Vincent Van Gogh changed the archetype of the
artist. He was a misunderstood street craftsman who basically drove himself
crazy. Bizzy Bone isn't starving, and he's not crazy. But Bizzy Bone whether
you're a fan or not, signifies the voice of Hip-Hop. Bizzy's message is that
of struggle, pain, and darkness.
This side of Bizzy has always made him a media
marvel. He's hard to reach, tough to talk to, and a difficult human being. Bizzy
lives a life three times as fast as you or me. Whether we might not completely
follow his fast flow, most of us cannot fathom his pain. In a rare moment, Bizzy
Bone comes clean with AllHipHop. In the final stages of his new album, Bizzy
confesses on an array of topics with no holds barred.
The questions are all answered, whether definite
or vague. Rather than a press release or a rumor, you'll hear it from Bizzy's
mouth - the group, the label, Eazy, and a lot of other topics that have had
the streets whispering. Bizzy not only goes over his past and his future, but
shows his realest self.
In one breath, he's a unshakable triggerman from
the rugged streets of East Cleveland, in another he's a reformed saint to his
audience, who speaks a little too comfortably about death. In any case, Bizzy
Bone is far from dull. Catch a glimpse into the mind of one of the most misunderstood
artists since Vincent.
AllHipHop: First off. Let's just get the official
word…you are no longer in the group, Bone Thugs and Harmony.
Bizzy Bone: Bone Thugs & Harmony, now we
started out as a crew - a crew of friends. But we also rapped. We were in the
street together robbin' people, sellin' drugs, we still rapped. So it was more
like a family thing. We made a pact that we would be together forever, and we
would die for each other, and we would kill for each other. This was the pact
that we made. So, saying all of that - getting into the music business, and
now we're in another world. We're actually being meant to sign away our free-will
that God gave us over to a corporation, who is owned by a corporation, who is
distributed by a corporation, who is told what to do by a corporation, all controlled
by the government, of course. Now, we come out with five, six albums if we count
the double CD as two, together. We sell about thirty million soundscan I believe,
and about five to ten bootlegged legally and illegally. You know what I mean.
Then I come out with these solo albums, Heavenz Movie. We all signed
that deal together. Everyone signed the deal with Relativity, who had a deal
with Ruthless. So we come out with that. I had a problem when Tomika [Wright]
wasn't sending us royalty statements. That's when I asked the question. My only
defense was, "I ain't doing sh*t, man." When I do the show, everyone
ain't getting in free. When I do the in-store signing, we're not giving CD's
away. If they're selling it, and they're making money off of it and I can't
see a receipt, then something's wrong. And that was the only thing I stood on,
and I was young. I know I shouldn't have been worried about the money. I know
I shouldn't have let them put the banana in my tailpipe and rode with it. I
was young, full of vigor, and not really understanding the game.
After that, it got blown that the group wasn't
together. It was really me having a problem with her not paying me. I talk to
Lay, Krayzie, and Wish at the time. And I still write to Flesh. But being in
the group, we don't have anyone who really came to the table and gave the group
a label deal. People had given other people label deals to see if they could
come get us. But it's never really worked, 'cuz they're trying to keep money
on the side and they're trying to take home two hundred thousand, take home
three-fifty and use it as a context of, "You guys haven't had an album
out in a minute" and all the negativity to start extracting nickels and
dimes from our paycheck. That's the only thing that's going on with Bone. That's
it. If someone steps to the plate, if a Bad Boy comes to the plate, if a Universal
comes to the plate, if any of these big companies come to the table and say,
"You know what, we like what you guys are doing, we want to make you guys
comfortable, we want you guys to have a machine. We want five more years out
of you guys," I'm quite sure Bone would sit down, look at them figures,
look at that deal and say, "Finally fellas. We finally did it. Y'all wanna
do it again? Hell yeah! Y'all still got it in you? Of course! Let's go."
AllHipHop: So basically the hype about you're
leaving the group was the label and the media?
Bizzy Bone: Well, you know I think that had a
lot to do with it. And I also think a part of that did wear off into some of
my comrades. Because they made a few comments here and there. And I said some
things here and there against them. That's all in getting caught up. No one
is exempt. By no means has any of us walked this path perfectly. So to say that
it didn't effect the group or individual members or the things that we said
would be a bold lie. There were things said. But we started as crew. I will
ride, I will die with you, I will kill with you. That's how Bone Thugs &
Harmony started. I'm stickin' to that.
AllHipHop: And when the time comes, don't you
think you'll all come back hungrier because you're such loose cannons?
Bizzy Bone: Exactly and I agree with you 150%.
It's like a lot of these label people actually think they know Hip-Hop. And
they're actually forgetting that the creators of Hip-Hop and the originators
of different styles and not only that, but people that can sell records and
have an honest following without having to pay radio and do those underground
things that some of these companies do, that we actually can bring some of that
marketing and promotion and that back work with it as well.
AllHipHop: What about the B2K label rumors?
It is not true, at all. I didn't know that they
had a label, actually. The last that I heard about B2K was that the lead singer
left. I had talked to a member on the phone a few times. He wanted to a deal
with me. I said, 'You know what? I've been in this game for twelve years professionally.
