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Too $hort

"Microphone Check: The Bone Family"

After only 3 weeks in the studio, Bone Thugs & Harmony managed to piece together a debut EP that quickly went gold and includes a first single that has left millions humming and singing “it’s the thuggish, ruggish Bone….” Their rise to success, however, was not unplanned: it was quite simply, in their minds, just a matter of time before someone would hear them, sign ‘em, and share their talent with the rest of the hip-hop world.

     The group’s journey began as all five members, after reaching a dead-end in their pursuit of a deal, decided to leave their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Landing in Cali, they spent four months of “getting’ their struggle on” before receiving a personal call from Ruthless Records and Eazy E. After the conversation, however, a long time would elapse before the two sides touched bases.

     It wasn’t until the group’s hometown connections hooked them up as the opening act for Eazy’s show—back in Cleveland—that they spoke to Eazy again. Even then the group struggled to find Eazy backstage so they could flow for him. Once they did, it was as simple as Eazy saying “When ya’ll wanna leave?”

     The group left the next day and Eazy’s album was put on hold so that the project could be released as soon as possible. The group’s tenacity no doubt played a role in their success, but it’s their talent that will allow them to maintain their success in the future. Their style bristles with originality : each beat is enhanced with a syncopated flow. In addition, they bring harmony into their rhymes, with certain portions stated in unison, resulting in an elaborate, complicated style that will be hard to duplicate—insuring Bone will remain successful for some time.

     Currently living in Los Angeles, the group is working on their album. Thirteen cuts are done, and a mid ’95 release date is nearing. While some members of Bone were on a mission to enhance their, Lazy Bone and Wish Bone discussed the group’s career to date.

What are the ages of the members in the group
We don’t tell our age.

Why don’t you like to tell?
‘Cause people take us for an age we really ain’t. They put us in a young ass category.
[WB:] And that’s cool though. But if we’re comin’ out like we’re all 25 or 26, we can’t get no sixteen or seventeen year old twat.
[LB:] So we just keep it personal. Incognito.

Since ya’ll brought it up: Have there been more girls around now that the record’s out?
We always had bitches, but with this record shit? There’s just more now.
[LB:] We had some hoes, man. But it’s easy as fuck now to get some pussy.

It’s too easy?
It is too easy.
[WB:] They will do anything. But it ain’t too easy for me ‘cause I like it like that. Let it get easier.

With all the stuff out now that sounds the same, the thing that stands out about your shit is that it’s an original style—like nothin’ people have really heard before. How did you develop the style?
Well, really, to have some shit tight, you gotta be tight within yourself. And, you know, we’re all related— we’re brothers and cousins— and we were brought up together. And we struggled all our lives together. So that [style] just came out from us.
[LB:] It just came from within. We came to Cali, and our shit wasn’t so different to us. We just felt like we could flow like a motherfucker.

Do you think you guys were around each other more than the average group?
[WB:] We lived together since, like, fifteen and sixteen on up. So that’s some time.

How hard would you say it is to get in the business?
If you got what it takes, somebody’s gonna want you.
[WB:] Point blank: It’s hard gettin’ heard because there’s so many people tryin’ to do it. Every company gets 100 tapes or 100 calls a day and they ain’t really tryin’ to hear the shit: ‘cause they think it’s just the same ol’ shit, and they ain’t got time. But if you stick your heart into it and be real about what you’re tryin’ to do, somebody one day will listen and take you seriously.
[LB:] You basically gotta have a strategy about your come up, instead of goin’ about it the same way everybody does.
[WB:] ‘Cause nothin’ that’s gonna be good is easy to get.

What type of strategy did you guys use?
We took time to think. And that led to us makin the right moves. We left Cleveland on time to meat Eazy. We left California on time to do the show. And we followed up on everything we always did. We didn’t leave nothin’ hangin’ and didn’t burn no bridges.

How do you develop your songs?
A lot of reefer.
[LB:] We sit down and get high as fuck, and we damn near become the same muthafucker.
[WB:] Then we just shut everybody off from us, and it’s just us five—and we just write some shit.

What do you think it is that makes you guys so different?
Man I think it’s just like this…don’t know muthafuckers in the wold love each other like we do.
[WB:] Point muthafuckin’ blank: If my niggas cold, I’ll give them my muthafuckin’ shit and be cold—long as he can get warm.
[LB:] You know how a gang be a click tight? We’re tighter than that.
[WB:] ‘Cause it ain’t no snakes in this muthafucker. We’re in California for one—nothin’ but hustlers. We don’t know nothin’ about this so it’s just us. If one goes down, that’s a big hurt. It’s that vital to the team.

From a fan’s perspective, I hate it when great groups come out and then split up. It’s not the same anymore when they do their solo stuff because you no longer have the variety that was generated by the group. Is there any chance of something like that happening?
Never. If niggas want to do some solo shit, they’ll produce a solo artist. But we’re a group. It ain’t about money to us. Solo artists flee on their own so they can get that extra money. To us, whatever I get, that’s my nigga’s shit anyway. So we’ll never be fucked up.
[LB:] If we go to the store and get a forty, we’re all gonna share it.

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