Mo' Thugs Biography
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 ingle, "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."
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