The ending of the Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony story should be predictable. 17 years after boarding a bus as broke teenagers, Bone Thugs N Harmony should be sitting on a pedestal reminiscing about their game changing careers, but on the way something went wrong. Inner turmoil, the all too common lopsided record deal, and some bad breaks have the group struggling to write an appropriate final chapter to their incredible story.
Their most recent effort, Uni-5: The Worlds Enemy, saw all five members of the group come together for the first time in a decade. It was supposed to be a watershed moment, one that would cement their legacy once and for all. Instead, the album fell short of expectations and has since created more questions than answers.
For the first time since the release of Uni-5, Krayzie Bone holds nothing back when discussing where things went wrong. In this explosive AllHipHop.com exclusive, Krayzie sounds off on not only the lack of success of the new album, but shares when things began to unravel for Bone Thugs and where the group goes from here.
AllHipHop.com: Alright, so we just talked about the whole Resurrection era, and one thing I want to make clear is one thing you explained to me before – it’s not this little thing of bitterness that a lot people think. A lot of people hear about that and they think maybe you’re holding on to that stuff, and that’s why the group hasn’t progressed the way it should have. Because let’s be honest, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony should be much further along than they are. I think everyone agrees about that.
KB: Oh yeah, oh yeah, definitely, definitely. But people need to understand it’s not because of a beef that me and Bizzy had. I mean I’ve gotten into it with all the Bone members. Like recently me and Lay got into it. We had the little spill out on Facebook or whatever. Man I wasn’t trippin’ on that because the very next day Layzie called my phone. And we talked for like, 3 or 4 hours on the phone. And it was like, Bizzy has never done that. This is how Bizzy made it seem to us as a group. Like, he used us to get where he wanted to go. And when he thought he didn’t need us no more, he tried to play us. But it backfired on him. And that, to me, that’s the whole situation why Bone is not together because he was never able to humble himself enough to wholeheartedly come back and just be a part of Bone. (Directed to Bizzy): Because they love you as Bone.
So that was the problem to me.
AllHipHop.com: Okay, a big thing for me is that, when you guys put the album out in early 2007, you proved that Bone reaches far beyond one member.
KB: Exactly. [laughter]
AllHipHop.com: And now the biggest thing is you’ve got a member back in Flesh, so why haven’t you been able, regardless of what happened, to capitalize on that? You have that extra member. People might not talk about the fact that Bizzy’s missing because they’ll see 4 of you, you know what I mean?
KB: I mean, that’s exactly what we are out here doing. We’re trying to build it, man, but it’s just so much like, honestly, I really don’t know how to explain it without probably offending certain members in the group. I don’t know why members in the group won’t get in mode and push forward. Because, man, we travel all over the world. And the response that we get overseas is like we’re brand new, coming out. So I ask members all the time, like, “Don’t y’all see the way these fans react? That there’s still a lot of fire in Bone?” If n***as just come together and get on the same page for once? We’re not signed to anybody! We have the opportunity to do whatever it is we want to do! I own a studio! Studio time is not an issue. Getting beats – there is not one producer that would not give us tracks! Why ain’t we goin’ out and gettin’ after this?!
And it’s like, I could initiate it, but is everybody going to show up? Is everybody going to come do what they need to do? And everybody always talking about how they so much for Bone – but dudes ain’t showin’ that. But then, like, when I get up, and I go try to make something pop like, The Life Entertainment, or the clothing line, or the Conquer The Industry, all the stuff I’m trying to do now – “Oh, he lookin’ out for himself. He don’t care about Bone.” n***a I’ve been sittin’ here trying to get Bone to get up and do stuff for the longest but ain’t nobody movin’!
I’ma give a perfect example – It’s like n***as is slaves to management and record labels. Like they can’t escape that mentality right now. You know, it’s like, “If there’s not a manager in place, there is nothing moving for Bone. If there’s not a record deal in place, there is nothing moving for Bone. Bone is just dead weight, and everybody is out doing their own thing.” So that’s the whole thing. When dudes really want to come back and really get it in – because Bone is the business – what I’m doing, I’m actually going against the grain trying to create something on my own, when, if had Bone to jump off of, it would be way better and it’d happen way faster. But being the creative dude I am, I’m not scared to start from scratch. I’m not scared to recreate a whole new era, because I know I can do it with the right people behind me.
