FEATURE: Krayzie Bone, The Originator

When it comes to hip-hop trendsetters Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have never gotten the respect they deserve. Back in 1994 when rap was still rugged and raw the Cleveland Ohio quintet (Yes, Flesh-n-Bone is an official member) emerged with a gang full of melody and double time flows bringing some much-needed rhythm to hip-hop’s dark and drab soundscape. And despite selling over 16 million records and winning a Grammy for their 1996 smash “Tha Crossroads,” Bone never quite got their just due. Funny how it was a nod from the Notorious B.I.G., when he mimicked Bone’s double-timed, multi-syllabic style on “Notorious Thugs,” which set things off. Yeah Hov claimed to be the originator, but even his verse on 1998’s “Nigga What, Nigga Who” was more Bone than Jaz-O. Still, a series of internal beefs kept Bone Thugs from fulfilling their destiny.
Fortunately for Krayzie Bone, he was able to carve a lane for himself outside of the group, be it on his gold-selling solo debut Thug Mentality 1999 or his scene-stealing verse on Chamillionaire’s 2007 hit “Ridin’.” The fact of the matter is that despite Bone Thug’s on again, off again status, Krayzie has remained busy as evident by his latest release on RBC Records The Fixtape Vol.2: Just One Mo’ Hit. Now, with a long-awaited Bone Thugs-N-Harmony reunion on the horizon thanks to a new deal with Warner Bros., Krayzie sat with XXLMag.com to set the record straight. – Rob Markman

XXLMag.com: In 2008, you dropped your very first mixtape The Fixtape Vol.1: Smoke On This, what made you decide to take it to the streets like that?

Krayzie Bone: It was basically the first mixtape that I ever done. I was always thinking about doing one in between these albums to keep some music out there. I got songs for days so I might as well put ‘em over some of these other beats and just get ‘em out. When I went in I was just listening to other tracks. I was like “Man I wonder what I would sound like on those beats.” I grabbed a few instrumentals and I got to writing, man. It came out real good, I got nothing but positive responses from the first one and everybody was asking “When are you gonna do another one?” I really put it out with no intentions of doing another one.

XXL: But hear you are with The Fixtape Vol.2. You’ve had multi-platinum records already, so what keeps you motivated now?

Krayzie: Honestly it was just the love for the music. I do a lot of music that just don’t get the chance to come out because of all the politics that goes on in the music business. It’s like a lot of labels take the fun out of the music game with all the politics and not letting you be you. This is a way that I can still get my music out and do what I wanna do on these mixtapes. I ain’t got to clear it with nobody; no labels and I can put out what I wanna put out. I like doing that, that’s why I came with another one. I don’t want to stop making music because the record company says so. This is what I do 24/7.

XXL: So it’s the industry that’s holding you back?

Krayzie: Basically it’s because I haven’t got with the right label that really understands the music. The reason why [my] first solo album did so well was because we were with a label that worked with Bone, so they understood Bone’s music. They understood how to market it and how to make it move. But when Relativity shut down and I did my second solo album with Loud, Steve Rifkind was just used to marketing and putting out East Coast artists. He told me his self that he didn’t really know. I asked him what was his favorite Bone song and he said “Crossroads.” I was like, “Ehh.” That’s our signature hit, so everybody is gonna know that song. That’s how I knew that he didn’t really know and he basically told me his self literally. He was like, “I basically dropped the ball. I just didn’t know how to promote your music.”

XXL: What can fans expect from the new mixtape?

Krayzie: I have other people’s instrumentals and I have some original tracks on there. This one is basically the same as the first. You know Bone Thugs-N-Harmony we just signed to Warner Bros. So that’s where the reunion album is coming out on and I may be messing with them for my solo album as well. My next solo album that I’m trying to drop called Chasing the Devil.

XXL: Chasing the Devil huh? Sounds deep.

