka to Jerry Heller…then he had a muthafucka who had his back but she was getting blocked. Her name was Cassandra. When she left Ruthless, the muthafucka went down. Tomica Wright was jealous because Cassandra was the only person we were dealing with at Ruthless. The next thing we knew, Cassandra was out the door. We had to deal with Tomica Wright.
F.E.D.S.: When your first album came out, was Eazy still alive?
Bone: He was alive when we dropped Creepin’ On Ah Come Up. He died before Eternal came out.
F.E.D.S.: How did the EP do?
Bone: We were selling records like a muthafucka. The first day, E called us happy as shit: “I told y’all niggas,” because he let us pick our own single and everything. Whatever we wanted, we fuckin did and it always worked. We have been having a hard time because we haven’t been able to have our creative control. All these muthafuckaas are stuck on, “Put out another ‘Crossroads.’” “Crossroads” was just something we put out; we didn’t know it was going to get that big. We made it for our dead homies; we weren’t making it for the mainstream. We like, “Nah, we don’t want to do another ‘Crossroads,’ we want club shit, and we want to do street shit.” Once we lost our creative control, we started rebelling. That’s when we did the “Mo’ Thugs” and our solo albums. We had to get money my nigga. They was blocking hundreds of thousands of dollars, muthafuckasas would call us up for movies and shit. We had the opportunity to do everything. I don’t give a fuck what they say; the nigga Eazy-E was still the first to do the independent @#%$. You got to give that nigga his credit. He was way before Master P and all these niggas. He was the first Black with an independent label besides Russell Simmons.
F.E.D.S.: They say Eazy was behind the whole look of N.W.A., and he was also the only member out of the group really in the streets.
Bone: He was a real street nigga for real. Him and MC Ren were really in the streets of Compton.
F.E.D.S.: How much did he influence your look?
Bone: Well, real niggas wear black. We took after them when we were like 14 or 15 years old. That’s what it was; we looked like the nigga, dressed like the nigga, maybe ‘cause we grew up off the nigga. We imitated them niggas. It was like, “I’ll do E’s part, you do Ren’s part, and you do Cube’s part.”
F.E.D.S.: How did the album Eternal do?
Bone: We did about 8 million recorda in the first year. To this date it has sold about 11 million records. If you check the Billboards, the albums that have been selling the longest on the charts, Eternal is still on that muthafuckaa with shit like 2Pac’s greatest hits. We are the only group out there still with Pac. That album is still selling like a 1,000 unit’s a week.
F.E.D.S.: [Where] did that satanic type of image come from?
Bone: We made one song called “Skull N Bone,” that has always been on our shit; I mean we were dark inside. We really fucked with the Ouija board. We just rapped about the sjot, so niggas started saying we were devil worshippers. We wouldn’t do that again; we were in high school.
F.E.D.S.: What caused Bizzy Bone to be kicked out of the group?
Bone: Niggas have been haunted by this nigga Bizzy. If you ever look at our history, that nigga has been gone for a long time. We pop up and try to love the nigga, but when we got our first check that nigga was gone. He went back to Columbus; We thought he hated his family. I mean we thought we was his only fuckin family, he was abused as a child. My mother took to the nigga, that’s how I met him. My mother was like, “I want you and Eric to meet this little kid.” I’m thinking he’s a little biddy kid the way my mom was describing him. I used to work at KFC, I’ll come home from work, and he would have raps on my bed. I actually took to the little nigga–he was little yellow nigga–and he was my little brother and he used to play with my little brother. We thought all he had was us. When he got the money he broke out.
F.E.D.S.: How much was it?
Bone: We got $75, 000 a piece. He has not been with us like that since that day, back in muthafuckin 1994. We nipped that in the bud because we some real niggas and we love him. I clothed that nigga, and I fed that nigga. That nigga got a God’s blessing, man, that’s why we couldn’t figure it out. Niggas would come and get him; every time that money came in he was out the door. I really love that nigga, that’s my little nigga; I’m like, “God gave you this and you fuck up.” So that’s just on Bizzy