And that’s what I’m doing now, that’s exactly what I’m trying to get into now just in case dudes never get in gear to really take Bone to where it’s supposed to be. Because even though we’re getting older, we’re supposed to be those dudes that’s running the game, we supposed to be them dudes that’s bringing this fresh talent to the world, you know what I’m saying? Like, we’re supposed to be them dudes that’s already doing that. But n***as is still trying to play catch-up and I’m not with that no more, I’m not with sitting down waiting for somebody to feel sorry for Bone to make something happen. That’s played out! If n***as ain’t grew up ain’t seen how business needs to be handled, to me, it’s never going to happen.
AllHipHop.com: So I mean, people listening to this right now, they might think Bone as a group is kind of reaching its boiling point, which I understand. And if people heard, we go overseas, and people are feeling Bone.” They’ll say well, they are feeling the “Thuggish Ruggish Bone / Foe the Love of $ type shit, right?
KB: Mmm hmm.
AllHipHop.com: So you’re kind of trapped in the middle because it’s almost: do you do the old s**tthat you said you’re not comfortable doing, or do you move forward with a different sound?
KB: I mean, you know, when we perform, we always do the old music. That’s not an issue. You know, we do the old music but nothing affects our soul. You know, we give them that, and the new music. So that’s not even an issue. Because we do that. You know it’s just a fact of all 5 members showing up and being a part of it – that’s the whole problem. Because all 5 members can come together at any point in time and have a great response. Why it can’t happen? And what’s going on in other people’s minds? I have no idea.
AllHipHop.com: So what’s the likelihood now, even if it’s not all 5 members, maybe the 4 members, the 3 that did Strength & Loyalty plus Flesh, what’s the likelihood we are going to hear a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony album with Krayzie and Wish on it?
KB: Oh, man, very likely! Very likely! You know, it’s not like we all just do our own thing and, come on, man, like I always tell people, that’s what I came from. Trust me, it’s been times to where I felt like – man, this is a nowhere situation, it’s going nowhere, and I need to just step away from this situation. You know, it’s been plenty of times I’ve felt like that. You know, I thought I was almost really out after the Interscope album. People don’t even know that’s how we got released from Interscope. Because I told them that I was leaving the group, and actually at the time I was fed up. I’m like, we got all five members here, people still can’t come together, the record label’s looking at us like we’re crazy, they ain’t respecting us, they ain’t respecting our legacy, they ain’t respecting nothing about us because they’re seeing the turmoil within the group. So it’s like, man, why even go further? Because everybody we come across, once they see this, they are not going to want to deal with us anyway. So I told them, I sent a letter to them, saying I was leaving the group and they dropped the whole group.
AllHipHop.com: So do you think that album Uni5, or what it would have been called, would have been a better look if you came out on Interscope rather than on Warner?
KB: Man…to me, it probably would have because they already had a little success with us, so they kind of knew the route to go next. But honestly, even when Flesh came home and Bizzy, they said they didn’t want to do the 5 members. They was like, “We want the same 3 that we had.” That’s exactly what they told us. They was like, “We want the same 3 we had, we heard about all the problems that Bizzy brought to the thing…” And you know, they heard about everything that he was doing out there when he wasn’t with us, ranting on interviews, and just going crazy, and all that stuff follows you.
So they were kind of scared, like “We don’t want to be bothered with that.” You know, and they didn’t really know Flesh. All they heard was that he went crazy, and got caught with a bunch of weapons. So all that kind of stuff was just scaring people and they was just like, “We just want to deal with the 3. We got perfect chemistry with the 3 and that’s all we want to deal with.” We actually talked them into doing the 5 members and after we got finished talking them into doing it, it was like, “Okay, this is what y’all talked us into getting aboard with?”
AllHipHop.com: A lot of rumors are swirling about Bone and Ruthless Records. Is that where your future is as a group?
KB: Well, honestly, what the situation is with Ruthless Records: Recently, Tomica has been reaching out to us as far as like doing stuff with our old catalogue. It’s not like making a new album. Although she did make a suggestion saying that we should a record a live Bone album. You know, where we do an album with a live band, like perform our old stuff with the live band. You know, she did suggest that but there has not been any conversation as to doing a new Bone album with Ruthless Records. Although we are talking about doing several other projects that she owns the rights to the music so, she came to us sayin’, “I have ample opportunity for y’all to make lots of money on y’all catalogue. And if y’all want to be a part of it, we need to sit down and talk.”
