I’ve been a fan of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony since I first heard “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” in ’94. So when I was met with the opportunity to interview Bizzy Bone, I didn’t hesitate. Pre-pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing the BTNH legend twice for Celebuzz! + HipHopMyWay — which was a big deal for me ‘cause I’ve literally been a fan since ‘Creepin’ on ah Come Up’!
Watching Tuesday night’s Verzuz was everything to me and moved me to give a lil shine to this 2019 exclusive. The interview happened around the time the beef between Bone, Migos, and 21 Savage was still brewing, so Bizzy had a lot to say. The intro of the article pretty much speaks for itself, so, in case you missed it, check out the chat I had with Bizzy Bone.
Article originally written on April 2, 2019
Bizzy Bone Talks Beef with Migos & 21 Savage, Staying Relevant and Gives Message to Haters
When it comes to legends in the rap game, the members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony are at the top of the list. Since 1991, the five-man group gave us hits like, “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” “1st of tha Month,” “East 1999,” and “Tha Crossroads,” to name a few. Bizzy Bone, in my opinion, is one of the most memorable members of the group. Known for his soft-spoken, high-pitched, and fast-paced delivery, Bizzy started his solo career in 1998 and has been very successful as a solo artist.
If you’ve had your ears to the streets, then you’re up-to-date on the beef between Bizzy, Migos, and 21 Savage after the Migos claimed to be the “biggest rap group ever” and 21 chimed in, calling Layzie Bone’s rap response “wack as a motherf**ker.” The ongoing, back-and-forth beef has been circulating the internet and doesn’t seem to be ending soon. Especially since Bizzy recently released two diss tracks: “Carbon Monoxide” and “Enigma.”
Celebuzz caught up with the legendary artist to talk hip-hop and get his side of the Migos & 21 Savage beef. We also find out how he stays relevant in hip-hop’s new wave era, and talk about the new projects he’s developing these days.
Being an OG who’s well-respected in the industry; We all know what’s going on between you and the Migos & 21 Savage and the diss track you’ve put out. What moved you to respond to the Migos and 21?
At first, I took the high road and it was trending for a second and I was just like, “We good; Ain’t nothing poppin’.” And then, Layzie heard an interview, and he felt like they were talking about us. Big Boy stirred up the issue of, “So do y’all still think y’all the best group?!” And then, the way they said it, I guess it touched Lay in some kind of way to the point to where we were on the road and he felt the need to say something, like “y’all lil n***as talk too much.”
After that is when the sh*t-storm came in; You know, “I’ll f**k ya wife,” and “You n****as broke,” and that whole thing. You know, try to crush a n***a with their wallet or blind a n***a. I’m a n***a who got money, so once you kick my brother’s ball over the fence, I am obligated to go retrieve it on behalf of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. N***as just can’t be jumping on my dude like that. Like, wait a minute, g*ddammit. It’s too many of y’all [laughs]. So, that’s what compelled me to say something and from that point on, it’s just been them responding and saying more sh*t, telling n***as to kiss their feet and sh*t. It’s going on and on and on, but it’s not one-sided at all. So, I took the high road. I took the quote — unquote OG level on everything and I ain’t mad at that.
What advice would you give new artists when it comes to diss tracks; Should they only respond if they’re at a certain level of status?
I can’t tell nobody what to do. How you get it is how you live; However you get it is how you get it. It’s up to your demographic of people that tune into you in order to look at you as if you’re full of sh*t or if you got a valid reason. And from that point on, if you’re trending or if the numbers you’re seeking will show that. As an artist, I’m from the School of Be True to what you do, be true to yourself, artist-wise. And everything else is personal: religion, status, and how you move — that’s all personal stuff. My advice is be true to you and be true to what you do. And at the end of the day, whether you sell one record, or whether you sell one million, you still have your integrity, you still have your spirit, you still have your soul. Because at the end of the day, that’s all that counts. We all gon’ get older, we all gon’ be with walkers one day. You leave the womb not able to walk, if you live long enough, that’s how you go out. And all you have is that inner peace and that soul and that spirit that’s timeless.
