This is the bio of Bone Thugs~n~Harmony.
From the streets of Cleveland to TV sets across the nation, it's been a long journey for Bone thugs-n-harmony. Their rise commenced in '93 when they scraped up every penny they had for one-way bus tickets to Los Angeles. It wasn't until they hooked up with their departed mentor, Eazy-E, that things began rollin'. As the famed story goes, Eazy-E returned a call to Bone in L.A. where they auditioned for him over the phone. He was impressed but the deal wasn't done until a short time later when the former NWA leader was doing a show in Cleveland. Bone immediately headed back home and gave a back stage audition in person. Eazy had tickets ready for them the next morning to return to L.A. to begin recording their debut EP.
That EP, Creepin' On Ah Come Up, exploded onto the rap scene with the singles "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Foe Tha Love Of $" and went on to quadruple-platinum success, but '94's E. 1999 Eternal, entered all charts at #1 and hasn't slowed down, selling five million plus copies and counting.
Eternal's most celebrated cut--the stunning, spiritually-charged single, "Tha Crossroads"--won a grammy, went double-platinum and made history when it tied with the Beatles' 32-year-old record ('64's "Can't Buy Me Love") for the fastest rising single on the pop charts.
There seems to be no end in sight to the Bone phenomenon. The Cleveland clan established their own Mo Thugs Records last year and released the Mo Thugs Family Scriptures compilation album to introduce many of the Cleveland-based artists they're developing. The joint shipped platinum. They're following with solo albums by many of their artists as well as solo albums from Bone.
With all their success, it's hard to believe that the days of struggling were very much a reality for Bone not too long ago. "First Of Tha Month," their glorious ode to government cheese, was something that Bone was living rather than just rapping about. As Layzie recalls, "It was like this man, we come from zero, straight from the dirt, dog." Wish adds, "We were in the streets doin' whatever it took to survive."
But through these rough times, the Bone family strengthened. Layzie and Wish, who are cousins, first hooked-up with Bizzy and Krayzie under the name Band-Aid Boyz. During this era, the flow that would make them famous developed. Wish breaks it down like this, "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." Krayzie adds, "We knew we had something different. Our music is just coming from the heart. We always knew we were gonna make it somehow."
Not only do Bone speak about their hard times, they choose to tell the positive as well on The Art Of War. Songs like "If I Could Teach The World" finds Bone delivering a message of upliftment to kids all over the planet. "To all the lil' boys and girls all over the world/The shit we say is for the streets/Not for you to go and do or to repeat." On "Friends," a remake of the Whodini classic, Bone pay tribute to those who have remained close and loyal to them. And "Family Tree Bone" is a remarkable personal account that illustrates the highs and lows of each Bone member's lives.
"All our albums have a dark feeling to them, but it is so smooth that you don't really focus on the dark too much," says Krayzie. "The dark themes come from how we used to live. Then, every day and every night was dark in our eyes. That's changed."
Asked about fame, Layzie concludes, "In my wildest dreams, where I'm comin' from, I couldn't even dream shit would be like this. Fame, it's cool to be famous, but some people take it out of control. I look at it like the Lord got us to the front of the line for some reason."
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were one of the most successful rap groups to break into the mainstream in 1995. Formed in 1993, they consist of Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone and Flesh-N-Bone, and were 'discovered and nurtured' by the founder of Ruthless Records, the late Eazy E.
Their initial impact was astounding, even within a musical genre associated with a fast turnover of star acts. Their 1994 debut EP, Creeping On Ah Come Up, had spent over 70 weeks in Billboard 's Top 200 album chart by 1996, with sales of over four million. E. 1999 Eternal went to number 1 in the same album chart, selling over 330,000 copies in its first week of release.
The group's popularity is due to their appealing combination of R&B harmonies and rapping, as featured on the single '1st Of Tha Month'. Melody has arrived to a previously hard and often musically devoid genre. Much of Stevie Wonder 's smooth harmony style is brilliantly mixed with techno rap. Even if the constantly repeated gangsta vocabulary of 'motherfuckin' and 'nigger' is limited and becomes tiresome, this debut manages to somehow put it into the background. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony could be the rap group for people who don't like rap.
The Bone thugs-n-harmony saga began in 1993 when Layzie, Krazyie, Flesh, Wish and Bizzy, broke and hungry, but loaded with talent, confidence and the bravado to try anything to achieve success, boarded a bus to Los Angeles. Their destination was the offices of Ruthless Records, home to the legendary rap group NWA. Bone auditioned over the phone but Eazy didn't get back with them. When Bone heard that Eazy-E was doing a show in their hometown, they scraped their money together and hustled back to Cleveland. They auditioned live for Eazy backstage and he signed them on the spot. Within weeks they were in the studio recording their '94 debut EP, Creepin' On Ah Come Up. They turned the hip-hop nation onto a fresh new style of rap and in the process sold over two million copies of Creepin', fueled by their hit single, "Thuggish Ruggish Bone." Bone thugs-n-harmony followed with the '95 release of the five times platinum LP, E. 1999 Eternal which debuted at #1 on top of the pop charts. The group made history when their hit single, "Tha Crossroads," tied a record the Beatles set in 1964 as the fastest rising single on the charts. Bone thugs-n-harmony recently won the 1997 Grammy Award for Best Rap Duo or Group and the 1997 Soul Train Music Award for Best Video, "Tha Crossroads."
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