The members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony— Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone and Flesh-N-Bone —quite literally manifested their own legendary careers. After an arduous trek from Cleveland, Ohio to Los Angeles, California to find Eazy-E, they went home empty handed. But it wasn’t long before Eazy-E showed up in their hometown and they were finally able to make a lasting impression on the gangsta rap pioneer.
Signed to Ruthless Records in the early 1990s, Bone Thugs rose to international notoriety in 1995 with their sophomore album E. 1999 Eternal, which would go on to earn multi-platinum status from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Eazy-E, who passed away shortly before the album was released, never got to see Bone Thugs’ success, but they eternally pay homage to their late mentor in songs such as the Grammy Award-winning “Tha Crossroads.”
During a recent interview with HipHopDX,Flesh-N-Bone talked about his new solo song “Dedication,” which captures the same feeling “Tha Crossroads” did 26 years ago.
“It came from the heart,” Flesh tells DX. “It’s dedicated to all of our loved ones that passed away before us in an effort to create a solidarity between me and my fans and those that have struggled so hard through this pandemic. To the ones that are still here, they need to be reminded it was a hard struggle. A lot of my friends lost their families. A lot of people eventually became one type of addict or another. I mention a lot about addiction in there.
“A lot of my friends ended up becoming serious addicts during this pandemic. But it looks like that they are overcoming all of that trial and tribulation. They’re overcoming the shortcoming of being an alcoholic, being a dope addict, period. And this is the type of material that I’ve been creating lately. Out of the two verses, I wanted to make sure I extended my 100 percent condolences to all of the people we’ve lost, pre and post-COVID, all of that.”
Addiction has greatly affected Flesh-N-Bone’s life as well, something he plans to address in his upcoming memoir.
“I haven’t been able to really maximize on the success of my career, as you can see,” he admits. “I’m known as the most troubled member of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. And that’s all due to my exposure to an addiction at an early age. I believe I could have been a lot more visual and a lot more vocal when it comes to a lot of the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony releases.”
Anyone familiar with Bone Thugs’ story knows Flesh wound up serving close to 10 years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon and probation violation, right around the peak of Bone Thugs’ career. Needless to say, Flesh’s momentum came to a brutal end and he was forced to serve his time while the rest of the group forged ahead without him.
Although Flesh was picked up on a decade-old warrant for gun possession in 2010, he’s been on the straight-and-narrow ever since (those charges were ultimately dismissed).
“Everything’s been pretty smooth sailing from here on out, and all I got to say is that these people just need to leave me the fuck alone,” he says. “At the end of the day, I’m just trying to live my life. I’m not trying to have those type of problems at all, you dig? They need to go find somebody else to fuck with and leave me the fuck alone.
“And that’s a message to all these muthafuckas out there. I’m handling my business. So yeah, that’s the main thing, being able to stay focused on being a businessman and an artist, and not letting all of this drama that’s going on today sidetrack me. I’m trying to be the best artist that I can be, the best father, the best entertainer, all of that stuff.”
Speaking of entertainment, Migos and Bone Thugs engaged in some lightweight beef in December 2018 when Offset, Takeoff and Quavo claimed to be the greatest rap group of all time. Layzie Bone swiftly put Migos in their place with an Instagram post that read, “There’s a lot of things going out here. Young n-ggas talkin’ bout that they the king of R&B. Young n-ggas talkin’ bout they the best group ever. Best rap group ever or whatever they said.
“I’m just here to set the record straight. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, we still all five live — Krayzie, Bizzy, Wish, Flesh and myself Layzie Bone — we the best, you dig? The biggest to ever done it. Also, [I] can think of some other n-ggas like Outkast, N.W.A, EPMD, Beastie Boys that done did big things in this game that can also claim it. But we the best. Migos sit down. We gonna shut your ass down for 2019. Y’all little n-ggas talk too much.”
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From there, both Layzie Bone and Bizzy Bone fired off diss tracks aimed at the Migos, but Offset was the only one to respond with a request to see their financial records. Layzie has since moved on but told DX in a 2020 interview he’d still outrap them any day.
“Surely I should have left those little n-gas alone, man,” he said in July 2020. “But at the same time, don’t count my pockets, man. Feel me? That was the only disrespectful thing. Now if it’s my rap, let’s not do that. When we talk about skills, not one of them can fuck with any one of us.
“But if we’re talking about reaching back and pulling up for generations, like y’all come on with this shit, man. Let me show y’all how that shit go. I don’t even have hard feelings no more. That was too long ago. Where the new enemies at?”
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Flesh wants to take it a step further and collaborate with the Culture III rappers.
“That’s why I had to let them handle their business,” he explains to DX. “I look at the whole situation as a G. I’m like, you know what, man? I’m going to let my little bro handle that and deal with that. For me being an OG, I just sat back and was like, man, you know what? I’ma tip my hat off to those dudes. I don’t care if they think they’re the greatest. They’re supposed to think that way.
“That was my opinion, from out the gate. I’m too much of a G to even address that because I’m the greatest. That should be the attitude. I’m going to adopt your attitude. Shit. I let some of these people get to me, you know? I need those dudes to come do a Flesh-n-Bone feature with the Migos. The Migos and Flesh-n-Bone — that’s what needs to happen.”
Check back for Part II of the HipHopDX interview with Flesh-N-Bone soon. Until then, find “Dedication” above.