10 Alternate Music Covers For Middle East Censorship

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3 Krayzie Bone Albums Coming in June 2017

This blog entry is not Art-related.

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(I thought the original version of Coming Home was better)

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3 Krayzie Bone albums coming out in June 2017 – his birthday month! This is insane! One of Hip Hop’s greatest hook masters, and one of my all-time personal favorites.

Anybody close to me knows how much of a big Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fan (still am) was growing up.

New Waves is basically a duo album consisting of Krayzie Bone and Bizzy Bone, 2 of everybody’s favorite Bone Thugs-N-Harmony members. Honestly, I thought this came 15 years too late, but needless to say it finally happened. Before social media was EVEN A THOUGHT, fans on various message boards have gossiped the possibility of a Kray & Biz record in the works and some speculating it to be called “Ebony & Ivory”.

As you can see on the cover, it’s being marketed as “Bone Thugs” (instead of “Bone Thugs-N-Harmony”), since it’s not the full entire group and they didn’t want to fool anybody. This is not the first time 2 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony members got together to do a duo record. Bizzy Bone & Layzie Bone have their own lane called Bone Brothers (the first volume being my favorite – another story for another day).

In the late 00’s, Krayzie announced a new solo album called Chasing The Devil which kept getting pushed back until 2015 when it was finally released. The numerous pushbacks resulted in constant disappointment and parody amongst the die hards.

Supposedly CTD was going to have multiple volumes but only the first one has been released thus far. Eternal Legend is essentially songs that were intended for CTD2 and CTD3. I guess the record company behind Eternal Legend (Real Talk Entertainment) recently purchased the rights to some of Kray’s catalog for a flat fee and decided to capitalize on the hypetrain of New Waves. I say this because Kray hasn’t promoted this record at all on social media.

The first Thug Brothers record (Layzie Bone and Young Noble) came out in 2006 on Real Talk. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and The Outlawz (prodigies of Westcoast pioneers Eazy-E of N.W.A. and 2Pac respectively) have been real close and planned on doing a supergroup album in 2003 (as per manager Steve Lobel) but it never came to fruition. Thug Brothers 2 is set to drop on June 16th, the same day All Eyez On Me (2Pac Biopic) is released in theaters.

I honestly can’t remember the last time an artist released 3 albums in a month. I can only recall Layzie Bone releasing 2 CD’s (The Definition and The Meaning) on the same day a couple years back.

Of all my personal heroes, Krayzie was one of the few that helped me through. I was critical of him because of my love for him. I’m just glad that me, and my close Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fan fam are getting some new music.

CLEVELAND is definitely in the house! Go Kray! And go Cavs!

Prince Rasu of Bizzy Bone’s 7th Sign Regime

This blog entry is not Art-related.

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I was in middle school when Bone Thugs-N-Harmony member Bizzy Bone dropped Alpha & Omega (formerly titled Book of Bryon). I couldn’t get my hands on the record until we went Xmas shopping at Best Buy and I saw it sitting on the CD rack. I spent all my time reading the back cover mesmerized, it made standing in the long line much more bearable. We bought a TV and a computer, that’s all I remembered. It was one of the final times I played a CD on a Walkman before transitioning to an iPod.

It would be Bizzy’s 3rd solo record, a super low-profile release on Bungalo Records. It ended up doing terrible on the Billboard charts but it didn’t matter to me, I just wanted to hear new music. A&O had no big named guest features, just a plethora of Bizzy’s proteges he was pushing at the time based out of the Cleveland/Columbus Ohio area. Those proteges went by The 7th Sign Regime which consisted of members Baby Phil, Prince Rasu, King Josiah, Nina Ross, The Orange Cats, Capo Confucious, Big B, and a couple more. It came with a bonus DVD that I watched on my PS2 almost everyday because I was so psyched to see the studio sessions and concert footage. There was no YouTube to see those. I even remember going to my friend Tim’s house on occasion and rave about 7th Sign like they were the next thing to takeover. I think it stemmed from a discussion about the NWA family tree; and how Bizzy Bone was branching out, kinda like how Bone Thugs’ mentor Eazy-E branched out and discovered them. The A&O album was quickly followed up by The Beginning And The End album (an internet-only release on bizzybonemusic.com) just a month later with even more tracks featuring his clique. It really made my school year. Simple times.

The 7th Sign Regime failed to take off and was later disbanded. The collective, despite their talent, was never mentioned by Bizzy again until 2012 when female rapper Nina Ross passed away from diabetes, and in 2014 when singer Big B (best known for singing the chorus for Change The World by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony) passed away from kidney failure. And once more when Prince Rasu was beaten into a coma earlier this month, after a 911 call regarding his schizophrenia.

Prince Rasu died from his injuries a couple days ago. I did a Google search and nothing popped up. Many fans found out about it through Bizzy’s Instagram page and the Facebook pages of Rasu’s relatives. No media coverage whatsoever. I guess stuff like this happens in the hood all the time. I wouldn’t know.

That said… Rest in peace.

In the midst in the darkest nights, sparking off the highest flights
And project buildings blasting civilians but skull-white from cycles of the psycho children
Millions in the revenue, what we seek in these avenues
Steady breaking down crumbs for the Royal Crown amongst animals

Who can I trust? Where can I turn? When will it all end?
I’m suited up in Timberland boots, Regime marching
God damnit I’m a grown man, its time to take my own stand
Fuck the federations, my heart is racing like grown man’s
Pumping the anger built up from years of stress
Killers and haters surround me daily, no fears of death
I hear the breaths of angels and demons fighting over my soul Lord
Just give me the path through this bloodbath and it’s on Lord

^Televised media coverage on the case of Capo Confucious’ death in 2003 (one of the many components that spiraled Bizzy Bone to a mental breakdown in 2005) which ran cold and remains a mystery til this day. He was Bizzy Bone’s half-brother.

 

Update Monday January 30:
Articles on Prince Rasu:
https://www.theblackloop.com/2017/01/27/jaron-thomas-columbus-police/
http://goblackcentral.com/2017/01/family-of-jaron-thomas-seeks-answers-in-his-death/
GoFundMe page:
https://www.gofundme.com/jaron-tomas-untimely-death

 

10th Anniversary of Bone Brothers/Gemini

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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. 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.