As one fifth of Bone Thugs~N~Harmony, Bizzy Bone has always been the dark, mysterious member. Bizzy was only a teenager when Bone dropped the classic "Creepin On Ah Come Up" in 1994. Over the years Bizzy had to endue many hardships and growing pains. His numerous disappearances from Bone videos and performances cause many to believe the group was on the verge of self-destruction. For the next couple of years, Bone was plagued with break up rumors and consistent fighting between members. However, Bizzy stuck it out and continued to make music and released his solo album "Heaven'z Movie" in 1998. The album was meet wit mixed responses, but Bizzy proved he could stand his own and didn't need his fellow Bone members to lean on. 3 years later Bizzy Bone is back with his sophomore effort "The Gift".
Bizzy Bone is indeed a unique Emcee. His rapid-fire flow and angelic voice stands outs over most of his lyrical substance. But beneath his fast flow and silky smooth voice is surprisingly deep, insightful lyricism. While it may be hard to decipher many of Bizzy's lyrics, they carry much more than the usual "thug tales" Bone fans are accustomed to hearing. On "The Gift" we witness an almost new side of Bizzy. Gone are the overbearing thug references. Instead Bizzy paints vivid tales full of spirit and soul.
"The Gift" is one of the few Bone albums that offers a variety in topics over a broad spectrum. The albums address social and culture problems, on tracks such as the amazing "Father". On the track Bizzy addresses the problems plaguing our world today. "I see brutality all over niggas killin' niggas. The ghetto got them being born to be killas, Flooded with drugs and trying to get us, so get up. But don't give up, ya'll gotta sit up if you last before they kill us". Its soulful approach combined with Bizzy's intelligent lyricism provides a truly memorable experience. "Jesus", "Be Careful" and "Whole Wide World" are similar type tracks that offer more of Bizzy's experiences and personal beliefs. Its tracks like these that make "The Gift" a unique album. Who would have thought Bizzy Bone would drop an album full of depth and insight?
But what would be a Bone album without its tales of weed, murder, and the streets. "Murderah", "Still Thuggish Ruggish" and "Fried Day" are typical Bone tracks, but come off well thanks to good production and rapid fire lyricism. But Bizzy is definitely at his best when he gives us tracks full of raw energy and vicious lyricism, as on "Schizophrenic" and "Before I Go". "Don't Doubt Me" is one of the more personal songs we witness on "The Gift". Bizzy gives us his view on the drama that's been going on in his life over the past year or so. He addresses the ever-present Bone Thugs situation and his deal with Ruthless Records. "Two of the bones dissed me, I dont give a fuck we got history. Shit it aint no mystery, niggas is pissed off. They say I aint showin up to shows. But the people don't know, I ain't making no money so what am I working for, tell me what am I hurtin for, Baby what are we searching for, Restitution".
While Bone's fast flow and "thuggish" image may turn off many, Bizzy gives us more than that on "The Gift". The production aspect may not be as solid as previous Bone efforts, as DJ U-Neek is no where to be found. But if you can get past some of the watered down production, "The Gift" ends up as one of the biggest surprises, as not many would expect this album to turn out so well. At first listen, the album is almost too soft for most Bone fans, but it's a welcomed changed for Bizzy. To gain longevity in the Hip-Hop game you have to be able to grown and change with the times. Bizzy proves that he has this ability throughout the album. No longer stuck in Bone's distant past, Bizzy matured his sound and concentrated on more than "thugs" and the "street". Not only Bone fans, but also all Hip-Hop heads should give "The Gift" a listen. If your looking for an album with insight and purpose than "The Gift" will more than satisfy your needs.