Krayzie: The concept of this album is basically telling people, like everybody wants to be famous now. People want to be famous; they wanna go for the gusto. Basically what I’m saying is that when we are out here chasing this money and chasing these women and these big dreams. It’s not wrong to do so, but people go through a lot of unnecessary things chasing these things. The devil has these things on the string and they are stringing us along, and when we think we’re getting a little bit closer then he yanks the string a little bit more.

XXL: Is that why Bone had so many problems internally?

Krayzie: Oh yeah. I would say the money and fame has affected our friendship. If you would’ve known us before we made it and if you knew us now, you’d be like, “Man.” That’s one thing Eazy-E liked about us, he’d say “One thing I like about ya’ll is that if one gets up and moves and goes to the bathroom, the other four go stand outside the door.” We were all we had in California; we ain’t know nobody out there. Eazy would be like, “If I would’ve been like that with N.W.A, we’d still be together.” But money and fame changes everything and that is absolutely, positively true. Niggas get money, coming from not having nothing, it’s instantly like a rush to the brain.

XXL: So what’s the state of the group now?

Krayzie: The vibe with Bone Thugs now is great. I think everybody realizes what this is and where it all started and what we have to do if we’re serious about making music. We all have grown, we all have matured. We understand what it takes to do business and be businessmen. Coming from where we’re from, we didn’t have no one to guide us in those areas and teach us to do business. We had the talent, the talent is no mystery, but if we would’ve have the business tactics to match the music we would’ve been unstoppable. But we are just that group that has been blessed with longevity and we have a chance to still fulfill that goal.

XXL: Even Bizzy? He’s good? You sure? Because it got rough there for a second.

Krayzie: Yeah everything with Bizzy is good. He’s real excited; I actually just spoke to him yesterday. He was telling me he was real excited to do the album. We’re gonna make sure this album is 100% for real.

  • HU

    I’m tired of seeing legengs like Bone Thugs and Twista getting slept on while Boosie and Soulja Boy are on XXL everyday. Bone should be selling out stadiums at this point as should Twista.

    • JAR

      Co-Sign

    • http://xxlmag.com EMac

      They need to sign with Shady/Aftermath….period.

      • tru predator

        last i heard a few years back,in source or xxl when shady/aftermath was at the top of their game.bone did sign to an interscope affiliate.i had high hopes of them workin wit
        the likes of dre. and any of
        the producers that fuck with them.this new contract is news to me.makes me wonder what happened?

      • cold

        why ? it takes five years for them to put out an album .

        • tru predator

          get the fuck outta here.maybe dre.

  • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

    “Funny how it was a nod from the Notorious B.I.G., when he mimicked Bone’s double-timed, multi-syllabic style on “Notorious Thugs,” which set things off.”

    bone had a few of those platinum plaques already shelved before notorious thugs hit.

    and i’m ready for a REAL return! FIVE true thugz from tha double glock!!!

    POP! POP!

    • Rob the Music Ed

      Oh yeah. Sales wasn’t a problem. But they didnt start getting their respect as trend-setters til that Big verse.

      • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

        in new york, for sure.

        they did all them numbers with NO NY airplay. 1st of Tha Month hit Hot 97 HELLA late… and they played it very little… and for like 2 weeks.

        -ronnie, the bone stan… umm, that doesn’t sound right.

        • Rob the Music Ed

          Being from Brooklyn. I got teased for bumpin “Creepin On Ah Come Up”

        • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

          what you think happened to me in harlem? haha!

        • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

          and… there’s a “y” in krayzie bone!

  • yo raps

    Man these guys are legends. I hope they drop another classic like resurrection.

  • tony

    Bone is coming back. We need some more first of the month music. Rap Shit out here have got boring. Make hard Shit like they did when Eazy E was living. Krazy Bone is my favor Bone. Love that joint he made with JD. JD 1472 Album! If you mist it. You need to go by the CD.

