Bizzy Bone: Thicker Than Water

posted August 01, 2008 12:00:00 AM CDT | 35 comments

He is arguably the most captivating, and reportedly the most troubled member of one of the greatest Hip Hop groups to date, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Ever since its conception (formed in 1991 under B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e) all the way through its juggernaut rise, Byron McCane, aka, Bizzy Bone, captured the attention and hearts of Hip Hop fans world-wide with nothing but impeccably reflective rhymes and his teeth in the technique: exceedingly fast raps over BTNHs signature melodic flows. The youngest member of the group instantly became a favorite among the favorites. Aside from his crucial contribution to BTNHs most successful records to date (Creepin on ah Come Up, E 1999 Eternal, The Art of War) Columbus, Ohios native also released 11 major and Independent studio albums in the past decade, including his most recent release, A Song For You, featuring DMX, Twista and Jim Jones (among others).

Often leaving his members to explain the groups status without him, it seemed at times that Bizzy himself was unaware of his standing among his Bone brothers. Rumors of alleged drug and alcohol abuse remained consistent in Hip Hop media, as did reports of Bizzys eccentric behaviors (such as shaving off his long locks or appearing on stage drunk.) Despite Flesh n Bones decade-long incarceration (and his recent release from prison), Bizzy Bone has managed to remain the most distinguished member of the group, staying honest and dedicated to his fans and his music through the good, the bad, and the ugly. And despite all his trials and tribulations, he leaves them yearning for more. In the midst of recording the new album with BTNH, HipHopDX caught up with Mr. McCane to discuss the reunification of BTNH, A Song For You, and everything and anything from religion and his children, to Bizzys funny bone.

HipHopDX: Were you at the video shoot for Games The Life last night?
Bizzy Bone:
We didnt actually have the opportunity to meet with them but we drove past there; unfortunately we had to do some Bone Thugs-N-Harmony [click to read] studio time so were really concentrating and focusing on the unity right now of the entire crew.

DX: Lets talk about that. It seems as though the Bone reunification happened out of nowhere. How did it come about?
BB:
Well actually, with Flesh-n-Bone getting out of prison after being incarcerated for a decade, Layzie Bone sat down everyone and made sure that everything went very correct right now; so thats basically how it came together. Layzie called me and Wish called me and Krayzie called me and Flesh was coming out of jail, and we picked up the buzz, hugs and kisses and passing watches along, and welcome home and things of that nature, and immediately, we went directly to the studio.

DX: Has the group aired out the issues it previously had?
BB:
The issues, I think it was more the youth, superstardom, timing things of that nature. So a lot of the things we sat down and had a discussion about. We try to have a meeting every two or three days just to make sure everyones on board, everyones on deck. Thats where we are right now. Were trying to focus on each other, focus on unity, focus on what people want to hear and try to be friends first and foremost.

DX: When the group is asked about the collective status of BTNH, they would put a lot of things on you, in terms of you not showing up to work, substance issues, etc. This time around, will it be different?
BB:
Well my father taught me something a long time ago. He told me that sometimes you have to eat the shit sandwich. Sometimes you have to take that and you take it in stride - you try your best to do what you can do, and so on and so forth but sometimes you just have to eat that shit sandwich and keep moving forward. As long as no egos are involved and no bad thoughts and any of those things. And once youve conquered that, then you can step above and reach another echelon where there are no feelings, towards infinity. It just keeps going up up up up up up upit never stops. And thats my focus and if I focus on that then I can be a better team player and get my team to be a part of everything sort of like the Lakers. I want to make sure the team is making the moves and not just one player.

DX: BTHN are known for their incredible success during the mid-to-late '90s. How are you guys planning to carry the torch this time around?
BB:
Well Im gonna be honest with you - its kind of a secret on what were trying to do cause we dont want anybody to capitalize on these moves were making; so its top secret right now [laughing]. Its incognegro. [Laughing] So thats what were doing right now. And Its gonna be something for the entire world to say, These brothers are back, theyre together and its a group again.

