L-Burna AKA Layzie Bone truly epitomizes the Bone Thugs style, thugged out images of the street life combined with dark, sinister production. Layzie's debut solo album "Thug By Nature" is a prime example of this. From beginning to end Layzie rarely moves away from the formula and sticks to the script that has made Bone Thugs a household name over the years.
While Krazie Bone is the multitalented member, Bizzy is the spiritual leader, Layzie along with Wish and Flesh represents the streets. What makes Layzie stand apart from his fellow Bone members, is his tight flow. Lyrically Layzie doesn't bring anything new to the game, but his smooth flow carries him over his lack for lyrical substance. Layzie's main target for the tracks on "Thug By Nature" include the same tired old tales of drugs, guns, murder and the street life. It's the production end of the album that stands out and holds Layzie down. The production is handled mostly by Michael Seifert, LT Hutton, and Darren Vegas. While the album may not feature any big named producers or Bone affiliate DJ-Uneek, the album still delivers a great sound that truly encompasses the Bone sound. The beats are definitely what fans have come to expect over the years, dark and powerful.
Even though Layzie doesn't spit anything more than the average emcee, you cant deny his knack for making good songs. Tracks like "Battlefield", "Connecting The Plots" featuring WC, and "Deadly Musical" are typical Bone tracks but still offer a good experience. The lead single "Up Against The Wall" is a certified banger, along with the beautifully produced "Thug By Nature". Where Layzie proclaims, "You just don't wake up one morning and say you thuggin…that shit gotta run through your blood".
But the true gem on "Thug By Nature" is the heartfelt "As The Rain". Bone Thugs~N~Harmony have a niche for making great, heartfelt dedications that truly strike a note in your heart. Songs like "The Crossroads", "If I Could Teach The World" and "Change The World" are prime examples, and "As The Rain" is no different. The track is beautifully produced and Layzie straight rips the track with his dedication to all the people in the struggle. "Who would of ever thought Easy would fall. Now what's left to do, got to chase this paper by any means at necessary. It's a hell of a load we got to carry; man this struggling shit is temporary. Every year got to bury one more nigga in a cemetery, this life be wicked and scary".
However, "Thug By Nature" isn't filled without its problems. Layzie gets into trouble when the production on the album doesn't match Layzies style and intensity. Tracks such as "Time Will Tell", "Still The Greatest" and "There They Go" are boring and offer nothing more than the same generic "thug life" tales floating around the industry today. The horrendous "Make My Day" pictures Layzie doing his best down South, bounce impersonation. The tracks' marching band and horns in the backdrop sounds like a bad Trick Daddy track.
Even though "Thug By Nature" doesn't offer anything new or mind-blowing, it's still an enjoyable album for Bone fans. Those not familiar with the Bone sound should probably avoid this latest effort from Layzie as it wont change your mind about Bone or Layzie. If it weren't for Layzies repetitive thug tales and references, the album would have come off better. But in the end the album doesn't break any new ground and is an average attempt at best for Layzie. Hopefully next time Layzie will offer a little more variety in his topics and lyricism.