Bone Thugs N’ Harmony Interview
|Label:||BNTH Worldwide/Warner Bros.|
|Next Project:||I Tried (On DVD Sept 25th)|
|Twitter:||Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on Twitter|
|Website:||Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Website|
Samuel L. Jackson publicly voiced his disapproval of rappers who turn to acting; the brothers of Bone Thugs N’ Harmony never listened. Riding how off the moderate success of their major label comeback album, “Strength & Loyalty,” Layzie, Krayzie and Wish Bone will all play themselves in a fictional tale of the group’s beginning; the straight to DVD picture, “I Tried.” During an interview with DJBooth’s DJ “Z,” the fellas discuss the vital role Eazy-E played in their longevity, the current climate of their Cleveland, Ohio, stomping grounds and what fans can expect from their upcoming collaborative project with former rival, Twista.
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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Interview Transcription
DJ Booth: What’s goin’ on, y’all? It’s your boy ‘Z,’ doin’ it real big, and joining me inside the DJ Booth are three men whose journey began in ‘93, in the Midwest city of Cleveland. Their current album, “Strength and Loyalty,” is out in stores right now, and their new movie, “I Tried,” will be released later this month. Please welcome the Bone brothers: Krayzie, Layzie, Wish – fellas, how you doin’?
Bone Thugs: Real good, man.
DJ Booth: When artists are being signed because of their Myspace profiles or Youtube videos, did the great lengths you went through in order to meet Eazy-E and eventually get inked to Ruthless Records, help you gain respect for the hard work that goes into making music?
Layzie Bone: Aw, man, we gained so much respect man, for the music industry, period, you know what I mean? Because now we understand that it’s a business and a business has to be totally in line to be any type of successful in this game. Yeah, we gained mad respect, just for the hustle – for anybody that work hard, it’s mad respect for that, period.
DJ Booth: Hailing from the Midwest, what drew you guys to a West Coast artist like Eazy-E?
Wish Bone: Well basically, we looked at Eazy-E as the underdog back then – what he was goin’ through with Dre and Death Row, and we tryin’ to get into the beef, but we just felt like we could help that situation, with our talents.
DJ Booth: What would rap be like if Eazy-E was still a part of it?
Layzie Bone: Gangsta!
Krayzie Bone: This is Krayzie. Eazy-E had a lot of vision, you know what I’m sayin’? He was always creatin’ and recreatin’, so I’m pretty sure he would’ve been a major icon in the game, definitely. Probably would’ve even been bigger than he was back then, but I’m sure he probably would have been definitely somebody who was still been involved and very known in the game.
DJ Booth: Let’s say you guys never hooked up with Eazy, and ended up goin’ a different route and not signing with Ruthless Records. Do you think you still would have sold 30 million plus albums up to this point?
Layzie Bone: I think most definitely man, we would have sold 30 million records if we hadn’t met Eazy, because our determination – like I said, we tried so hard, we would have most definitely eventually made it, because we wasn’t going to give up on what we was tryin’ to do.
DJ Booth: Former member, Bizzy Bone, was along for the ride when you guys all met Eazy and got your deal. Although no longer a part of the group, will his contributions to Bone Thugs N’ Harmony [in the early stages] be portrayed in this film, “I Tried?”
Krayzie Bone: Not really, because this movie is not really about our whole life. I would say only like the first 25 or 30 minutes of it is true. The rest is all, “What if?” He’s not really involved in that. It was basically just concentrating on us, because the movie is actually fictional, you know what I’m saying? So we didn’t really need him to be there for that.
DJ Booth: You guys play yourselves in the new film, but what if each of you had to cast someone else? What Hollywood actors are talented enough to step in for all three of you?
Wish Bone: Wow, that’s a good question. All the real good actors that I really, really like is, they a little bit too old to play our parts.
Krayzie Bone: For real.
DJ Booth: Okay, so maybe a young Denzel Washington, or a young Terrance Howard?
All: Right, right.
DJ Booth: Okay.
Layzie Bone: Terrance Howard, Denzel Washington – they’d have to be top-notch, you can believe that!
DJ Booth: Your early material focused on anger against society for growing up in the violent and economically oppressed streets of Cleveland. Thirteen years later, paint a picture for me – are things any different for young teens growing up in that city?
Krayzie Bone: Hell no!
Layzie Bone: You know what’s amazing about it, man? A lot of people where we from are doin’ the same thing that we was doin’ in 1989 and 1990, because there’s really not a lot of opportunity there because it’s a lot of poverty, welfare, drugs plague the hood – it’s really a sad thing. And we tryin’ to do as much as we can with the youth to help, it’s just we’re the only ones really making that contribution. It’s really sad, man. Cleveland, Ohio is one of the poorest cities in America.
