Originally published at The Well Versed
As a member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Krayzie Bone and the rest of his brethren put a permanent stamp on the music industry. After 18 years in the game, the “Granddaddy” of the Bone flow is a different man than the teenager that once rapped about dabbling with the Ouija board, staying high ‘til he dies, and pulling capers. Following a highly publicized split from the group that made him famous, Krayzie sat down with The Well Versed to discuss the role of faith in his music, the bond he shares with the group and why the final chapter on the Thugs-N-Harmony isn’t written.
The Well Versed: As a long-time fan I have to ask: Is there any chance we’ll see Krayzie back with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony—at least for performances?
Krayzie Bone: When I stepped aside I never said it was forever. I needed to get a clearer vision of where I’m trying to go in my career and my personal life. It was a lot of distractions dealing with the group because of the different personalities and directions. I had to step aside for a minute and not deal with all the drama that surrounds Bone.
I’ve spoken to my Bone brothers; I speak to Bizzy almost every day, I speak to Layzie, Flesh, I talk to Wishevery day. We’ll be making an announcement about us getting back together for performance purposes. I know the market is big for Bone Thugs performances. It can be even bigger with all of us together. This is true family. We’re going to fall out in public and in private, but there is nothing too big to keep us from coming back and doing business.
TWV: What kept you all together? For 18 years, even with the lineup changes, Bone has never broken up, where a lot of groups have.
KB: Family is the key word. We’ve been around each other since elementary school. When you have that relationship and being together since kids, playing, it’s hard to break that bond. If it’s really true bond, not even money can break that.
TWV: There were a lot of stories in the press about you and Bizzy not seeing eye to eye, what brought the two of you back together?
KB: Just talking and airing everything out. A lot of people had the misconception that it was Krayzie vs. Bizzy. It wasn’t just me. It was the group that had a problem. We felt like he wasn’t doing all he could to come together with the group and respecting the codes we had at the time as far as moving as a group. I don’t know where down the line that it was just Krayzie Bone—it was everybody.
TWV: Right after the announcement came and people weren’t sure if you were coming back, did it feel awkward knowing there was no Bone Thugs to go back to music wise?
KB: I’m not going to lie, it was. I record solo stuff all the time. In a sense it was in the back of my mind that it’s just me now. It felt awkward, but as a man, I gotta continue and push on.
TWV: Has it been difficult to distinguish yourself as a solo artist?
KB: It’s definitely hard. I consider myself an artist. I would never try to completely distinguish myself, but at the same time, I want to be seen as not just a member of Bone but as a guy that did different kinds of music. Bone set the standards so high that it’s going to take some getting used to in terms of us bringing out different artists.
Artists like Bone only come around once in a lifetime. I would just ask the fans not to put our artists up against us.
TWV: You all had a very distinct style from day one where everybody was known for the braids and the fast rapping, do you find that people have a problem getting used to the changes in image or you all slowing it down?
KB: Some people do. But if you’re asking us not to change, you’re asking us to stay in the 90’s. If we do that, they’ll accuse us of talking about the same things. Having been around almost 20 years, people have to understand that people’s lives change. When we came in we were wild and hungry. We were going up against the world and that’s what we expressed. As time went on, we grew up, calmed down and became mentors. The average person changes; we’re no different.
TWV: I wanted to ask you about the role of faith in your music. Back in your younger days, was it hard to do some of the darker stuff like the “Mr. Ouija’s” and the “Mo Murda’s”
KB: At the time, even though I knew there was a dark side and God forbids us to tamper with the spirits and the Ouija board, I felt like it was something we experienced and we put that into the music. Anything we experienced, we put into music. Now, we’re on a different level, we’re not in the streets, trying to rob people and we definitely got away from the Ouija board.
TWV: You’ve also gotten a lot more outspoken politically, from speaking on Oscar Grant to collaborating with dead prez to your verse on Riding Dirty, was that always in you?
KB: I was always a conscious person. That has a lot to do with my upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness. Even when I was younger, they used to call me “granddaddy” at 14. I have fun and a sense of humor, but I was always serious and aware of what was going on.
TWV: Looking back on the last 18 years, do you feel that Bone to this point lived up to its potential?
KB: We have to a certain extent, but I feel like with more organization and discipline we can reach more people and reach a higher level. We can be here another ten years.
We’ve done a lot and we changed the way music was done—forever. You listen to all these rappers rapping like us, singing. Even if they can’t sing they’re going to get auto tune. When you go back to where it started, Bone is going to be right there. There’s no getting around it.
TWV: You all were very forward thinking with Mo Thugs Records, and you also had Thug Line and now The Life, was that always the plan to bring other artists along?
KB: We had [Mo Thugs] before we made it; before Eazy E. We’d sit in my mother’s basement and plot on how we would come back and grab our people. Back then it was the Mo Thug Organization. We were thinking ahead of our time.
TWV: So a lot of this goes back to the Faces of Death days?
KB: Oh yeah.
TWV: Is there any chance that we’ll see you all working with some of the older Mo Thugs artists like Soulja Boy, Ken Dawg and Tre?
KB: I was just talking to somebody about hooking up with one of the members of II Tru. There was a lot of drama with Soulja Boy on the Internet. With me, I don’t hold grudges. They can’t blame us for anything. We took them from nothing and we brought them along. We didn’t make them a plate, they ate from the same plate we did. They wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity anywhere else. I might be mad for a while, but I don’t hold grudges. I don’t hate anybody. If the person’s mind is right, I don’t have a problem reuniting with anybody.
TWV: I posed this question to Twista last year: Around the time of The Art of War, you all were going hard at people; do you ever look back on the beef and think that you all missed an opportunity to make some great music?
KB: Definitely. The first time I had an opportunity to chat with him was when we did “Spit Your Game.” He said, “I wanted to holla at you, what were we beefing over?” I said, “I couldn’t even tell you.” He talked about turning on the radio and hearing other artists doing what we brought to the table and we’re supposed to be smashing it.
I’ve been in contact since then, we’ve done a couple songs and there were plans for him and me to do a collaboration album, which isn’t a lost option. If we would’ve been thinking like we were thinking now, it’d be way different. We were young superstars with a lot of money running wild. People said “you should be flattered” by people rapping like us. We thought they were biters. In the old school, if you came off sounding like somebody else, you were a biter.
TWV: What’s coming up next for you?
KB: I’m working on the Fixtape Vol. 4, which should be coming in August. I’m working on my next solo album,Chasing The Devil. I’m working with some younger artists that I’m looking to pitch to Nickelodeon or Disney. I’m trying to be an entrepreneur and not be in the spotlight all the time. There’s a lot to do in the industry, you just have to make it work.