He was instrumental in building one of the most accomplished, innovative, and celebrated groups in Hip-Hop history, yet when the name Bryon “Bizzy Bone” McCane comes up, there seems to always be more questions than answers.
For years, Bizzy’s sanity, sobriety and commitment to his craft have come into question. For much of the new millennium, it seemed the Hip-Hop community had written off the Ohio rapper, and were quick to put him in the pile of athletes and entertainers that couldn’t shake the pitfalls associated with fame.
When one looks at the recent history of Bizzy Bone, it isn’t unfair to think the Grammy Award winner's best days are clearly behind him. His weight ballooned to nearly 200 pounds, the turmoil surrounding his group reached and all-time high, and his profile within Hip-Hop was diminishing.
However, those who know the history of Bryon McCane, surely knew the Ohio native wouldn’t go down without a fight. After overcoming a childhood filled with abuse, a kidnapping, and poverty one would have to see to believe, getting his music career back on track was a walk in the park.
After putting down the bottle and dropping nearly 40 pounds, Bizzy has a new lease on life and a brand new outlook. In this AllHipHop.com exclusive, the Bone Thugs N Harmony member makes it crystal clear that the Bizzy Bone you think you knew is long gone, and that the rap game may not be ready for what a more focused Bryon McCane has in store for everyone in 2012 and beyond.
AllHipHop.com: Bizzy, anybody who saw footage of "Rock The Bells" noticed there’s a big physical change with you. You managed to get in much better shape. Tell us how that came about, and how much weight you lost.
Bizzy Bone: Well, you know it’s been a process and it’s like, 30-plus pounds thus far. It’s just beautiful, you know what I’m sayin’, getting back into shape. It’s everything you can think of - mentally, physically, spiritually - it’s the same story as it always is when a brother trying to do better for himself, you know?
AllHipHop.com: A big part of a change like that for anybody, there’s a large mental aspect to it. How much have you changed mentally in that span?
Bizzy Bone: Well, mentally, the drinking has stopped. I go the club, I get a club soda, you know what I’m sayin’, have a Swisher in the back with a couple of security guards, come back in and I be already on mine, grab me a Red Bull or something.
So thinking like that and thinking 17 shots of Cognac and whatever is flowing around that evening, it’s just a different mindstate, like a different world, especially in Hip-Hop. You conduct yourself a lot more reserved, open, but more reserved, and hella less intoxicated and sh*t like that. That sh*t been played out, being all drunk in public. Do that sh*t at your crib, man.
AllHipHop.com: The funny thing when I scour the message boards and hear people talking about you, you haven’t put out music since the transformation, but everybody is treating it as Bizzy Bone is back. You look like your old self, it seems like you got more energy. How close to true is that?
Bizzy Bone: Yes, the energy is back. The drink is in the gutter. Because when you get to a certain age it’s like, look, if I got a five or I got a 10-year plan I can’t really have them long nights with the bottle. Or if I only have a two-year plan, or a six-month plan. So I’m working on the five to 10-year plan, so when we done and we finally say you know what, I love music forever, right now it’s time for me to let the kids do what they do. You know, 50 [Cent], Jigga age type sh*t. When you get to be around Jay-Z age and you make your mint, you make your life, you enjoy your life, and you take the good with the bad, that’s what I’m working up towards. So I got my 15-year plan. Just had a birthday, so still the 15-year plan is in effect, and I’m just happy, man, just staying young, vitamin’d up and healthy as I can, bro.
AllHipHop.com: Now one thing to help a fan understand, and this doesn’t just apply to Hip-Hop, you lived that rock-n-roll lifestyle, and when you were doing it you were making your best music back in the day. But then I guess it hits a certain point where it becomes negative. How do you get to a different place, be happy, not live that lifestyle, and still be able to put out that music that people want to hear?