  • EyesLow

    Man that’s what talking bout everybody getting along..I co-sign what everybody else said…I still rock 1st of the month on the 1st it gets my month going..LLS..We need some more of them tight weed songs!! I would luv to 2 Bone do a song with Z-ro and Trae..TIIGHT

  • Jon Dog

    “Krayzie, Layzie, Bizzy, Wish, & Flesh
    Put it down for the for the North South East & West”.
    Legends is right. Been a Bone fane since 4 Tha Luv Of $. Krayzie Bone’s verse on “Midwest Choppers II” (Tech N9ne’s Sickology 101 cd) is pure fire man. Can’t waite for Uni5, or Unit5, or whatever it’s gonna be called.
    Bone 4 Life!!!!!

  • PARIS PERSHUN

    ANYBODY REMEBER THE SONG OFF THE FIRST ALBUM IN 1994 CALLED “MO’ MURDER”….. THATS GOTTA BE ONE OF MY FAVORITE BONE SONGS….. YEAH MUFUCKAS I’M 21 YEARS OLD AND LISTEN TO EVERYTHING…. WHAT IT IS BITCHES……CAN’T FORGET THE FAMILY SCRIPTURES CD WITH EVERYBODY THAT FUCKED WITH THEM ON THERE…..

    • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

      the bizzy verse on mo’ murda… fiiiiire!

    • D-Block

      fuckin right i remember that song, some dude listened 2 that shit non stop then went on a killin rampage somewhere

  • Phil

    Can’t front, Bone should be a superstar group right NOW.

    • http://btnhboard Savoy Thomas

      I agree, Phil. Bone should be a Superstar Group, & in my mind, they are. Can’t no other rap group that’s out now compete with Bone. They are special, & the “powers-to-be” in the music industry know it. For most true fans, their music is kind of “addictive”. I can listen to certain songs over-and-over again and catch something different everytime. Their music can be uplifting, aggressive, sensual, and funny–but one thing for sure, their music is “real”. I am fortunate that I can “feel Bone’s music”. Some people can’t, because they don’t take the time to truly listen. It’s sad, because they don’t know what they’re missing. I get so angry with the lack of respect they receive. Don’t get me wrong, Bone is getting a lot more credit then they did before, but just the tip of the iceburg…FOR NOW!

  • MidWestGrindin

    Finally niggas from tha Land get some shine. These niggas is hip-hop icons. How many rappers can say they put it down with Eazy-E, 2Pac, AND B.I.G? Thats cuz real recognize real and niggas from the 216 is real. much respect, Leatherface!

  • Pingback: Krayzie Interview XXL MAG - RapAlbums.net

  • PARIS PERSHUN

    MY BAD…. I MEANT “NO SURRENDER” ON THE FIRST ALBUM….. MO’ MURDER WAS ON THAT E. 19NINETY NINETY9999 ALBUM….. BONE THE SHIT MAYNE….. REMEMBER MR. WEEGY (SERIOUSLY DOUBT THATS HOW YOU SPELL IT)) …. I’M TALKIN TO YOU RON SINCE YOU UP ON YO BONE SHIT…..

    • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

      you see i said “POP! POP!!!! POP! POP!!!! POP! POP!!!” hahahaha.

      hell yea. creepin on ah come up is that shit.

      gotta make that money, maaaaaaaane…

  • mike

    Yes. Finally other Bone Thug fans! Bone DOES NOT need to drop a classic right now. All they need to do is drop a solid album. A mix of East 99 and BTNHRessurection with a bit of something new. That would keep the base(us) happy and hopefully bring in some new fans.

    Favorite Album: East 99
    Favorite Member: Bizzy
    Favorite Song: The Getaway

    • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

      “Favorite Song: The Getaway”

      that song is absolutely insane. i was definitely too young to be thinkin about bustin my niggas out of jail. i secretly hoped they’d try it when flesh went down.

  • http://yahoo.com dbys

    i bump them but my homie loves these boyz he know every song

  • zayzkidd

    How did notorious thugs set Bone’s career off? Did you forget that they had put E.1999 out before that, if anything, them and Pac set Biggie’s career off.

    • tru predator

      real talk.same shit i was sayin in my first post

  • Mutada al sader the king

    Bizzy is a BEAST, his flow is sick. Did hear how fast he flowed on that Lil John track he did a few years back ? Monster.

