As Black Bike Week kicks into full force today with the start of Atlantic Beach Bikefest and plenty of other parties happening around the beach, some folks are already looking forward to the end of the weekend’s festivites.
That’s because legendary Midwest rap group Bone Thugs N Harmony will help close out three days full of biker bashes with a packed performance Sunday at the House of Blues in North Myrtle Beach. The show starts at 9:30 p.m. and Tickets $25 in advance or $28 day of show ( full details via HOB.com).
The Resurrection Tour will feature Flesh-N-Bone, Bizzy Bone and Layzie Bone blazing through a set of past Bone hits and tracks off their 2010 album “UNI5: The World’s Enemy” all backed by a live band.
ListenUp Editor Chris Mowder caught up with Layzie this week for a phone interview about the band’s longevity, legacy and love for one another as a family. Check out what he had to say:
It’s been 20 years since Bone Thugs first started making music, what does it mean to you to reach the milestone of being in hip-hop that long?
Really it’s a blessing. This is something we were blessed to do and we’ve just felt like that was our calling in life. It’s probably one of the most exhilarating feelings in the world to get paid to do what you love to do.
How do you think the rap game has changed over that time and do you think it’s tougher to make your way now then it was then?
I think it’s easier to make music with all the tools and programs and instruments we got now, with ProTools and everything else.
Not to mention rap is a global phenomenon now that’s marketed all over the planet, so it’s no hard to get into at all. All you gotta do is just get in the game and have a plan really.
But it definitely waters it down, because you know everybody’s trying to do the same thing and follow the same trends. But you’ve got some diamonds in the rough out there, I’m from Bone Thugs N Harmony so I definitely see what breaking through that mold is all about.
There’s a lot of special people out there, but anytime you got as much competition of that magnitude there’s going to be a lot of B.S. But at the same you gotta look for that hidden talent.
Being originally from Columbus, I have to ask this. What was is like to come out and really put Ohio on the map as far as hip-hop goes? Did you ever feel any pressure to carry the whole city or region on your backs?
No man, we are proud of putting Cleveland, Ohio — and basically the midwest region — on the map the way that we did. We really proud of that.
But there was never really any pressure, because we blew up so fast people didn’t see it coming and when we were holding it everybody just kinda celebrated with us and went along for the ride. There wasn’t no opposition.
We’re proud to say we were forefathers or trendsetters of a lot of things, you know.
Is there any music coming out of Cleveland or Ohio in general right that you think folks should know about?
You got Kid Cudi, you got Ray Cash you know, but there’s a whole bunch of independent peopl in Cleveland, Ohio, that are really doing they thing. Big shouts to the whole Cleveland area, we trying to build it up and be involved as much as I possibly can to help make the city a monopoly in the rap game.
There’s a lot of talent out there. But most noticeably folks like Kid Cudi, Ray Cash...Black Money doing their thing. There’s a lot of talented people out there. It’s all love.
You guys are in a transitional phase right now with the recent departure of some members, has that been a tough thing for you and do you think that changes in any way the music the group will make going forward?
Nah man, it’s just another transition period, you know what I mean. I think things will get back to normal around here pretty soon.
It’s just another Bone growing pains made public and whatnot, but I think we’re gonna get back to normal soon. We go through our things but Bone Thugs N Harmony first and foremost is a family and you know we care about each other so whatever we going through, we’ll get over it eventually.
Right now we’re touring with myself, Flesh and Bizzy doing the Resurrection Tour rocking out with the live band and it’s been great.
But you know the whole Bone Thugs N Harmony sound will never change. One thing about us is we do this in many fashions. We do solos, we do duos, we do trios, we do quatros, we do quintets...we do it all. We break down into many parts and operate in many ways, you know.
Things have been made public that probably shouldn’t be public and I would warn our fans to not worry about all that. Bone Thugs is family. Bottom line. We gonna be alright and we gonna continue to make music and strive for excellence.
Tell me about the solo projects you’ve got going on. You recently released a pair of albums.
I just released two independent solo albums “The Definition” and “The Meaning.” I put out two records with a lot of features on there. Too Short, Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Maybach Dice, Bow Wow, all my Bone members, Krayzie, Bizzy, Wish and Flesh.
I’m working with Harmony Howse Entertainment ( http://harmonyhowseent.com/) which is my company. Folks need to go check that out, with the new website it’s looking real good right now.
You can go to my YouTube , I did about five or six videos for the records already and imma shoot about 12 videos total. I’m just doing the independent grind, you know. There’s a lot of money in independent and our fans been good to us to support it and with my solo stuff I keep it independent and work ‘em like they’re my babies.
You guys are playing down here in the midst of one of the country’s largest Black Bike Weeks, so I’m guessing the crowd will be pretty crazy Sunday. Can folks expect anything special for the live show?
Just come prepared to have fun and be live and to hear your favorite Bone Thugs music. Some of the new stuff we’ll be performing and we got the live band, we call them the Band Aid Boys.
With the live band and all that energy and the classics...The passion to be on stage Bone Thugs still got it in our performance and our delivery and we give 120% every night. So just come ready to rock out, cause that’s what we do.
Any chance you’ll get to partake in any of that or spend any time here at the beach or is it right on to the next city?
We in and out, you know. Imma probably get in the streets and see what I can see while I’m there, but at the same time we on a 40-city tour in 5 weeks so we movin’ you know.
When you sit back and think about what your legacy will be in hip-hop after all of you are old and gray, how do you think people will remember Bone?
Ultimately, I think the thug part of the equation will be all out the door. I think that we’ll be remembered for how we held together as a family and everybody witnessed what we go through over the years. But I hope eventually what everyone gets out of Bone Thugs N Harmony was the family structure of what we did as a group.
We just hope we gave some inspiration you know, to do better and to come up out the gutter and go from shit to sugar. Just sharing the love and the whole “each one, teach one” vibe. We make survival music, you know.