DJ Booth: Just recently, Kanye West and his foundation hooked up with the Education in ‘08 sponsor to put some programs into the Chicago Public school systems so that more kids stayed in school to do things that they normally would drop out to do. How can your star status help, not only in Cleveland but across the United States, just to focus on: “These kids need to stay in school and here’s how we can help?”
Wish Bone: Basically, I think the first message and a way to do that, is to let all kids know that you might see a drug dealer on the street, or he might have a nice car now, and three, four years from now all that fun he had he got to pay for the rest of his life – it’s just not worth it. The music business, or basketball – you know, we gotta open up different doors, give them different options.
Layzie Bone: Cool to become a lawyer, it’s cool to become a doctor, you know what I mean? That’s the type of campaign we really tryin’ to get on right now, to let the children know that there’s way more than just music. Even with music, there’s so many jobs within the music – you can be a manager, a business manager, accountant. I think that’s the first place we should start, is just lettin’ them know how uncool it is, really, to sell drugs; let ‘em know that that’s a short lifetime. [But] with a little hard work, with a little determination, you can get real far doing other things.
DJ Booth: Before you guys set out to do this rap thing, what did all of you think you might want to be when you grew up, if the rap thing didn’t work out?
Layzie Bone: We wasn’t educated – we didn’t have role models, so we didn’t have different options. That’s why our determination was so tremendous that we didn’t even think to want to be anything else. So, Bone Thugs N Harmony is a different story. We was lucky enough to make it.
DJ Booth: Okay. Let’s say you were given the opportunity to have a role model, to have a foundation in order to build those dreams. What do you think about then?
Layzie Bone: Well, I probably would have got into some type of law. ‘Cause I was always curious – CSI shows always intrigued me. So I probably would have got into law or somethin’, lotta different options.
Krayzie Bone: Myself, the only thing I was interested in was playing football, but if I would have had the opportunity to really do that, then I think that’s what I would have been doing, ‘cause I used to love playing football.
DJ Booth: Wish, what about you?
Wish Bone: I always thought about following in my father’s footsteps – he was retired military.
DJ Booth: Guys, I spoke with Twista a few months back, and he shared the news of a collaborative project that’s currently in the works. I asked him if he regrets the silly beef that transpired between you all, and he said “yes, but that it’s gonna help you sell records now.” Do you guys feel the same way?
Krayzie Bone: Exactly, ‘cause if we come with him it’s off the roof, baby! You know people love to see stuff like that. That’s what the world thrives on – of course it’s gonna make a lot of money, for people to see us gettin’ together after the several years of beef we supposedly had. You understand, it’s just like, explain it all away and make money off it, you know?
DJ Booth: As a Chicagoan myself, growing up and loving both Twista and you guys, I think it’s safe to say that after hearing the cuts “C-Town” and “We Ain’t No Hoes” on both of your respective albums, it’s going to be one of those, you need to pinch me when I do hear it – can I get a promise we’re gonna hear this thing in the next two years?
Krayzie Bone: Oh, yeah.
Layzie Bone: Man, most definitely. We already got five, six songs done. So we tryin’ to get our schedules together to go ahead and smash it out, but you can get that promise right now, you gonna have that album!
Krayzie Bone: The whole movement, we started to get the Midwest music scene to mesh and get pumpin’, like you see the down South music scene, the East Coast, West Coast – we’re tryin’ to get the Midwest out here like that.
DJ Booth: I couldn’t agree more. Now, I don’t want to start a new beef, but I’m curious, guys – between the three of you and Twista, who can rap the fastest?
Krayzie Bone: Man, it depend on whatever song. It depend on what the topic of the song is and what the beat is, ‘cause I think everybody can come with it fast, I haven’t heard everybody get at it fast – fast as hell to where I say, “God-damn!” So, it depends – I think we all gettin’ ‘em off in the booth and just be bangin’ it out till a motherf*cker pass out. Bottom line, for real.
DJ Booth: Okay, well I will accept that politically correct answer, guys.
Layzie Bone: You gotta stay politically correct, man.
DJ Booth: Give everybody a website or a Myspace page so people can find out more about the new DVD, “I Tried,” and your album, “Strength and Loyalty,” which is out in stores right now.
Layzie Bone: They can go to bonethugsnharmony.com, and that’s our official Bone Thugs N’ Harmony site.
DJ Booth: Listen guys, I wish you nothing but the best of luck, and I can’t wait to talk to you guys after you and Twista hook up.
Bone Thugs: Alright Thanks. Most definitely, it’s goin’ down.