|From being kicked out of Bone Thugs~N~Harmony, to the brutal murder of his brother and bodyguard, Bizzy Bone has experienced pain and anguish like none other. With his third solo release "Alpha & Omega", Bizzy takes such frustration and transfers it into every heartfelt song. Bizzy took a couple of minutes to speak with MVRemix about his new album, as well as the legacy of Bone Thugs~N~Harmony. The interview was conducted by Low-Key in August of 2004.
MVRemix: Let's start by talking about the new album, "Alpha & Omega", dropping on October 19. Can you tell us the meaning behind the title?
Bizzy Bone: The meaning behind "Alpha & Omega" is just keeping it spiritual and keeping it centered around a spiritual aspect. It's the beginning and the end, the first and the last. We always represent God and I always represent God. Even through the midst of the Ouija board songs and the paint on the faces, and looking at stuff backwards in the mirror on the album. Which is something I never agreed to. I gotta make my stance and I gotta make my statement. I am very spiritual, and the whole album is revolved around spirituality.
MVRemix: What can fans expect out of the album and what type of issues are you going to be addressing?
Bizzy Bone: In this album, it’s a little bit more focused on this world. My other albums were on another plant. But this album is more focused on the trials and tribulations, and the journeys on earth. Because the stuff I was talking about on "The Gift" wasn't of this earth. I was talking about peace and harmony, and all the things that really aren't of the earth right now. So we get down and dirty on this one. We see Bizzy at his highest and lowest points in life. You see him with a million dollars on this one song, and then you see him with nothing on another one. That's the difference in this album; it’s a much different album.
MVRemix: Who do you have on there as far as producers?
Bizzy Bone: I do most of the production on this album myself. We pulled in a few people from our production team, but they are all sort of under me. They also do their side thing as well, and they are great in their own right. So I would like to name a few of them, K-Roach, Cash The Cat, Studio Rat. And these are some of the up and coming producers in the industry that everyone is paying to do tracks for them, but nobody wants to give them the credit.
MVRemix: Overall, what are you looking to accomplish wit this album?
Bizzy Bone: We definitely want to move units, that is a definite. We definitely want people to be enlightened. Its basically a mind state in the course of what everyone else is dealing with, but its different. Everyone thinks differently basically, but with this album, I want everyone to understand how I think and how I manage. How I maintain through being kidnapped, being shot at, being shot in the back of the head, foster homes, no family. Being in a group where everyone drinks but I end up being the drunk all of the sudden. Going through Ruthless Records, getting dicked around like Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Ren and everybody else. So now, I am here, and this album is showing them how I went through that to get to hear, because I think like this. Henceforth the saying, play my shit.
MVRemix: When its all said and done what do you want Bizzy and Bone Thugs to be remembered for?
Bizzy Bone: I don’t know, I think that remains to be seen. I think what I want to be remembered for remains to be seen. I think Bone Thugs~N~Harmony should be remembered for being part of the golden age of Hip Hop. The Pac, Biggie, Pun, Eazy, Aaliyah, that era. That '93 to '96 era was a big era for Hip Hop. And then in '97 Big passed away and that was the end of that age for Hip Hop. And then the new guys came in and started sounding like us. Now you have the new Pac, the new Biggie, the new New York guy. The new bald headed rebel with muscles and tattoos. The new fast rapping group, or the new fast rapper. So that is what I want Bone to be remember for
MVRemix: Let's talk about Bone Thugs relationship with Ruthless Records. You guys are the 10th highest selling artists of all time, but do you know much money Ruthless screwed you out of?
Bizzy Bone: Not to the nickel, but if we calculate all sales, and then what we do is we start working in percentages. Just 1 percent of all total revenues of Bone Thugs~N~Harmony. If you can imagine that Bizzy would just get 1 percent of that, and if I haven't made that in my whole career, then something is wrong! Now imagine if I am getting 5 percent. Its not hard to compute that you are owed, its just getting it to the nickel is going to take some time. You have to understand everything was done in a snaky way. You are talking about 800 fucking pages of a contract, and if you are feeling a little bit funny about singing it, you got the guy right next to you say, "Come on man, we ain't got shit else, we gotta sign this. We gotta make some money, you always complaining, we gonna get a little money at least. Sign this shit!". And they taking a drink at the same time saying, "Yeah, nigga sign this shit, take a drink, we gotta feed these kids". Man! And you know the shit ain't right, a blind man could have seen those percentages and points were not right. I knew that after we came out with Eternal. Nigga, we just brought the whole label up, we need to be owning our own masters, lets talk turkey and negotiate. And I'm young as hell talking that shit, I'm 27 years old right now. I'm like 22 or 23 popping off at the mouth with that shit. I was the one saying, "Come on man, we need to be at least owning half of our masters, especially after 7 years". Now, our kids don't get to eat off of "Tha Crossroads", "Thuggish Ruggish Bone", "For The Love Of $" and all those songs, because they done signed their publishing over. Now I ain't sign shit, you know me, everybody in the crowd knows me. I ain't sign nothing! Absolutely nothing! So I was like, "I'm coming to see you. I want my little part of the Phil Collins song, I want my little chip". Because I am trying to be as smart as I can with the business, but my children don’t get to eat off of "Crossroads" and all of that hard, pain staking stuff I did.
