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Layzie Bone - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

Still Thuggin'

April 2005

It is hard to believe that Bone Thugs~N~Harmony are eleven years deep in this game. With classic albums like Creepin On Ah Come Up and E.1999 Eternal, Bone has withstood the test of time. Now free from Ruthless Records, Bone is looking to revive their career with the help of Swizz Beatz and Full Surface Records. Layzie reveals that Bone is close to signing a deal with Swizz, and that Bizzy Bone will indeed be part of the album. In addition, for the first time Layzie tells MVRemix the lineup of producers that Bone has acquired for this future release, which includes Dr. Dre, Swizz Beatz, and Kanye West. Things are shaping up nicely for Bone and with a strong team around them, they just may be able to regain their dominance in the game.

MVRemix: With the first single being "Hip Hop Baby", what are your first memories of Hip Hop growing up as a kid?

Layzie: Ah man, my first memories are probably Double Dutch Bus and Kurtis Blow. I go way back with it. I remember my favorite and first rap song I heard was that, (Layzie starts singing) 'Double dutch bus coming down the street'. Also, The Sugar Hill Gang, can't forget them. But some of my fondest memories was writing down Run DMC raps as a little kid. "Rock This Way", "My Adidas", all of the classics. I go back like that.

MVRemix: What was that one album you listened to as a kid over and over?

Layzie: When I was in the sixth grade, LL came out with that "I'm Bad", that was it. I used to love his Bigger And Deffer album. But even before that, "Rock The Bells" was my jam, on that Radio album. I was a stone cold LL fan, I thought I was him.

MVRemix: So with "Bone Brothers", when did you guys come together to record this album?

Layzie: It was some time last year. We were coming off of tour and we had a studio on the bus. So we were recording a lot of songs on the bus, and we were like, 'Shit, we need to go get a deal for this right here'. So we ended up recording the whole album in two weeks, and that was it. The Bone Brothers album was born.

MVRemix: Does it feel good to be on Koch for this album and finally be away from Ruthless?

Layzie: Yeah man, I really feels great. I got history up here, because I was the first rap act up here with my Mo Thugs 3 album. I also have a long history with Alan Grumblack and Cliff Katrey, which was at Relativity. They gave me my first shot with Mo Thugs. So it feels great to have that creativity back and be away from a situation that wasn't allowing us to do what we wanted to do.

MVRemix: What is the one thing you guys want Bone fans to come away with after listening to this album?

Layzie: The main thing is that Bizzy is a part of this thing we are doing. People have a misconception that he isn't in the group or there was a breakup. But this album is just out to say that we are brothers. We are brothers before anything else. That is what I would like the fans to walk away with. Like, 'Oh, them niggas still doing things together'. So no matter what we go through, that's what it is. We are brothers before we are rappers.

MVRemix: Since you brought up the Bizzy situation, let me ask you. I heard that Bizzy is no longer under contract with Bone Thugs. Is that true?

Layzie: Bizzy is under contract with Bone. But none of us are under contract with Ruthless. Bone reunited over a year ago.

MVRemix: Going back to Bone Brothers for a quick second, I see that Self and Deenucka handled most of the production on this album. Can you tell us who they are and why you chose to go with them?

Layzie: We were on tour and I wanted to put a studio in the bus. Self knew how to do that, so he did it, and he had all them fire ass tracks. So before you knew it we had an album.

MVRemix: What do you say to fans who want you guys to work with DJ U-Neek some more?

Layzie: I would tell them to be patient. That time to work with DJ U-Neek is most definitely going to come back around. We stay in touch with him, as Krazie and him have some things together. But he will be apart of the new Bone Thugs album.

MVRemix: Is that next album going to be with Swizz Beatz and Full Surface Records?

Layzie: We are 80 percent done with those negotiations right now, and we are all hoping for the best. If everything goes well, than that is what its going to be.

MVRemix: Have you guys started recording with Swizz already?

Layzie: Yeah, man! We went in the studio for a week and did like 10 or 12 songs. We got enough material for an album already, but I think we are going to go back in and work some more. We are going to try and keeping coming with the best material we can.

MVRemix: How are those tracks sounding so far?

Layzie: Ah man, its off the hook! Swizz hooked us up with Kanye West for one track. We got Petey Pablo on the hook for one song. But Swizz is an excellent producer! He is a real producer. He put his vibe in there, and we love working with him. He reminds us of DJ U-Neek.

MVRemix: Just from speaking with some Bone fans, some are worried about how you guys are going to sound over Swizz. So how do you feel about fans who are worried about change?

Layzie: They shouldn't fear anything, especially not change. The only thing they should fear is god. And if you know anything about Bone Thugs, or had any faith in us, then you know we can rock over anybody's shit. I even got a Rock N Roll album coming out. We are very versatile emcees. So it ain't the producers we work with. Whatever beat we pick we are going to make it a hit regardless.

MVRemix: Do you think signing with Swizz is going to get you back in the big spotlight like you guys were in before Ruthless screwed you over?

Layzie: Hell yeah! For the simple fact that he is with Clive Davis, and he has that super machine that Bone Thugs~N~Harmony needs. He got the money, the marketing, the promotion; everything to make us larger than life. That is the push we really need. That three or four million dollar marketing and promotional budget.

MVRemix: Is there any time period for when the next Bone album will drop?

Layzie: It should be out no later than the end of October. And we have plenty of albums to fill up that time in between.

>> continued...

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"They shouldn't fear anything, especially not change. The only thing they should fear is god. And if you know anything about Bone Thugs, or had any faith in us, then you know we can rock over anybody's shit."