    I’m just glad to see Bone got away from the ouija boards, and all of the occult references. Thats what allwasy really held me back from being a true fan. (Not that other rap, for instance Em’s new song 3AM is any better).

    Krazie scratch that album title homie, I know what your trying to do. Open peoples eyes up and let um know whats REALLY going on. But why give “him” the glory, with the album title.

    • tru predator

      man come on.thats some bullshit and you know it.i have nothin but respect for what you have said about bone and the dudes stealin their style until now.dont forget legends like rakim was tongue twistin before bone.3 Am by em is off the hook.im lookin forward to more shit like that on his new album(which he said himself is gonna be a bit darker).just because one of illest in the game at the moment is tired of blowin peoples minds with the style he has become accoustomed to. decides to start experimentin with new flows dont give you the right to slam him and basically accuse him of swagga jackin.get real.

    • http://www.ronmexicocity.com Ron Mexico

      maybe it’s because i was a kid, but i loved the ouija board shit.

      the fact that they were these spiritual weirdos singing about murder made me believe/fear them all the more. i thought it was a good trademark.

      then they got money and became terror dome warriors for jesus. i didn’t feel that image as much, but the music was still dope.

  • zayzkidd

    Whats wrong with you NY niggaz, yall get jealous of every nicca that make noise. Yall hated on NWA, Ghetto boys, Deathrow, and now, I find out yall was hating on Bone too? Goddamn yall niggaz some devilish a$$ haters!!!

    Just like crabs in a bucket.

    • Rob the Music Ed

      Nah dude. I remember as a kid i had to SNEAK to listen to N.W.A. or my moms would kick my ass.

      First time i got “My Mind’s Playin Tricks On Me” on tape?!? man I mustve rewinded that bitch 30 times.

      I ws from Brooklyn bumpin’Pac, Souls of Mischeif, Bone and Outkast when they dropped “Southernplayalistic…”

  • zayzkidd

    @PARIS PERSHUN

    Mo murder is off the 2nd album. E.1999

    • Dub Sac

      Do you really read these comments before you post? He already corrected himself.

  • Mutada al sader the king

    Niggaz was trying to do they touge twist in NY looking before Biggies second album. It seemed every NY nigga had at least on “attempt” on each album after Bone came on the scene. Even west coast niggaz got in on the act. “Forgot about Dre” anyone ?

    And props to Twista, but that nigga was a cross colors wearing, gumby haircut having weirdo. All the sudden he turned into a thug.. So in my eyes it was Bone who really put the world on to tounge twisting rap.

    Then R&B singers started doing it,and they used that syncopated vocal style for years !!!!!!!! Remember the song Bone did with Mariah Carrey “Break Down ” (Youtube it), Thats the kind of shit I’m talking about. Listen to her verses, thats Bones style ALL DAY, and R&B singers actually bit Bones style more than rappers did. Although that style of writting has died down some, now that writters like Shawn Garret, The Dream and T-Pain have changed the sound of R&B (and now the others are following). But you still have people like Justin Timberlake using the bone sycopated vocal style. Go listen to “What goes around”, especially the “secondary” song at the end… That Bones style.

    All the R&B, dudes in the early 2000′s and late 90′s were using that Bone sycopated vocal style. So these dudes are legends in my eyes

    • Rob the Music Ed

      I believe Bone wrote “Breakdown” for Mariah. I could be wrong. But I remember hearing that they wrote her parts too.