So virtually I have to start over in the business in order to build up my equity and build up reels, masters and publishing. Because that is what this business is all about, if you look at it seriously. I been in this game for 13 years, so I think its been established that I am not your run of the mill artist. So I have to get it going and I have to make sure what we do is profitable in the circular motion. Because I can give them another 10 years of my life, but damn, 37, that is about the time that Jay-z retired. So after that its going to be the time to get into other things. So we want to build from this point on, and I need the people behind me. I am going to give my life, I am going to bleed on these tracks, I give them everything I have. So I need everyone to be very attentive and supportive, because its going to be great music, its going to be higher learning, but at the same time we are going to be able to sit back and party a little bit. So that is what's up! That is my aim and that is my goal. Its beautiful man, we have everything we need right now.
MVRemix: Were you happy with the way "Thug World Order" came out?
Bizzy Bone: No. I was happy with a few songs, but "Thug World Order" was finished in Florida. We all went down to Florida, we all spend two or three weeks together, and we created about 18 songs. But, we had money left over in the budget once again! Well, guess what Ruthless Records said, "Oh, we have to spend some more money. We are not going to just give you a whole bunch of money because y'all finished, and I don't like the album anyway, so we are going to need some more songs". Ok, so now you are telling me creatively, that Bone just did not put together 18 hot ass tracks and we haven't been together for years? I mean, we were all in the same building and the same room together. It was amazing! And I am very smart business wise with my budget. I took care of my condo out in Miami for two months, so after we are done I am going home. I am not going to keep spending money. How many songs do you want, 50?
The album was already made, it was already done, but the final version that came out, they tried to put a saturation on it. They had 3LW on it, and I'm like "What the fuck? Who? Nigga, we are Bone Thugs~N~Harmony, I used to sell crack. What the fuck are you doing?" Niggas is on stage dancing and shit, and I felt like slapping the shit out of one of them motherfuckers. Do not dance while I am rapping!
But everybody wanted us to come with an "Eternal". That first version of "Thug World Order", was an Eternal! Oh my gosh, 18 solid cuts! We had a skit where me and Krazie were just in the studio late at night, like 3 in the morning, and he was like "B, lets do this skit". So I was like "Aight", and me and him were just in the studio until 4 in the morning, just him and I bonding. It wasn't even about the skit that people are going to feel, they would have felt the connection between Krayzie and Bizzy, two talented minds putting together something. And it would have been togetherness, but Ruthless didn't understand that. They couldn't fathom that because it was spiritual. But when you are dealing with a non spiritual person, I mean, what the fuck can I do? And this is not to shit on Ruthless, because that is over and I will never be back there again. And they will never want to sign nobody like me! But I am a spiritual person, and Krayzie Bone probably didn't even understand that, but I know what the hell is going to be conveyed to our people. I know what they are going to feel. That is the element in Bone that I played. You are going to feel me! Even if you didn't like the way they mixed my vocals, you are going to feel me! (Bizzy starts signing his part of Tha Crossroads) "I am going to miss everybody, long gone". (as he sings long gone in a very low tone) You know they should have turned that second part up, but you felt me anyway! Listen to "Tha Crossroads", you couldn't even hear that long gone, it was supposed to be "LONG GONE"! But people still felt me, and that's what's up.
MVRemix: What's next for you and 7th Sign Records?
Bizzy Bone: The movie and the film, that is the first thing. We got the blow out on the internet, September 14th look out for BizzyBone.com. We got the trilogy coming out. Alpha & Omega will be in stores October 19. Make sure you pick up "The Gift" and "Heavenz Movie", because those are both 7th Sign as well. Its all good, and the next thing is Prince Rasu. Yes sir, Prince Rasu has been in the grind with me for 6 years now, I have spend more time with him than I have been able to spend with anybody in my career except for my brother. He is a phenomenal artist from the west side of Chicago, and 2005 they will be hearing a new project from him. We are also putting out a movie about him of his life story. But I am going to let him tell his story, I don't want to give it to you guys.
MVRemix: Any last words?
Bizzy Bone: First of all I want to thank everybody, and I want everyone to know that I am not new in this game but I am not old in this game. I am the fresh batch bakery, seasoned veteran catch. I am not the gold fish you throw back in the ocean, I am the one you hold up in the air and take a picture of. And I am coming, and when I do, watch what happens. God bless.