Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is a multi-platinum recording rap group from Cleveland, Ohio consisting of members Anthony “Krayzie Bone” Henderson, Steven “Layzie Bone” Howse, Bryon “Bizzy Bone” McCane, Charles “Wish Bone” Scruggs, and Stanley “Flesh-N-Bone” Howse. They are best known for their style of rapid-fire lyrics fused with melodic harmony.
In 1993, the group bought one-way Greyhound bus tickets to Los Angeles, in hopes of successfully auditioning for Eazy-E and signing a record deal with his label, Ruthless Records. They were one step closer to that dream when they received a phone call from Eazy-E. Bone auditioned for Eazy-E over the phone, and was told that he would get back to them. Later, Bone realized that Eazy-E had an upcoming show in their hometown of Cleveland, so they bought bus tickets and headed home. At the venue of Eazy-E’s show, they managed to get in backstage and once again auditioned for him, this time in person. Eazy-E signed them to a contract, and flew them back out to Los Angeles to begin recording.
In 1994, the group released their first single, “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” from their debut EP “Creepin’ On Ah Come Up” that introduced the group to the hip-hop world. The single quickly rose to the top of the rap charts, and was the most requested song and video at the time. The group released a second single, “Foe Tha Love Of $” featuring Eazy-E.
The group, mentored by Eazy-E, continued to ride the wave of mainstream success into 1995 with the release of their full length LP, “E. 1999 Eternal.” Critically acclaimed as one of the best rap albums of the 1990’s, the loss of their mentor to AIDS seemingly was the turning point for the group as business interfered with their friendship.
In 1996, Layzie Bone and Krayzie Bone formed Mo Thugs Records, a record label to showcase artists that they grew up with in Cleveland. Many of those artists left due to contract and royalty disputes. Krayzie Bone left years later to form ThugLine Records with Wish Bone, which is now known as The Life Entertainment.
In 1997, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released their first double-disc album, titled “The Art of War.” The music was a balance of their violent, thuggish, ready-for-war lyrics and style, but also featured the spiritual side of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony that fans saw since Tha Crossroads remix dedicated to Eazy-E. During this period, more of the group’s turmoil began to come to light, as Bizzy began missing events and music video shoots, such as the Look Into My Eyes music video. This became a problem, as the rest of the group members covered for his absence.
Rumors of the group’s break up continued to grow as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony members began working on solo album projects. It wasn’t until 2000 when Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released a new studio album, titled “BTNHResurrection” to address those rumors. Krayzie Bone recalls getting a call from Tomica Wright telling him to get back into the studio with the rest of Bone, cutting his debut solo album “Thug Mentality 1999” promotion short because it was said that the songs for BTNHResurrection did not sound like the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fans have come to love without Krayzie Bone on them. Flesh-N-Bone was sentenced to spend the next decade behind bars at a California state penitentiary on weapons violation and aggravated assault charges.
The group continued with their solo endeavors and in 2002, released their final album under Ruthless Records titled “Thug World Order.” The album received moderate promotion, featuring artists such as 3LW and Phil Collins. The group members continued their solo ventures, and projects such as Layzie and Bizzy’s “Bone Brothers” under KOCH Records.
With Bizzy doing his own thing as a solo artist, and the rest of the group not wanting anything to do with him, the remaining members continued to work on new material for a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony release under KOCH Records with the album “Thug Stories.” Krayzie, Layzie, and Wish also got a bit of help from Swizz Beats and signed a deal with Interscope Records and Full Surface. The trio released a new album in 2007 titled “Strength & Loyalty” which included guest appearances from Will.I.Am, Swizz Beats, Game, Twista, and Akon. The album continued to be a success, but this was the only album Bone released under Full Surface/Interscope, as they were released from their contract.
In 2009, Flesh-N-Bone was released after serving his sentence in a California state penitentiary. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, including Bizzy Bone, all arrived together to pick up Flesh as he exited the prison a free man. With everyone together at last, the group began work on a new Bone Thugs-N-Harmony album, titled “Uni5: The World’s Enemy” under Warner Bros. Records/Asylum. Fans were involved with the recording process, being invited to the studio to listen to songs and provide feedback on what to improve for the final version of the album. The album was finally released in May 2010, after many delays and tracklist changes. Due to low sales on the album, Warner Bros. Records terminated the contract with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
The group continues to tour around the world, with their E. 1999 Eternal Tour featuring a live band, Krayzie and Wish promoting The Life Entertainment, and the Resurrection Tour. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony returned to the spotlight in 2012 as they headlined Rock The Bells 2012 performing E. 1999 Eternal, their classic hits, and paid tribute to 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G., and Eazy-E. The group is headlining their own shows across the United States with the Rock The Bells 2012 Tour Series starting in October and ending in December. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony continues to leave their mark in history and their legacy lives on as they gear up for their 20th anniversary in the music industry.