  • corlione39

    N THA WIRDZ OF K-CI FRUM JODECI OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH YYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAA!!! I HOPE DEY COME WIT THAT FYA LIKE A MIX BETWEEN CREEPN ON UH CUM UP N E.1999 ETERNAL N THERE FURZT ALBUM WUZ FACEZ OF DEATH IF U DONT KNO DAT U 8NT NO BONE FAN N THATZ 100!!!
    ORDIR OF MY FAVEZ N THA GGROOP
    1. FLESH FURZT SOLO ALBUM WUZ HARD LIKE MORNIN WOOD!!!
    2. KRAYZE BAD MO FO N THA GROOP FURZT SOLO WUZ COO BUT 2 LONG HEATED HEAVY IZ FYA!!! BUT THA OTHA SOLOZ NOT SO GUD HE XPLAIND WHY
    3. BIZZY THA OL DERTY BAZTARD OF THA GROOP!!! YEA BOI HIZ FURZT SOLO ONLY HAD 2 SONGZ I LIKD THUGZ CRY N NOBODY CAN STOP ME BUT HE HAD SUM OTHA SOLOZ THAT WUZ STR8 HEET!!! BUT DEN HE LET DA DRUGZ TAKE HIM DOWN
    I NEVA REELY FELT WIZH N LAZY BLAHHH
    N MO THUGZ THA FURZT CD WUZ COO BUT THA OTHA 2 SUCCD AZZ CRACC!!!
    ITZ GON B ON WEN THA NEW ALBUM CUM OOT!!!

  • North80

    DJ U-Neek

  • http://myspace.com/djonetyme04 Dj One TYme

    KRAYZIE BONE DESERVES TO BE ON THA FRONT COVER OF XXL MAGAZINE…….PERFECT TIMING SINCE DA ALBUMS DROPS LESS THAN 2 MTHS AWAY

  • bfitz

    very good article…they have been mislead in the past, hope they have someone now to keep them straight, it’s been up and down since 1999, hopefully 2009 is an up year…

  • dirtyjerzy

    Yo I been a Bone fan since Thuggish Ruggish Bone. I even got Faces of Death album from before Ruthless days. This groups has done music that no other rap group have ever done, and they have done it with the best. Check the credentials, not no 50 or Ross, not no Jay or Weezy, but Bone. They are the true Originators!!!!!

  • THUGGISH

    yo dirtyjerzy i really appericate your comment!

    BONE THUGS N HARMONY!!!!!

  • tru predator

    look man the shit that caught my eye the most was this.xxl or who ever it was that was conducting this article for xxl obviously didnt do their homework.pac outside of eazy was the first big name industry rapper to do a cameo.no disrespect to big but real talk thug love was killin shit b4 notorius thugs.props to bone they need not be forgotton in this age of bubble gum rap.real talk im coppin it when it drops.

    • Rob the Music Ed

      Yes “Thug Luv” was first (and FUCKIN ILL). But when BIG flipped their flow it was OVER!

  • tru predator

    oh and yeah you aint no true fan of the thugs fromm east 99 if you didnt fuck with the faces of death ep.naptown right next door pimps

  • http://myspace.com/kidpistol Kid Pistol

    I would cawp this album for sure, but I get the feeling that sales-wise, this album would do nothing except for the fanbase that BT have already. I could be wrong though.

  • verzun

    that’s why this site will still show soulja boy and the other fags collaberating with fags to pay off there small charges from the POlice.

    they’ll still wanna know what the fuck they get up to. when really they shouldn’t give a fuck because they are bitches who sell there souls to the media.
    fuck modern rap and hip-hop. it’s buried.

    the best of hip-hop/rap is the people still doing it from 1990 – 99.

    {end}

  • adrian smith

    bone thugs are legends in the hip hop game that ep back in 1994 wit creepin ep is a classic r.i.p. eazy e cant wait for the album to drop

  • willhill

    I think bone needs to remember how it was when they had nothing. the feelings, the excitement, the feverish desire to impress! Go back to the original formula, even Flesh. He changed his rap style! The intertwining harmony is what did it,thats y their old music is imbedded in everyones memory! They are and will always be the coldest rap group to pick up a mic in my opinion.Everyone is older and more mature, but to the group, RACK YOUR BRAINS AND REMEMBER THE TIMES! do it for the world!