DX: Youre not gonna give me a hint even?
BB:
I cant give you a hint because if I did, my buddies would beat me up. [Laughing] Ill tell you that we have a brand new style; a brand new style to bring to the table. Thats the only hint theyll let me give you.

DX: Okay, so how far are you in the process of album recording?
BB:
Weve recorded 10-20 records already, so were just in there vibing with each other and feeling the music out, and just putting everything where it needs to be and just staying productive while were doing different things; so were in the process. We plan on recording 100 to 200 tracks

DX: How are you going about beat selection?
BB:
Were going in-house. Krayzies doing a lot of production. Mr. Scott Storch has sent us some stuff. Mr. Damon Elliott who happens to be Dionne Warwicks son, whos done work for us in the past, is getting us stuff. Were in talks with Dr. Dre; were in talks with Akon [click to read]. Were in talks with many different producers and everyones coming together now like, Wow theyre actually doing it again, this is going to be a terrific event, so everybody wants to be a part of it right now.

DX: How do you feel about the final product of your last album, A Song for You?
BB:
I think the final product is doing remarkable right now. Were actually in plans to go overseas and keep on marketing and promoting. I have a couple of shows were still doing so were still promoting and things of that nature, while were focusing on what were doing out here. And the fellas are giving me enough room to do what I need to do to make sure we get that as far as we can, and keep building our success with trends, and make sure that we have stuff with archives and catalogues and all those beautiful things were doing

DX: How many records have sold so far?
BB:
Were at about 35,000.

DX: Once again, you opted for an Indie record label, After Platinum Records. Are you satisfied with the label support?
BB:
The label is supporting it to such a phenomal whatever I need, the label is there for me. We have another video; were trying to get BET to air the video, were trying to get people to request it a little more. Weve had 400-500 spins on the Twista [click to read] [record "Money"]. We had 400-500 spins on A Song for You" [click to read], and were just really trying to build that up in order to get that over there and try to play the political game the way it can be playedtheyre also putting their hats into this reality show that Bone is doing so everything is just coming together right now in such a phenomenal way

DX: Whats the show about?
BB:
Its a reality show about Bone getting back together. Were in a mansion living together, in the studio, Flesh getting up out of prisonall those different things so its gonna be phenomenal. The title of it is Living in Harmony.

DX: Great title. When will it air?
BB:
As soon as it can; once we finish shooting it and then making sure we submit it to the proper people and you know how that goes its a process after that.

DX: What Have I Learned has both spiritual and religious meaning attached to it. What did you want to convey through this track?
BB:
That entire record is like a Book of Psalms to me and all of the musicians there with. And that was the basic vibe of that record; something mellow, something intelligent. A little upper class with you know, the new world order going on and so many different things that are happening. People cant look at each other in the eye no more; people are focused on the lower halves; Sodom and Gomorrah is running ramped. Satan has captured the earth and hes full of great wrath and its something Ive noticed earlier on from the inception of Christ. Its more or less harnessing all those different things, understanding it and then finding out whats going on with it and then trying to have some sort of water that wasnt dragon water; that was good water, a nice good clean glass of water.

DX: Joel Madden of Good Charlotte is on the album. How did that collabo come about?
BB:
All of the collaborations actually came through After Platinum. They put all of it together from [DMX] to Good Charlotte to Twista

DX: Joel is a creative addition to the album. Should Hip Hop welcome other genres more often?
BB:
Well I dont know. I think that Hip Hop should do what Hip Hop feels that it should do. I look at it as all-around music. I dont think people are wearing baggy pants because black people are in style; I think its because baggy pants are in style. I dont think its secluded to one particular understanding; its about being comfortable, its about not being irritated, its about enjoying what youre hearing. Cause nobody wants a hot plate of doo doo. Nobody wants that; thats like a hot place of shit. And if you find somebody happy eating a hot plate of shit, then theyre not caring about your taste buds, theyre not caring about your senses

DX: Some people have stated that incorporating R&B with Hip Hop is partly what is destroying Hip Hop today. You have many R & B choruses in your music. How do you feel about that statement?
BB:
Well Im not mad at anybody for their personal opinion; its something that they may feel. But [if] you focus on yourself and you focus on the fans, you tend to have a better reaction. You focus on you and everything else will come toward you. Everyone needs to take a valuable lesson from Jesus Christ. And his ministry was for three years and there are billions and billions and billions and billions of people that believe in him. So its how you do things; and its how you put yourself forth that brings that goodness that comes back to you.