So that’s what those conversations been. It’s not like us going back signing to Ruthless Records, she didn’t even offer us that. It ain’t like she came back like, “I want to put y’all back on Ruthless Records” and all that. We sat down, it took us many meetings to sit down to discuss what we went through over the – like for all of us to get on the same page. You know, it’s like, she aired out her feelings and we aired out our feelings. You know, and we all came to an agreement like, we have the opportunity to capitalize on what we’ve already done, and get paid, and still be paid off of it, because it’s a lot of people interested in our back catalogue and our music. They feel like, y’all could be making so much money off the stuff y’all already done without even doing no new stuff. You know what I’m saying? Like, that’s basically what they’re working on as far as Bone.
AllHipHop.comYou’ve talked about your whole history of Bone and where you’re going and it’s very complicated. I know it has been frustrating for some of your core fan base. Why should fans of BTNH be excited? What do they have to look forward to?
KB: Well, man, you know. like I tell everybody … It’s like that old saying – you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. You know, you can do all you can to try to keep the Bone brand alive, but … that’s the problem with groups, man. Even though we grew up as brothers, that’s the problem. It’s so many people with ill intentions, that just want to get in and fire s**tup and keep it that way because it helps them in the long run, you know, by keeping dudes divided.
I don’t know what to tell the fans. Is Bone ever going to be the way that it was? Honestly? I doubt it. So that’s not something that I’m even holding on to, you know what I’m saying? I sit up and think about what it could be, or what it could have been, or how we could have did it, but honestly like I can’t spend that much time thinking like that, because I’m wasting time. I have to be out here doing what I need to do to continue my dreams and my goals that I had when I first got to the business. My goals and dreams was not just to be a member in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. That’s what people don’t understand, like, people think that I came out and I just wanted to be in Bone Thugs-N-Harmony my whole career. Like, just known for that. I always had plans to put out other artists. I always had plans to perform in different genres of music because I consider myself as being a true artist.
I’m just not obligated to rap or obligated to Bone. I can go do a pop song, I can produce a pop song for somebody, I can go do a country song, I can do whatever song a n***a is talkin’ about doin’. It’s just, I’ve never wanted to be put in that box like that. So it’s like, as far as the Bone future, man, I mean, like I said, it’s never going to be like it was and I’m not even going to chase that dream. I’m not even going to chase that dream. I’m just going to see if dudes want to come together and make it happen, and make some nice music for these fans, then we can make that happen. You know, like, but if it’s going to be drama, dudes playing the same 16-17 year old games they was playing over 10 years ago. I’m not with that. I don’t have time to waste in this business anymore. And that’s exactly how I’m maneuvering, like I’m in a race against time. And that’s what I’m doing.
AllHipHop.com: I know a lot of people read that and their heads will be spinning and saying, you know, Bone is first. What can you do to make them understand that Krayzie Bone is, at the end of the day, Anthony Henderson trying to worry about his own stuff?
KB: Man, it’s just like this. For everybody who don’t understand – I mean, like, people are not stupid. They can understand, you know, they just don’t want to understand. You can’t tell people enough – they want to hear this and that said. I don’t care about that. See, they are not here. If they were at their job and they had an opportunity to make a lot of money, but they couldn’t do it without certain people, then they would understand a whole lot better. They would understand a whole lot better, but they’re on the outside looking in so they’re never going to understand. It’s always going to be about what they see, and they ain’t seeing the whole picture. You never see the whole picture looking at a celebrity on TV, or reading the interview. You never see the whole picture. It’s just hearsay, or you seeing it.
But I would ask them – I’m not, I’ve never considered myself to be the leader of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Ever. You’ve never heard me say that. That has never came out of my mouth. Other people have said it but it has never came out of my mouth. And you will not find an interview anywhere to where I say I was the leader of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Ever. Because how can you lead people that don’t want to listen? I’m not these dudes, I don’t run these dudes lives. These dudes have minds of their own. If they don’t want to do something, they don’t want to do it.
I can’t go hold Bizzy at gunpoint: “n***a, stop trippin’. We got to go get this money.” I can’t do that. I can’t make dudes do what they don’t want to do. I know I’m all in, I’m ready. I’ve always been here for Bone. I’ve always been here for Bone. Everything I do and say, I mention Bone Thugs-N-Harmony all the time. So how can people think that I’m the dude that’s not thinking about Bone and I’m thinking about myself? I’ve been – man – Bizzy ain’t the only person that people said – like – people told me a long time ago that I should leave the group. But the difference between me and Bizzy, is it didn’t go to my head. I stayed down through all the hard times. Through all the turmoil, through all the drama. I’m still here, to this day, willing to work with Bone. He broke out before we even had any of these problems. He was the cause of a lot of the problems. You know, so it was like, how come n***as ain’t comin’ at Bizzy like, “You the one fucked up Bone”?
