“Our style just came from us sittin’ in our house with nothing to eat, just trippin’ and writin’ and just building on it. And we finally came up with what we got.”
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony- True Hip-Hop
In the early 1990’s, Bones Thugs-N-Harmony formed, the group composed of four members: Kravzie Bone, Lavzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone. They recorded their first album Faces of Death in 1991 under the name B.O.N.W Enterpri$e. After, a new member, Flesh-n-Bone, was added, they went to Los Angeles to look for a famous producer and N.W.A member, Eazy-E and their careers blew up.
They hoped in securing a record deal and were given the opportunity to audition over the phone with a promise from Eazy-E to call them back. When he did not call back, they discovered that he was performing in their hometown, Cleveland. They charted a bus back home and that is how they got signed to Ruthless Records, right on the spot.
In June 1994, the EP Creepin on ah Come Up was released was the groups debut album with Ruthless Records. There was a slow rise to the album’s success and there music were limited to the gangsta rap audiences, but eventually it broke through due to the releases of the hit singles “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” and “Foe tha Love of $”. The videos for these hits increased the group’s reputation. The album was certified 4x Platinum.
Bones Thugs-N-Harmony: On their Way
Although, Creepin’ On Ah Up’s subject matter concentrated on violent criminal activity, in 1995, E 1999 Eternal saw Bone change its content and musical style. The album debuted at Number 1 and sold 307,000 copies in the first week. The G-Funk beats were smooth, thanks to DJ U-Neek.
The “1st of Tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads” were great successes; “Tha Crossroads” reached Number 1 on Billboard Hot 100. Though a large portion of the album’s concept was built on violent subject matters, there were deeper meanings which were incorporated in the themes. The songs dealt with spirituality and occult mysticism. Introduced with E 1999 Eternal were the Bones Thugs-N-Harmony trademark tracks that spoke of the use of marijuana. This album is one of the group’s more successful albums it was certified 6x Platinum and is thought to be one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time.
The group in 1997, release the double-disc set The Art of War that was backed by the single “Look into my Eyes”, which also was apart of the soundtrack for the film Batman and Robin.
Making More Hits
This album explored a variety of topics and styles with a more intense focus on God and family, in addition to a more ambient and soothing sound. Of course, they kept the theme of violent lyrics. However, the large part of the album was dedicated to “clones” who claimed that Bones stole their quick-tongued style of rapping.
It is believed that there were barbs in the lyrics, aimed at such rappers as Twista and Three 6 Mafia. The album did have initial success and debuted at Number 1 on Billboard 200 and sold 34,000 copies in the first week. “Look into my Eyes” and “If I could teach the World” was awarded an American Music Award. The double album was certified 4x Platinum.
Bone Thugs-N- Harmony, in 2002, released BTNHResurrection, this was the first album featuring Flesh-n-Bone. The first half of the album featured hardcore and dark tracks and the other half more introspective and soft. This album features one of their biggest singles, "Resurrection (Paper,Paper)", but only reached number 126 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles.
Did you know that...
- ...the group released a movie called I Tried? The movie portrayed the lives of the group members if they never have met Eazy-E. It has become a platinum selling DVD.
- ...even after a decade, BTH remains one of the most popular groups in Hip-Hop and continues to have devoted followers?
- ...they introduced and made popular- the melodic R&B-esque style to Hip-Hop?