DX: Much growth on this album. What are some of the changes youve made?
BB:
Ive learned to love one another; be as kind as you can to one another, and whatever you do, Christ is the only way. And thats what Ive learned wholeheartedly, full-fledged, without any denial, without question. I see it with vision, I hear it with ears. I feel it all around me. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that that is the only way; there is no other way.

DX: Speaking of religion, you mentioned Islam in many of your lyrics. Is that another path youre exploring?
BB:
Its about oneness; its about togetherness. I dont indulge in wormwood. I agree that when you paint your emotions, when you control your senses, living in proper perspective, and once you take care of all those things personally, any outside interference is something that is a negative force. It makes the waters bitter and I dont believe in that. So anything that is good, anything that is righteous, I believe in. You dont have to believe in God if you dont want to, it does not matter but when judgment day comes please do not cry if you dont know who he is.

DX: So youre saying youre accepting everything that is spiritual and leads to the belief in one God, or am I wrong?
BB:
At all times; and love and truth and understanding and infinity and everything therewith.

DX: Interesting. You mention your children often. How many do you have?
BB:
12.

DX: How does their fathers popularity impact their daily lives or does it?
BB:
It really doesnt. They move on with their lives and I move on with mine, always being out in the world and doing certain things; certain sacrifices that have to be made in order for the career to continue to move and for food to continue to be put on the table. Thats basically how were understanding each other.

DX: What do you teach them?
BB:
Take care of yourselves, take care of your responsibilities, love one another, stay a unit and stay strong.

DX: Track On the Freeway [click to read] from Heavenz Movie - what inspired it?
BB:
That was a song about sensuality. It was a song about having a good time with a woman; a different way to give her fulfillment and enjoyment. That was back in the days when you could listen to a record and not mind in the visual; thats before the evil has been cast to the earth and its filled with wrath and itll do anything to subside the anger it has from not being allowed in heaven any longer.

DX: You also touch on your relations with females on different records and Dont be Dumb [click to read] is a great example. How are men and women doing today in terms of understanding one another?
BB:
Every Adam and Eve that are here are under scrutiny because the Satan wants to partake into their relationship; hes looking for a place to stay. He needs somewhere to put all of his lust, all of his vanity, all of his flaws, all of his hate, all of his greed, all of his envy, all of his jealousy; so thats what I think is going on in relationships right now. Once they can focus and know who it is once they understand that Sodom and Gomorrah is not the right way a woman is a woman and a man is a man. Once they understand those things, I think theyre gonna be just fine.

DX: Do you ever worry that your flow and delivery are too fast and the fans will understand the lyrics as a result?
BB:
I dont think that thats actually a problem. If a listener likes what they hear, theyre gonna like it from the beginning of the song to the ending. And theyll take from it what they can take from it and thats always a good thing and not a bad thing.

DX: What artists stand out to you right now?
BB:
I love old school artists; I love all of the old stuff. Uhhh, just everybody.

DX: Who does Bizzy Bone listen to?
BB:
Everything. I like the old Whitney [Houston]. I like 'Pac, of course; anything that intrigues the senses in the right, particular way.

DX: You know any good jokes?
BB:
Yeah I know a good joke. Theres a blind man and a man that could see and theyre brothers. And theyre sitting down. And the blind brother looks at the other brother and says Hey. He didnt say anything to him so the blind man says, Hey! He aint say nothing to him again so he eventually got real pissed off and he said HEY! So while they were looking at the landscape, the other brother grabbed a pile of cow dung and slapped him aside the face with. And he said, What the fuck you do that for? Yall just bulls shitting. So in other words, they were on a cow pasture.

DX: I never heard that one actually.
BB:
I made it up, laying down in bed.

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