conducted by: Julia Henry
Bizzy Bone’s life has taken him from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. From being kidnapped as a young child as shown on America Most Wanted to finding super stardom with his former group Bone Thugs N Harmony. I was fortunate enough to get in contact with Bizzy the first of the year to find out about what is currently going on in his ever changing life. The New Year found Bizzy in very high spirits as we discussed his views on his upcoming album, his thoughts on whether or not hip hop is dead, the tragic death of James Brown and his current relationship with Bone Thugs N Harmony.
We hear you have a new album coming out in 2007 off of Virgin Records. How did you hook up with Virgin?
Bizzy: Last year Kanardo Davis and myself, by the way Mr. Davis is a close personal friend and manager.. we’ve been in this industry together for probably 8 or 9 years, I am not quite sure we haven’t had our anniversary party yet (laughs). Anyways, we put together a beautiful record with After Platinum Records and actually Mr. Davis and After Platinum took it upon themselves, while I was working on my book and different things, to go to New York and sat down with Virgin Records and inked the deal for me. So they went in had the meeting, Virgin flew out here gave me a bunch of money and told me go ahead and do what I want to do.
Have you recorded with any other artists for the new album? If so, who?
Bizzy: Oh, the guest appearances are phenomenal. Everything is not nailed down for the album, but I’ve recorded songs with Twista, DMX, Trina, Good Charlotte and Chris Notes- who is an incredible singer. The records production is amazing and is probably the best record I’ve been able to put together to date.
With the recent passing of James Brown there has been a lot of talk of how he’s influenced music and so much more. Has he influenced you? And if so how?
Bizzy: ( Begins to sing a James Brown tune and laughs) C’mon now that’s James Brown man, James Brown! If the brother had one leg he still would have been able to out dance any man here. He was just an all around great entertainer. He put out more records than anybody. It seemed he had a new record coming out every week. You could just sit back and have a four year special on James Brown (laughs). He was a major, major influence on so many people. What I loved about his music was that nobody understood what he would be saying, so it kind of reminds me of the whole Bone Thugs N Harmony thing, but when they listen to these beautiful songs it’s just like (Sings “This is a Man’s World”). C’mon you got to feel that! I think he’s beautiful and I pray that he is in a better place.
Nas’ new album titled Hip Hop Is Dead has created a lot controversy. Do you feel Hip Hop is dead?
Bizzy: Nas is a beautiful brother who always stays on a political level and when each new record comes out it’s like this brother has grown 20 years in the course of a year. As far as hip hop being dead, see when you grow up when you reach a certain age or level.. you are opened up to the world for what it really is. So you have different feelings of how you even listen to music, the way you could have listened to something 5 years ago and it was just like hip hop the hippie to the hippie the hip hip hop, and then you listen to it now and you hear the message. Hey everybody is getting older now it’s not as fun as it use to be. Once you reach a certain age you have to let the other young ones be as free as they can and teach them what you can.
What do you think about the South s influence on Hip Hop?
Bizzy: Well Mr. Davis and myself are definitely into music, we hear something we like and were bouncing our heads. We don’t be like “who made that, I don’t know but it sure sound good, do you want to get a drink? Hell yeah.” So when we listen to music it’s so much more of the feeling. Like that Lil Jon shit; ohhh (imitates Lil Jon “yeah”).
Bizzy Bone and Bone Thugs have influenced hip hop and R&B heavily. Do you feel you guys have been given the credit that s due?
Bizzy: Well I’ve seen some murals and they got everybody else’s face painted up but I guess I have to die before my face gets there (laughs). I don’ think it’s so much about notoriety and credit. Everybody knows the deal so I don’t really have an opinion on nothing like that, I am about new beginnings you know and new starts. Some people may be sour though and say that Bone Thugs N Harmony does deserve at least an honorable mention. They sold 30 million records. At least put there faces on the mural (laughs). Ain’t no where you can go, everybody loves Bone Thugs N Harmony, I mean everybody. You can go to a small city in Thailand they love Bone Thugs N Harmony. I can remember receiving ASCAP checks from I mean Britain, Spain, The Netherlands, just everywhere, it was just a beautiful thing and a beautiful sight to see for me personally. It was just like it touched everybody; it just gives so much of a pathway to do so many different things. And it’s like how could you even get mad at what’s not there we have to take what is there and multiply it as many times as we can.
