(When judgment comes for you, when judgment comes for you),
And whatcha gonna do
when there ain't nowhere to hide
When judgment comes for you (Cause it's gonna come for you!)"
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony is an American hip hop group from the Glenville section of Cleveland. They are best known for their fusion of high speed melodic, rhythmic rapping and harmonizing vocals. In 1997, the group was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance with their song "Tha Crossroads". Since its conception in the early 1990s the group has been honored with numerous other awards.Formed in the early 1990s, Their first album, Faces of Death, was recorded in 1993 under the name B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e. Their career took off after heading to Los Angeles in search of famous producer and N.W.A. member Eazy-E. In hopes of securing a record deal, the group was given an audition over the phone receiving an unfulfilled promise from Eazy to call them back. Discovering that Eazy-E was performing back in their hometown of Cleveland, the group took a charter bus back hoping to have another chance, this time in person. The chance was given backstage as they auditioned, which resulted in them signing a contract with Ruthless Records.Bone's music covers themes of redemption, inner city struggles, spirituality, occult mysticism, salvation, religious symbolism, and judgment of mankind. Even during the Faces of Death era the group had heavy religious overtones and symbolism. Music also show influences from the Book of Revelation and The Art of War.Since the Turn of the Millennium the group has teetered on the brink of collapse, and self destruction with constant infighting and disputes with labels. Things finally fell apart after the release of The World's Enemy, a album that the group nor the fans liked. The final nail in the proverbial coffin was when the group either asked Krayzie to leave, Or Krayzie himself decided to leave (there's disputes over this), Wish Bone followed suit. There were talks of a new album with the remaining three but as of august 2011 in a interview Flesh N Bone claimed the group was finished. But as of may 2012, all 5 was headlining the "Rock the Bells Tour". Despite all of this, the group have grown something of a rabid cult following in their later years. The group also made an appearance during Jamie Kennedy's infamous New Year's Eve 2013 special aired by an independent station near Los Angeles. The group consists of five members:
Krayzie Bone, AKA Leatha Face The Sawed Off Gangsta, Sawed-Off Slim (real name Anthony Henderson): The soft-spoken smooth-talker and arguably the most skilled and consistent member. Won a Grammy for his collaboration with Chamillionaire for the ringtone jam "Ridin". And without question the most popular member currently - much to the chagrin of other fans, especially Bizzy fans. Has a VERY uneasy relationship with Bizzy.
Layzie Bone, AKA #1 Assassin (real name Steven Howse): Debatably the de facto leader (but don't tell that to Krayzie Bone fans) on account of him being the glue that's keeping the group together. He's also the little brother of Flesh, and cousin to Wish.
Wish Bone, AKA Straight Jacket (real name Charles C. Scruggs, Jr.): Perhaps the most vilified member because of his simplistic repetitive lyrics, but some feel that he's unfairly ostracized. Like Krayzie, has a very tense relationship with Bizzy. He's also cousin to Layzie and Flesh.
Bizzy Bone, AKA R.I.P. (real name Bryon McCane): The wildly unpredictable and eccentric member of the group. His mental stability has been questioned multiple times on account of his eccentricities and his multiple personas. He's flip-flopped from bloodthirsty psychopath ("Hell Sent" verse: "Its the psychopathic maniac, manglin' ladies, stick a grenade in they pussies, than start stranglin' babies.") to introspective "spiritualist" (among other personas) countless times. He's also the most polarizing member among fans. Once the show stealer and arguably the "face of the franchise", his popularity among the fans began dwindling after Thug World Order.
Flesh-n-Bone, AKA The 5th Dog, Armageddon, Stack (real name Stanley Howse): The mysterious 5th member of the group whom acts as a Lone Ranger, Aloof Big Brother, and even The Sixth Ranger to the group. Cousin to Wish, and big brother to Layzie. Is considered among fans to be underrated, third strongest member behind Krayzie and Bizzy, and arguably right up there with both of them in the conversation of the group's best lyricist. Has a long history of run-ins with the law and is rumored to suffer from a mental disorder.
"Tha Crossroads"note Their biggest hit. When released, it was tied with "Yesterday" by The Beatles for fastest-selling single in history
Bolivian Army Ending: In the music video for "Dayz Of Our Livez" the group's hideout is being raided by SWAT teams because of a previous bank robbery. And the video zooms out and fades away as gun flashes are seen lighting up between the cracks of the boarded windows.
Just Like Robin Hood: In the same video Bone is seen giving a huge chunk of their loot to people at a homeless shelter, which they were originally staying.
Bowdlerise: Their Thug World Order album after the events of September 11th.
Cloudcuckoolander: Bizzy Bone speaking in tongues during a radio interview and walking 200 miles from Cleveland to Columbus.
Certain segments of the fanbase itself could qualify, being very… cultish, eccentric and fanatical about the group.
Downer Ending: "Sons Of Assassins" has Bizzy die at the end of the song after a shoot out with the cops along side his dad, but before he dies he manages to tell his psychopathic father… "I love you, dad."
Although they have a TON of respect from their musical peers (Kendrick Lemar, A$AP Rocky, The Game etc). This trope only kicks in when it comes to the entertainment media who is indifferent at best, or dismissive at worst.
Dysfunction Junction: Bizzy's personal problems, and the relationship of the group itself. These are related.
Enfant Terrible: The song "Sons Of Assassins", has a 8-year-old Kray stealing his dad's gun and hiding it in his lunchbox. And later using it to ruthlessly murder two bullies at school.
Evil Sounds Deep: Their album intros have sinister sounding disembodied voices introducing the group. The song "Mr. Ouija Pt. 2", also counts to bone-chilling effect.
Follow the Leader: A LOT of rappers with a similar style as Bone started to pop up after their success, lending their case for more respect MUCH credibility.
Future Badass: In the music video for "If I Could Teach The World", Bone is stuck in a setting that's not unlike The Terminator, or even Warhammer 40,000, wearing body armor and wielding fantasy swords. The group along with some other rebels appear to be fighting an advancing group of what appears to be machines, or armored soldiers that are approaching in a single line formation. But eventually the group is rescued by what appears to be some drop ship that takes them to a more peaceful planet where there's Crystal Spires and Togas.
Ironic Nursery Tune: The song "Mr. Ouija" has the group chanting a nursery rhyme like tune asking the Ouija board to tell them their future, and asking it will they die of murder, a bloody murder, all the while distorted demonic vocal are heard in the background.
Lighter and Softer: Some fans see their recent material as this. Their lyrics however to a lesser extent are still often then not violent. Contrasted with their older darker sadistic and psychotically violent lyrics that's not saying much.
Mood Whiplash: Their song selection can cause this as their songs range from hard and dark to soft and light.
Motor Mouth: These guys can rap fast when they want to.
Murder Ballad: Too many to list, and they use the term ballad literally (e.g. "Shoot'Em Up"). Hence the harmony.
Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Gangsta rap fused with melodic rhythmic, staccato speed rap, mixed with doo-wop harmony, and contemporary R&B/soul (There's even tinges of Jamaican Patois in their delivery).
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Their record deal (and possibly their careers) when they left Interscope records over the fact the label wouldn't let Bizzy, and Flesh rejoin the group..According to Krayzie:
I think if we would have got another album with just the 3 of us, we could have completely brought it back (meaning their careers) 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.