Artist: Bizzy BoneTitle: Alpha And OmegaRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Bill Low-Key Heinzelman
From the brutal murder of his brother and partner in rhyme, Adrian “Capo” Parlette, to Bone Thugs~N~Harmony kicking him out the group, Bizzy Bone has certainly dealt with his share of adversity the past two years. This pain, anguish and frustration is never more evident than on his third solo LP Alpha & Omega (Bungalo)).
With the weight of the world on his shoulders, Bizzy in turn delivers a gutsy album that exemplifies the strength he possesses. Combining the street sounds of Heaven’z Movie, and the spirituality of The Gift, Bizzy is able to display his versatility on Alpha & Omega. Lyrically, Bizzy still continues to amaze with his combination of socially conscious yet gritty street tales, leaving behind the teenage emcee from his Creepin On Ah Come Up days. Mix that in with one of the game’s best flows, and you have an emcee able to impress every time he touches the mic. However, even though Alpha & Omega is a reminder of how talented Bizzy is, unfortunately, his performance is hindered by sub par production.
With an assortment of unknown in house producers, the production on Alpha & Omega is unable to match Bizzy’s intensity and emotion on the mic. Studio Rat’s dated synthesizer production on “Not Afraid” ruins Bizzy’s heated gun busting tales. While Kevin Rowe & Yon’s atrocious arrangement of simple keys and light drums overshadow Bizzy’s trademark double-timed flow on “Sit Back Relax”. Similarly, Bizzy and his 7th Sign Regime fail to shine on their two contrived group efforts, “Tha Streets” and “My Niggaz”, as the production on both tracks is poorly put together.
While the production on Alpha & Omega is certainly his worst to date, thankfully Bizzy is able to rebound and provide some of that vintage Bone material we have grown to love over the years. The self produced “Died 4 U” finds Bizzy addressing the ongoing situation between himself and Bone Thugs~N~Harmony. Over his own unique combination of spacey keys and blaring horns, Bizzy lets Bone know he would have died for them, but the black widow (CEO of Ruthless Records, Tomika Wright) “tried to play him”. “I Understand” is another brutally honest song where Bizzy touches on all the hardships he has faced during his life. But instead of making excuses, Bizzy goes introspective and realizes his own shortcomings. “For those that love me, if you leave me, I understand. I made some bad decisions in my life, I understand. I raise my right hand up to God, right where I stand. I’m gonna go ahead and struggle and return a better man”.
For those looking for something a little more edgy and street from Bizzy, do not fret, Alpha & Omega has something for you as well. The controversial “Everywhere I Go” is Bizzy’s own twisted version of Biggie’s “Dreams”, only Bizzy’s proclaims his version is filled with nothing but the truth as he runs through all his encounters with female celebrities over the years. From Beyonce, to Mya and Toni Braxton, no one is safe from Bizzy’s wrath. Even harder hitting is the album’s standout cut, “Better Run, Better Hide” where Bizzy professes his displeasure with B2K. “Imagine me being signed to B2K? What? Did you think you could pay me in monopoly money? Man, I will smack one of you n*ggas in the head with a baseball bat, I ain’t f*cking around”. If you want to hear Bizzy black out like the days of old, then “Better Run, Better Hide” is for you.
There is no questioning Bizzy Bone’s talent, but Bizzy is going to have to gather better production if he intends to reach the level of success he is striving for. Alpha & Omega is a solid album that will certainly keep your taste buds wet for more material, but in the end Bone fans know Bizzy is capable of producing a better album.