You came into the game at a very young age under the wing of Eazy-E. What was your relationship with him like?
Bizzy: Actually when we met Eric Wright, I don’t like to call him Eazy-E because you know I believe when he passed away, he passed away as a father, he passed away as an entrepreneur, and he passed away as an owner. He didn’t pass away as a rapper; you know he had so many more different things that were going on that people really didn’t see the inside of. So as far as Eric Wright goes.. I mean what can you can about somebody that helps you in a situation and who was put in a blessed situation to bless others and then immediately passes away of such a tragic, tragic disease. Sometimes you wonder why there weren’t movies out about him and things of that nature and why people don’t speak about him as often as they may speak about others, maybe because they don’t see any value in the way that he might have passed away or whatever. You know to me it’s all love, love for everybody. Those that are close and touch your life and you always think of them in the most beautiful way that you could possible think of them and not in any kind of adverse way according to something he might have said in at one point in time or not understanding or whatever it might have been.
If you knew everything you know now, when you first started in this industry what would you have done differently?
Bizzy: I don’t know I probably would have drunk a whole lot more Grey Goose (laughs). Honestly what I think I would have done differently was probably pray a lot more on situations, but honestly without that time and period this time and period wouldn t be going the way that it is and we are headed on the road to success and were going to work as hard as we can. We have a great resume and were going to take it to the next level. That’s how we roll, we can’t worry about the past, but be grateful that we survived that time and period to move right to were we are now.
In regards to your falling out with Bone do you feel that there’s any apology in order from either yourself or them?
Bizzy: From the last conversation that we had it seemed that everyone was moving in different directions, nobody understood my lyrical content. It was going in a completely other direction, sort of like an Outkast type of direction. Your dealing with a group that has 3 or 4 different views and they were happy to keep things the way that they were. They were like we have a great system of things and let’s just roll with it. And I was more less like you know I’m going in another direction and I don’t want to slow you fella’s up. And they went on and moved ahead in there lives and I moved ahead in my life. It’s all love.. it really isn’t a splitting up or a breaking up.. it was just that the industry was so use to making so much money off of Bone Thugs N Harmony that they just so wanted to see that again and see the group together and so on and so forth. But you know its all love.
Can we expect you to ever record with Bone Thugs N Harmony again?
Bizzy: Ahh who knows. You know I really don’t even think about things like that. It just depends on where we are at that point and at that time. I’m really focused on the Virgin Records thing and taking care of what I need to take care of on this forefront. Now I like to sit back and enjoy, don t get me wrong. I love that song that they did on Waist Deep. They did it with little Eric Wright Jr. It is a phenomenal song. The Chamillionaire song is wonderful as well. I’m not, you know opposed to their music or anything I just sit back and listen to whatever comes around you know.
The year 2007 is upon us, what do you think this will bring for Bizzy Bone?
Bizzy: Who knows? I think if people hear the song with Twista and then they hear that Trina song and then they see me with Good Charlotte the rock group! It is not gonna be pretty! And then we gonna smack them in the back of the head with the new DMX shit. Oh my god that song is just so ohhh that make me want to just jump back and just hug my damn self like oh my goodness this is beautiful. So I m very grateful for the project. And I just see a lot of hard work, peace and prosperity and just a lot of growth. I don’t know what s going to happen. We’ll just work for what s meant to happen. That s the only thing that I truly, truly look forward to and just getting on the road and doing what needs to be done. Make sure that everybody knows that the record is just completely beautiful from the start to the finish. It is lovely it is a great, great thing trust me.