Send me paperwork because [it] rules this game.' I never got a call back from
this kid. Next thing I know, it's all over the radio. You didn't just post it
on your website, bro. When in hit AllHipHop.com, oh my goodness, it hit the
Tom Joyner show, it came from so many different directions. I'm talking about
California, New York, everywhere I'm getting calls. 'Cuz I know you people are
in a few different places. And now, I gotta get ya. I'm coming to get you now.
You shouldn't of said that [laughing].
AllHipHop: Let's get positive. Your solo albums
are always very personal. How do you find room to get even more personal on
Alpha-N-Omega, if at all?
Bizzy Bone: You said the title of it and I immediately
got a good feeling. It's a deeper, darker, look into my world right now, as
we know it. New millennium. New forces of evil that I've been dealing with.
The movement, the label. It's a different language. It's what no one else is
saying. I'm conveying emotions that no one else knows how to convey, in the
way that I [do it]. It's like you can read it in Braille. You can tell it. It's
AllHipHop: What pushed you that hard to come
Bizzy Bone: Struggle. Pain.
AllHipHop: The best Bizzy Bone album hasn't happened
yet. So how do you up the stakes to bring the excitement back?
Bizzy Bone: I think that they're much higher
because I feel the same way that you feel. I'm hearing it and I'm behind it.
I feel like anything less would be uncivilized. I think the stakes are higher
because of how I feel about it. Usually, when I put out an album, "F*ck
it." I hope people can understand where I come from as an artist. I'm not
trying to be here three or four years, I bleed on these tracks. I hurt. I've
been through too much sh*t, you know. I'm just an artist that doesn't believe
in the normal system of things. And how you explained it as a journalist, is
how I'd like the whole world to see it. The best one hasn't come yet. I feel
that same f*ckin' way! The stakes are higher because of the expectations.
AllHipHop: Your lead single, "I Wanna Die
4 U." That's a powerful name. I don't know how ready radio is for that
anymore, but that's an intense concept for a virgin listener. Going back to
the group, it seems to echo what you said. Is there relation there?
Bizzy Bone: I don't know, man. You're definitely
feeling the vibe. I wish the rest of the world can get on your level and my
level and feel and see what's it about. That movement. That Cleveland movement.
What's been going on, for real? Please explain it to us Bizzy, you always give
us a little bit, we need you to finalize it. We really know what you think.
We gotta know. It's a deep, personal look. I was able to produce this one. You'll
definitely hear the melodies, the harmonies, the warmth - and you're always
gonna feel my pain. You're always one second away from death; a whisper away
from the spirit world.
AllHipHop: You mentioned pain twice. You've been
around twelve years. Today, as far as pain and isolation, you sound like you're
at a real bottom. I'm no Miss Cleo, but I can hear it in your voice.
Bizzy Bone: Yeah, that's true. Lots of troubles.
Lots of things going on in my world. When you run a label, and you've been in
this industry so long and seen so many things, it's so hard to work with people
because I'm the type of person that when I smell bullsh*t, or know someone's
taking something from me, even if it's a nickel - I know it sounds petty, but
those nickels add up. I immediately part ways with those people. I feel that
they knew that were doing me wrong. I'm not hurting for money. I'm not starving.
I should be able to make those types of decisions, so I get troubled with that.
I don't think nobody nowadays ain't got troubles. I'm out here by myself. You
live by yourself, you die by yourself and that's how it is. You just gotta express
your free-will. That's the only thing I'm fighting for bro is my God given free-will.
AllHipHop: The group and you as a soloist have
arguably the largest cult following in Hip-Hop history. How much do you take
your audience into consideration when you create your art, and how has your
audience changed you?
Bizzy Bone: They made me tell and express more.
They put me on a platform. The only way I could ever really let go of being
kidnapped, and being touched on, and those childhood torments was [to] put it
out there for everyone. Because I wanted people out there to know that it can
change [you]. In the album I said, "What if I said I was molested, would
you look at me pale?" Those type of verses come from thinking about the
audience and letting them know because I know I'm not the only person that's
been through sh*t. There's a lot of people out there scared to say it. And I
just don't give a f*ck, 'cuz how much worse can it get? What they gonna do to
me, bro? The worse they can do is kill me. Sh*t! I'll never hurt after that.
It made me more real by understanding that there was some people who were really
paying attention to what I was saying. If you don't take that into consideration,
you'd be a damn fool and try to feed your kids at the same time.
AllHipHop: When Eazy E was helping you get established,
what sort of personal attention and advice did he provide you specifically?
Bizzy Bone: I don't know. I don't think he really
had the opportunity to give me the advice. One thing that he said to the whole
family, everybody that was there, Flesh was there, Bone crew, and young. He
used to say, "I gave you your walking shoes, now you gotta run with 'em."
That's a story that [Layzie] says all the time. To Bizzy though? I never really
remember any advice that he gave me. He basically said, "Be yourself. And
I'm gonna put this camera in front of you, and instead of you wearing them old
khakis and that old flannel, I'm gonna take you over here to this store and
get you the new thing." Things were moving so fast. By the time we were
able to sit down and discuss anything, Hell - he was dead. It happened so fast.
We was right in the studio as soon as we landed in L.A. Living in hotels, chronic
everywhere, liquor everywhere. N*gga, I'm like sixteen years old, man getting
crushed. So if anything, he gave me a bottle of liquor and a bag of weed if
you wanna keep it all the way real. I ain't trying to sh*t on Eazy. 'Cuz he
took me out of a shack when I was just a kid.
Bizzy's third solo album will be in stores this