  • Curtis75Black

    That Tongue Twisting style was nothing new in Hip Hop. Everyone from LL in 88, Jaz, Treach and Tongue Twista (His Original Name) was rocking that style from time to time. The difference with Bone was how they did it. It wasn’t rapping that way for the hell of it. They added soul to it which made them stand out and become legends because it blew them up so fast !! They ripped every track and was original with it. It’s fucked up how internal beef caught them. I, a Bronx born man is also offended by the article stating how BIG was the reason for the props – They already had it and would’ve continued even without the collabo and Jay-Z didn’t sound nothing like Bone Thugs in “Nigga What, Nigga Who”, so stop lying to the children !!

  • Curtis75Black

    And I’ll say this to everyone, If you started vibing Bone Thugs because of their Collabos with 2Pac and BIG then Fuck You !! You’re not a fan of Real Hip Hop, You’re nothing but a Trend Dick Rider!!

    • tru predator

      i feel ya curt.i agree totally.to me they got those collabs because they where dope in the first place.if people remember right.pac used to always say if a rapper wasnt hot then he wouldnt fuck with them.

  • willhill

    Bone thugs are the truth!I think they should come down south and get with some southern producers to help compliment their style. Dont get it wrong, south music can be fun but with their diversity they could set the tone for tru southern artists. Not these popcorn one hit wonders, but the real artists. I grew up on Bone Thugs and thats basically all I know. I think that they can come down here and set the south on fire with a different sound. The slow beats with the extra bass is a good look for them, Trust me I know. Remember the southern artists they collaborated wit and how good it came out!

  • NICKY J

    Bone fan since I first heard rap. As a youngin, the first cassette single (what you know about those Ronnie!!!) I bought from Sam Goody (taking it back on you) was Thuggish Ruggish Bone.
    I am excited that everyone on here is a Bone fan but I will say this: “Creepin…” was NOT their first album. Their first album was a Indy EP called Faces of Death and that joint was the real ill na na. Think of it as what Infinite is for Eminem. The “real first album”.

    That is all.

    Oh – and “Everyday Thang” off of THE SHOW Soundtrack is easily their most slept on classic.

    • tru predator

      oh yeah fire.man i forgot about that shit.

    • matty21

      Nicky J

      O damn, i din’t know der was an album b4 creepin…..aite tho faces of death…n i’m glad to see da fans/support too man, legends in da game n more den deserv it by far…i started out on bone, e.1999 was my 1st album n been down wit da game since (i’m 22)….Bone….n i always wanted to see dem live too

  • tru predator

    look into my eyes tight shit too.shitty movie classic song.

  • http://xxlmag lb

    Biggie and Krazyie killed this track!! dam

  • bfitz

    bone is the shit man, i love krayzie and all them boys

  • InFLOential

    I have been a Bone Thugs fan since i can’t remember, my bro use to play their music on the tape player at our crib. Honestly i loved/still do love all their albums, i loved the style they had.. It had me on a lock, like i had to learn the lyrics.. We didn’t have the internet so i use to listen to the tape over&over&over again FF & RR like crazy.. lol. But what i’m trying to say is Bone been legends since they came out, point period. The only thing i didn’t like was the length of time they would have in between their albums. It kinda pissed me off bcuz i was anxious to hear the next one, and all my boys use to pick on me for waiting & counting down til it came out. But if i was to pick a favorite album i would say Resurrection & Art of War. Favorite member i would say Krayzie all day, but Lazyie was nice with the tongue flippin and word play. Favorite songs would be Flow Motion (the original one, Krayzie also killed that). But yeah i kinda agree with one person, they don’t need a platinum album, all they need a classic they can drop & it can be played in the streets without people looking at you funny.. lol. I bumb all their shit all the time in my car now, nothing else but Bone and Reggae.

  • bronze man

    what happen with f.s.fullsurface
    they need the harmony back is million to
    claim thug bone no harmony and krazy is hot to bizzy delivery

  • Tony Seeza

    It’s the Thuggish Ruggish Bone.

  • matty21

    Da REAL….if u ain’t up on bone, go back to creepin on ah com up n check da sht all da way, 4real!! ya’ll know

  • chris

    layzie’s verse on mo murda was better than bizzy’s