When Stanley Flesh N Bone Howse left his California prison and walked the world a free man in 2008, things were supposed to get easier. After being locked up and persevering through personal hell for 10 years, major drama was sure to become a thing of the past. He was a free man, his group was back together and a major label album was in the works.
But shortly after his release, Flesh quickly realized the drama thats plagued him for much of his life was far from over. He was arrested twice since his release from prison. Bone Thugs N Harmonys major label release UNI-5: The Worlds Enemy fell short of the commercial success the group was used to. To top it all off, rumors of inner conflict within the group began to re-surface and the public quickly wrote off the Grammy Award winning quintet.
What would surely break a lesser man has only made Flesh stronger. He was cleared of both arrests since his release, he has a solo album release on the horizon and his un-breakable desire to make sure Bone Thugs N Harmony get the respect they deserve continues to drive him. While most assume the Bone Thug story is coming to close, Flesh remains passionate about the fact that they are just getting started.
With 2010 winding down, AllHipHop.com sat down with the eldest Bone member to get his take on his ability to overcome incredible hardships, his vision for the future, and of course, the rumors that continue to surround Bone Thugs N Harmony.
AllHipHop.com: For people who dont really understand the hardships of what you went through to get to this point, explain the ten year period where you were locked up and the absolute hell that you overcame.
Flesh: See it was definitely a situation you know, it was exactly what it was, a downfall. When I went and did all that shit, got arrested, that was like the start of a plethora of hardships for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony within itself. We was at the height of our career and everything, and I was going through that. I was facing 13 years, did like close to 9 of it, but it was like throughout that time it was hell. Of course it was.
That was that was the closest definition of hell youre going to get. But you know, it didnt detract me from being able to stay focused on what I needed to do as far as blowing myself up in there man, and as far as having an opportunity to be here right now. Its like no words can describe it because Ive been home for two years now. A lot of things have been developing as far as whats been going on in the media and everything, about whats this and that. A lot people gotta understand that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony consist of a 5 men entity. Just because we dont see Bizzy doesnt mean that were not checking on him and concerned about him and always in a need to know whats going on with him and working with him constantly.
It doesnt matter whats being reported or said, as long as were doing what were doing to keep the brand moving forward and growing, like how were out here on the road right now. Were trying to be here another 15-16-17 years.
"When I got out there were a couple of situations that happened where yeah I was arrested, real shit on the magnitude greater then what happen to me in the 90s! " - Flesh-N-Bone
AllHipHop.com: Now when you got out, it didnt stop. It almost seemed like you know you couldnt catch a break. There were a couple of other incidents and arrests. How hard was it to keep your head high after that?
Flesh: It was you know. Now that was right along the lines of hardships again. When I got out there were a couple of situations that happened where yeah I was arrested, real shit on the magnitude greater then what happen to me in the 90s! Its like they coming down on me so hard for bullshit. I was in altercations and situations that were twice as serious being a multi-felon.
AllHipHop.com: Bone Thugs released a project with the 5 of you earlier this year. Youve been able to sit back and look at that whole thing. How do you feel about Uni-5 and how that album all unfolded?
Flesh: The Uni-5 album is one of the most put together albums Ive ever participated in. Its really going down in the archives as one of the best performances by Bone if you ask me. It has Growth musically and lyrically. I couldnt compare it to other albums because its something we havent done before.
AllHipHop.com: When you got out, a lot of people expected it to be the five man group without the confusion that plagued the group in the past. Did it disappoint you that maybe things didnt go as smoothly as planned?
Flesh: Well no. I cant be disappointed George, you wanna know why? Because things change and people change. One of things we were successful at was that we were able to vibe with each other in order to work and be creative and do what we do. So it was more of a challenge then anything. It wasnt meant to be easy and I cant be disappointed and upset the way things are right now. We tried our best and we did the best we could, and everything develops on its own. We havent seen whatever types of success are going to come our way from whatever were doing as long as we keep marching forward. Whatever my influence is, even while I was away, even if its by letter or by phone, I always have that touch, that connect with my brothers on whatever level.
This is how we were raised, its a struggle and its still a family thing right now. It may seem like a little disarray or you know, Bone not being on the same page, or whatever you want to call it. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is a brand in the business, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have five other different businesses that brothers working on trying to make successful as well. But we get there by taking care of what we need to do for Bone. I dont care if Bizzy is in the middle of LA somewhere right now, the rest of us is out here on the road, or whatever, we got his back. So Im not disappointed about whatever it is, what we go through on the road, or we on the phone handling business calls or whatever. Theres supposed to be disagreements, opinions and everything like that.
AllHipHop.com: Now, where you guys are at, you talk about moving forward and youre getting each others back. How are you moving forward right now, just to clarify, because you are a 5-man entity, are you guys working on a new album right now and who will be a part of that?
Flesh: We got several projects in the mix right now. And for the most part, we gonna stay touring as Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and also we got other situations going on where me and Layzie doing a tour. Krayzie and Wish doing a tour overseas in Amsterdam. Me and Layzie having one in the States and in Canada. As a touring entity, for the most part, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, weve been out here on the road with a live band for over a month now and this is the new Bone Thugs-N-Harmony that I wanted to share, not just with the people that these states and cities that witness it, but get it out there and let them know that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony does consist of a live band performance act. We done got these brothers and sisters band together and its been absolutely explosive out here, when it comes to the live shows. So when you see Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at the next show, George, you will see what Im talking about. Its already going down in history. And its unanimously agreed that whenever were doing shows or tours together, these new guys that we got with us, we call them the Band-Aid Boys, are gonna be there to provide a live feel.
"You never know what to expect, but there is no end to Bone. Theres never no end to Bone. This is a business. Its a life." -Flesh-N-Bone
AllHipHop.com: Now in terms of actual new music, are you guys moving ahead? I heard you were working on a new album, you referenced that. Is that going to be the 4 of you or 5 of you? What can fans expect? Because I know theres a bit of confusion in terms of in the actual studio with the new album.
Flesh: We have tons of songs in the archives, we got songs with all 5 of us. We already have enough albums. We kind of did the Tupac thing Bone style. We went in, we crunched, came out with a ton of songs and we got that, but we still plug and putting together different songs and we gonna try and work on doing Bone in the best way we can however we get it. Jeremy (Geffen) put something out there and said, Krayzie, Layzie, and Wish. Alright, what if it was Krayzie, Layzie, and Bizzy just like it was Krayzie, Layzie, and Wish back in 2007? You never know what to expect, but there is no end to Bone. Theres never no end to Bone. Whatevers going on, you better believe nobody has the right to ever say that this group thats living as long as God is gonna allow us to live is ever retired or called it quits. I aint gonna swear, but Im so angry that people were so quick to jump to putting that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony split because they had an argument. This is a business. Its a life. So yeah, Im working on a solo project. Layzies working on a solo project. Right now, I have a website that Im getting ready to put all of my new music, and a few little hot artists thats been working on helping me put this thing together. I got a tonne of music; its like a setup for the fans to check out everything that Ive been working on, producing, fashion, and stuff like that.
AllHipHop.com: When will that be ready?
Flesh: Its ready now. Ive been polishing up real good, but its ready to go right now. www.fleshnboneglobal.com. And then Spring 2011, Im coming out with a full length LP Blaze of Glory.
AllHipHop.com: When can we expect to see that next Bone album?
Flesh: I would say before 2012 when its all said and done.