Flesh-N-Bone Talks New Solo Album, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Breakup And Tell-All Book
Exclusive: The 5th dog lets loose to DX with unflinching candor regarding the demise of BTNH and his forthcoming no holds barred memoir.
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, the best-selling Hip Hop group of all time, is officially no more.
Less than a year after the history-making Cleveland natives released, Uni5 , their first group project in over a decade that featured all five original Bone members, the de facto leader of BTNH, Krayzie Bone, announced in April that he was splitting from the group he had been apart of since 1991 “due to uncontrollable circumstances.”
Determined to keep his own career aspirations alive post-split – especially after already missing out on nearly half of Bone’s 20-year run due to incarceration – Flesh-N-Bone is releasing his first solo album in eleven years, Blaze of Glory (due September 13th from RBC Records.)
Late Tuesday (August 30th), Flesh spoke to HipHopDX, first about his new music, but very quickly the conversation turned to the topic now dominating the discussion of anything BTNH related, as the group’s original financier spoke candidly about his former Bone brothers.
Flesh-N-Bone Talks Blaze Of Glory
HipHopDX: I wanna start off by talking about that ill “Heartaches” joint. It’s got a crazy dope video to it too, but I think the best part about the track is actually the maturity you brought to it by speaking candidly about all the regrets you have.
Flesh-N-Bone: Exactly. Indeed. And I jumped into a lot of history, of course regrets – who doesn’t have ‘em? And being able to express that through the craft these days, this is where I’m at, at this point in my life right here. It feels as if I’m sitting on a goldmine of subject matter, with respects to … going through all the hoops of fire, going through the penitentiary …. And all of that speaks of a lot of regret, man. … I think my music, especially in “Heartaches” and a lot of other tracks that’s coming out on this project, speaks volumes with respects to the experiences that we go through as humans …. [“Heartaches”] is very vital, and that’s a special song. I’m hoping to kick up dust and make a lot of noise and [have it be] something that people can gravitate to and can relate to.
DX: People are definitely gonna gravitate to “Heartaches,” but you know they’re really gonna gravitate to the two joints on Blaze of Glory that are the BTNH group cuts, “Fallin’” and “Can’t Take It.” Are those gonna be the last Bone group songs formally released?
Flesh-N-Bone: As of right now, it is. That’s it. As of right now, as far as I know, that’s gonna be it. I don’t think there’ll ever be another opportunity or situation [where] you’ll get Bone Thugs-n-Harmony together again. I think that’s a wrap.
Flesh-N-Bone Explains Breakup Of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
DX: Are you gonna still do like some sort of configuration of the group, like three members, four members? Or just no more Bone Thugs-n-Harmony albums period?
Flesh-N-Bone: It was talks in the past of me and [Krayzie Bone] doing a record called Krayzie By The Flesh, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen. You might get a Bizzy [Bone] and Wish [Bone] [album]. Bizzy and Kray has been talking about doing a record. They might do that, I’m not sure. Being that I’m so focused on my solo career right now, I don’t even care. I don’t care. And I’m just being candid and blunt like that because of my experiences, what I went through with this situation …. Yeah, we’ll do shows, we’ll come together and do what makes sense to get on the stage, but I think that it’ll go no further than that.
DX: So that September 10th Ohio Homecoming Bone show with Drake, that’s not gonna be the last time y’all Uni5 live?
Flesh-N-Bone: No, no it’s not. [But] as far as new music, as far as people wanting us to get in the studio and do what we did for the Uni5: The World’s Enemy album, I don’t think it’ll ever happen again. But we will be coming together to do a Uni5: The World’s Enemy World Tour. We will do that. I think there’s opportunity [and] potential to do that. Bone Thugs-n-Harmony has a history of almost 18 years worth of hits. We can lock that up and just go on the road for the rest of our career and call it quits.
But I’m not being a pessimist, I’m just being – This is me, Flesh-N-Bone, I’m a solo artist as well. I was the first member of this brand to have a successful solo career: in 1996, Def Jam Records, [with T.H.U.G.S.], a record that’s past platinum right now – it registered gold the first week and then it went platinum. So, this is where I’m at. And I’m ready to go solo again. I got opportunities knocking at the door that I’m trying to grab hold on and take advantage of. But for the most part, since I been home it’s been like – I [spent] 10 years in prison, and we did what we did with the Uni5, but you know what? It wasn’t no real love right there dealing with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony as far as I’m concerned.
