For those who weren’t aware, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was on a long contract for 10 years. When they fulfilled contract obligations and got released in 2003, the state of the group was in a limbo. They already fizzled out of their mainstream popularity and manager Steve Lobel kept saying they were looking for a “new home”. I remember checking the A2Z site religiously for any news. Over the course of the next year came a plethora of side projects.
What I want to talk about is February 2005. Bone Brothers (collabo album featuring 2 BTNH members Layzie Bone & Bizzy Bone) was sort of a sign that may lead up to a reunion record in the future. All the signs were there. Krayzie Bone was a guest feature on like 70% of the tracklist, the 4 together made appearances in the Hip Hop Baby music video, and on Gemini: Good Vs. Evil (solo album by Krayzie Bone, released 2 weeks prior to Bone Brothers) Krayzie stated in the song I Remember that there was no animosity between him and B. Things turned sour again in 2006 when Bizzy messed up the Aftermath deal (Dr. Dre wanted all 4 of them on board), but that story is a whole nother can of worms.
In February 2005 I was in the 8th grade. Club Rap took over the mainstream circuit. Myspace was on the verge of laying the blueprint for social media. Kobe’s first season without Shaq. And Bizzy Bone was my hero. He just stood out like a sore thumb from the rest because dude was light skinned and rapped with a high pitched voice. Just a couple months prior he shaved his head bald. I found out through a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony message board. It shocked everybody because his hair was like his signature steez. He was going through shit and I guess it was him looking for a fresh start. I remember picking up the Bone Brothers record at Best Buy and staring at Bizzy on the cover going “wtf, why Biz”, lol. I didn’t think too much of it because I’m a fan of the music, not his hair.
Did these records sell well? Nah. Did the material top their 90’s work? Hell no. You only heard about these projects if you followed them closely. Which I thought it was kind of cool because those were like exclusive CDs for the die hards. Lots of sentimental value.
2 months after the Bone Brothers release Bizzy Bone made an appearance on The Damage Control on Houston radio. He literally snapped. He was real erratic. Revealed that he was homeless, and encouraged people to bootleg his records.
This was my childhood hero who fell from grace. Anybody who was a fan in 2005 knew he was going through great episodes of disturbance after getting kicked out of the group. And when confronted about the infamous interview he argued that the DJ was hostile before the recording and he felt like he had to get back at him. I knew he was on something too, he was a heavy alcoholic during that period. He was blackballed after that. Even Wendy Williams brought Biz on her show later in September just to clown him. “Hey if you need anything to drink we got a sink in the back”. Kick a guy when he’s down will ya? Lots of people hate Wendy, I never had a reason to up until that point.
Throughout 2006 Bizzy Bone put out like 5 subpar solo albums for a quick buck… You could tell by his voice and delivery half the time that he wasn’t inspired. I lost faith in him over time. I’m glad he’s doing well now.
I will never forget this era. My life at the time was weird and dysfunctional too. And in Bizzy’s defense, had I been kidnapped and molested as a child, sold drugs in a depressing Ohio ghetto as an adolescent, broke records and won a Grammy at 20 years old… I’d be a little crazy too.
I don’t keep up with Bone as much as I used to since my teenage years; but if I’m ever at a record store, I’d swing by the “B” tab in the hip hop aisle just to look at the albums and reminisce.