AllHipHop.com: They do, you know they do, though. I think he’s taken a majority of the blame.
KB: Yeah, you know, because he was the one that left. Even though, like I said, I had problems with dudes in the group, you know, I wasn’t happy with everything, but you know, who I went to in order to work it out and continue on? I went to the group members, the dudes in the group. I didn’t go to nobody else. He couldn’t do that. So that was a big gap in our thing. We can keep talking all day, but man, it’s always come back come back to this dude right here, always. And I don’t care what nobody say.
AllHipHop.com: But at the end of the day, with the Strength and Loyalty album, that album went gold when people weren’t going gold from your era, so Bone has shown it can still be done.
KB: Exactly. And people came with all the hype you know, like – and it’s crazy to me – ‘cause we won an award, it went gold, you know, we was making our way back! Bone was actually making their way back with just the three members! I think if we would have got another album in with just the 3 of us, we could have completely brought it back and then it would have been cool to bring the other two members back into it. I think by us doing [what we did], it killed it all over again.
AllHipHop.com: Except for Flesh – I’m sorry – Flesh is my guy, man –
KB: No, no, no, no, no, no, no. That’s true. That’s true. And, like, Flesh ain’t really got nothin’ to do – like, the only thing Flesh did was he had went to prison, and, you know, that’s unfortunate, but that hurt us. It hurt us more mentally and personally than it did as far as a group. You know, because we knew and he knew he always had that space, he always had that same spot when he came out. You know, but it’s just crazy. We went from bringing ourselves back in the game to, “Okay, everybody’s back in the group and the album didn’t do shit.”
AllHipHop.com: Last question, for Bone fans your solo album has been talked about for a while and hasn’t seen the light of day. What’s going on with Chasing The Devil?
KB: Well, man, you know, honestly, the reason why I haven’t put the album out is because every time I really get into it, it’s like, something with Bone pops up. “Oh, we have an opportunity to do this tour.” And you know, we go out and do this tour. And that’s why I’ve been putting it off. And after the Uni5 album, I really been here trying to get it right, you know what I’m saying? And I’ve really been searching for the right situation, but honestly, there is no right situation. I mean the business just ain’t the same, and it ain’t like people tell you anything these days, you know, like, just to get the album in.
So I’m at the point to where I’m about to start doing music just because I want to, and to give to the fans. You know what I’m saying, I’m not going to be out here trying to search for no big record deals and get no deal, and do all this. Even the independent route right now – it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Ain’t nobody spendin’ no money to promote nothing. You know, it’s like, I really ain’t got time for all the drama, man. I’m trying to get into other aspects of the game. And I’m really not so much concentrating on me, or Bone, right now. I’m trying to move into the new generation. I’m trying to get with what’s going to be – and I’m not talking about going to mess with artists that’s out there rapping about bubble gum and tennis shoes and stuff – that’s not what I’m doing. I’m going out there looking for talented artists that really have something to say, so I can help them to fit in to what’s going on in the world right now, but still be able to get their message across.
You know what I’m sayin’, I’m going to be moving more into the leadership part of the whole business and play in the back. Like I said, I’ma always make music because it’s in me to do music. That’s what I do, I love making music. And I don’t just do it just for money. If that was the case I would have been quit. When I didn’t receive what I was supposed to receive from making all those hit songs, I would have been quit. It’s not about that. I love making this music, and can’t none of these dudes break that or take that away from me, because that’s my stress basin. You know, but I’m just trying to make it into other things of the business, you know, like, with this rap – with music, an artist hardly ever gets paid from the music he makes, he writes, hardly ever. You get paid off everything else that comes your way, with the endorsements, and doing this, and publishing – all that stuff – record companies rob you from the jump, so you hardly ever see any money from just making a record or making an album.
Chasing the Devil is coming; it’s coming sooner than people think it is. People actually think that the Fixtape 4is going to come first, but it’s not. Chasing the Devil is going to come before that. You know, I’ma do as much promotion as I can, and get people behind it. But I’m not gonna hold it up, sittin’ back, waiting for the right deal to come. ‘Cause I’ll be waiting for never…’Cause that’s never going to happen.