Bizzy Bone: Being a musician…it’s not difficult to put out great music, it’s whatever you’re into at the time you enjoy. You smoke weed, you rap about weed. You drink alcohol, you sing about alcohol. You sing about the things that you do.
I’m the kind of musician that has come to terms with simply, no matter what, a solid voice and a beautiful voice, and when you can definitely sing and carry a tune, you can stay in this business. So to me I’m more into that music, and keeping that Hot 16 lovely. I just did a song with The Game, and I’m killin’ it. Being healthy, you get to enjoy it more as opposed to being drunk. So it’s like an experience that I know has happened for me, but I never experienced it, because I was too goddamned obliterated out of my muthaf*ckin’ mind. So it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
AllHipHop.com: Anytime you get to a point like that, everyone always wants to say something. Those rumors that MediaTakeOut.com had about you being on drugs - how much did that bother you?
Bizzy Bone: I mean, you know what, I’m gonna be very, very honest with you. I can’t comment on that, and I can’t talk about that particular situation at this point. But just on my behalf and in my defense, I’d like to tell my fans, as far as the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony core fanbase that believe in the music, them grateful dead motherf*ckers that been there for 10, 20 years, some of them been there for two, three years, some of them been there for five years, I want to let them know everything that I’m doing is not just for me, it’s so I can keep putting out great music, they can keep enjoying music, and their children can see a young, vibrant, healthy Bizzy Bone that they used to see. And that’s what I’m doing it for as well, if that makes sense to any of my muthaf*ckas out there.
AllHipHop.com: Bone came together recently for "Rock the Bells"; to be recognized and be on a stage like that in New Jersey and in California, how did that whole experience feel?
Bizzy Bone: It really started with a show and a festival when I was really right about there, but I didn’t put the bottle down. It started with a festival with DJ Quik, and I was watching Tyler, The Creator. And he was jamming to the Dipset show, and I had did a show with Quik and did a guest appearance, 30,000 people there. And right there when I seen the energy of that young brother, and I seen his excitement towards the love of Hip-Hop, man, it made me say that’s what I love it for! And from that point on, I started on a serious musical mission. I can’t complain. All of us there, everybody standing strong, all five Bone members, getting back into the vibe of things. So it’s just beautiful, totally, totally beautiful, back into the swing of things. Man! It’s just a really good feeling right now.
I want to give the kids and the younger generation a shot to see the Bizzy Bone that their parents seen, or whoever seen. So that to me is very important in a career. This is a career, this is music, and I do love it. And before we leave, we want to do something really, really nice for the people, something great to remember. I don’t want nobody to remember me, like, f*cked up and sh*t, you know what I’m sayin’, in some f*ckin’ back alley and sh*t like that.
AllHipHop.com: You mention "Rock The Bells" and the excitement that you had being a part of that. The past few months, things have seemed to be pretty good with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but there’s still that uncertainty. Do you think that being able to come together, the five of you, and being able to see people you’ve influenced, and being able to perform in front of a crowd like that, you think that gave you guys a shot in the arm?
Bizzy Bone: Well, I think the problem as we all sat back, ‘cause after the shows, we all sat down, all four members. Flesh stayed home because he needed to get some rest, but the rest of the members sat down and said okay, what the f*ck should we do after this? And everybody was just kind of trying to ponder on what the f*ck we was gon’ do. So the plan is basically, everybody get they passports on one super photo-imposed copy, so we can start sending it out, and then we all just gon’ get back on the road, get some road work done overseas, get the meshin’ and gellin’ back with each other, and put together a record that the people can love.
My personal opinion is, when we’re gellin’ together, it’s not just five members being alive, or five members being there, or their voices being there, I think when our hearts are into it like it was on that stage at "Rock The Bells," and it stays that way to where it’s not just a two-day, or three-day, or four-day, or two-week thing, that’s when they gon’ get some of that original buddah lova bomb sh*t. You dig?
Check back for Part 2 of AllHipHop.com's exclusive interview with Bizzy Bone.