For an OG who’s stayed true to himself and his style of music, how do you continue to stay relevant in the game with this new style of hip-hop?
Well, it’s two parts. The music that we have today is good. It consists of J. Cole, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Migos, Future, Boosie BadAzz — it’s good music no matter what you may feel about any individual artist. You got the party and bullsh*t music, you got the serious music, you got the intellectual, uplifting, spiritual music, so it’s not difficult when you are considered a talented artist. If you’re talented, your talent is timeless. There’s some people that aren’t really, really talented; Some people just get in on hustling. Music is a hustle for some people, then you got some people that are real musicians like Prince and Michael Jackson. You have that in hip-hop, as well. I believe you have real artists, and then you just have the fly-by-night, catch a gimmick, catch a wave, make a couple of dollars, and fade the f**k out. When I was 18, 17, 16, and 15 years old, I was talking about deep sh*t:
Well, it must be close to the Armageddon
Lord knows that I won’t fly by that lesson
You taught me to pull out my Smith & Wesson you brought me
And all my stressing
– Bone Thugs-N-Harmony ft. Tupac – “Thug Luv”
I was like 18/17 years old when I wrote that sh*t. So that, to this day, people love to hear because that’s some artist-type stuff and it meant something — it’s words that mean something. When you talking about something, they know you reading. “Armageddon? Oh, he must’ve read the bible.” So, that’s what I think keeps me relevant.
Tell us about the new artists you’ll soon be putting out.
Well, you know, I had my record label, 7th Sign, and everybody on the record label got murdered or died of a sickness, and it kinda soured me from owning a record company. It really hurt my heart; I lost a lot of sleep, I lost my scruples for a minute, threw away all my cars, and money, and houses, and all the rest of that sh*t. It f**ked me up for a while. So, the artists that I have coming out is my family: my kids, my niece, my nephew, my best friend, my brother. It’s me helping them and helping them understand how to get their money, how to keep it fair, how to be free, and how to own their own but still have a brand like Bizzy Bone/Bone Thugs-N-Harmony that believes in them, that’s willing to pass the torch while staying concurrent, as well. ‘Cause if I’m not being concurrent, and if I’m not being relevant, then I’m doing them no justice and I’m hurting them worse than I’m helping them. I don’t wanna crush them up under Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, or up under “Crossroads,” or up under “1st of tha Month.” I don’t wanna crush them up under those monolith classics. I have Bloodline Harmony — those are my sons and my nephew; Blais, he’s my producer; He’s also an artist — he’s a man of many hats; My niece, Ajanee — she’s young, she writes her own music, she sings, she’s got that new wave. Sh*t is going on so those are the artists I’m getting behind, first and foremost. Family first and then let them bring in new talent and learn how to become bosses within their own right.
Tell us what you’re working on putting out next.
Oh yeah, we’ve been cooking for a couple of years now. First thing we came out with was “Carbon Monoxide,” the next thing we put out was “Enigma.” Got another one coming out, “Run It for One Time,” and another special treat. And another one coming out called, “Cleveland.” So all year, we’re putting out tracks and I’m going to be introducing talent. Right now, I’m introducing Blais — he’s the first one out the gate. Next, it’s gon’ be Bloodline Harmony and Ajanee — they gon’ be the next ones out the gate. So, that’s what we’re doing, just putting out brand new music and keeping this sh*t pumpin’ and jumpin’.
Give us three sentences: One for your fans, one for your haters, one for aspiring artists.
For my fans: I wanna thank you guys for all your continuous support, always keeping it real with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and letting us know who you really are. ‘Cause without that, we don’t know how to move. That’s the haters, as well. New and upcoming artists: Believe in yourself, have some purpose, know what you want, stay true to your music, stay true to yourself. At the end of the day, that’s all you have left.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us; We really appreciate it. Let the people know where to find you.
We appreciate you guys! JAM TV, my YouTube channel, you type in “Bizzy Bone JAM TV,” and you can see what I do on a day-to-day, get a lil inside look at me as a person and what I do for a living. On Instagram, it’s @mrmccane, and on Facebook, it’s I Am Bizzy Bone. I also got a personal Facebook page called Byron McCane.