If it wasn’t for Flesh-N-Bone there would be no Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, first of all. People don’t understand that. I came out here [to Los Angeles] when I was 18-years-old, by myself [and] saw the opportunity. I went back to Cleveland to get them dudes. [I] worked hard, hustled up … went and got a job at a restaurant so I could get a weekly check to go buy some dope that I could flip, and then got everybody out there. So if it wasn’t for Flesh, it would be no Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
When I got out of prison, all them niggas … [did was] spit in my face. That’s how shit went down.
DX: Well, let’s not keep rehashing all that ‘cause -
Flesh-N-Bone: But I got to talk the truth, homie. This is my story, G. I’m getting ready to make a book of this. Whoever don’t like it, that want it to be all peaches and cream and a bed or roses, then go sign up and go to Disneyland. But this isn’t Disneyland, man. I have a real story to tell, and people have yet to know the truth, man! They don’t know the truth! So I got a book in the making: The Memoirs of Flesh-N-Bone. And I’m fin to tell it all, the uncut truth ….
Flesh-N-Bone Claims He Helped Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Leave Cleveland
DX: You gonna [write] at all about the whole situation that went down with Eazy at the end? ‘Cause I just did an interview with B.G. Knocc Out, and he told some stuff that was just like, that had never been shared before, just of what happened in the final days ….
Flesh-N-Bone: I’m gonna write about my experience of what I thought that took place. I’m telling it all from my point of view, exactly the whole [truth] of what I went through. I’m [writing about] the last, final days with Eazy, and the whole nine yards with all that stuff. I have my own perspective – much love to B.G. Knocc Out. He has his own perspective. All these guys have they own perspective.
But it’s more than just [Eazy-E] signing us. People need to understand why Flesh-N-Bone wasn’t signed to the original Ruthless [Records] contracts. The reason why I wasn’t signed to the original Ruthless contracts is because I was going through some [stuff] with smoking sherm, smoking dope. I can tell you about this. It’s the truth. We got into a scuffle one night, I broke a window, broke a glass, ended up in the hospital. They went and signed the contracts, and clearly didn’t want me a part of those contracts. But, [we] had already recorded music …. And, Eazy-E came to me and told me that they don’t wanna pay me. The dilemma started right there. So I kept smoking sherm. … Before Eazy-E passed, he told me that my brothers didn’t wanna pay me. So I really went nuts after that. Muthafuckas didn’t wanna pay me. And all I did, homie, [is say to them], “If I’m on two songs, pay me for them two muthafuckin’ songs and get it over with.” … The reason why I was trippin’ the way I was doing back in the day was because I had to chase niggas down for my paper until it got to the point where – I never got paid shit until I sued ‘em!
So if niggas [are like], “Aw, they want Flesh to be chillin’. They want Flesh to kiss Krayzie’s ass. They want Flesh to kiss Wish’s ass.” But how the fuck can I do that and they don’t respect me, man?
DX: I thought this was all squared away when you came home a couple years ago. I thought you guys had long gotten passed any previous issues.
Flesh-N-Bone: Man, I ain’t passed no issue. … In the ‘90s, when that shit happened, I was the only nigga that went home to Cleveland penniless! I was the only nigga that went to Cleveland with no money, so what the fuck did I do? I went back to the block, nigga. Then I came back to California. That’s when the shit bubbled with the Def Jam situation in 1996. But I had it hard up until then. And people wanna get mad because I’m telling the truth.
I’m solo for the rest of my life …. My creator gonna open up doors for me. And I’m gonna keep making hits, homie. … I’m gonna keep making that stuff that people like to hear. It’s motivational, it’s inspirational; I’m speaking the truth. I’m a motivational speaker. I been through it all. My experiences speak that.
I’m happy. I got a record coming out, and we working on other artists and everything, and other blessings is coming our way. But still, I don’t forgive the niggas for what the fuck they put [me through]. I don’t forgive them niggas for that, but I’ma be cool.
[In] this Welcome Home, Flesh-N-Bone film that’s getting ready [to come out], you can see a lot of truth [of what] was going on in that film.
People love Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. I love Bone Thugs-n-Harmony too. Don’t nobody love ‘em as much as I love ‘em, or else I wouldn’t of sacrificed for ‘em. I got a solo [situation now]. Them dudes ain’t supporting me on my solo effort. It’s stunning. I had everybody else in the world helping me on my solo effort except them. So what I’m supposed to do about that? I’m cool. I’m on fire, bruh. … I have a hot, sizzlin’ record that’s coming out that you can play from the beginning to the end and receive some serious either enlightenment, or motivation, or something that’ll help you pick up your spirits ….
DX: Well let’s end on that note. I didn’t mean to push too hard on the Bone stuff but you know I gotta ask it, so …
Flesh-N-Bone: Of course. I love it. I have no problem with it. Anyone can ask me anything they want, just as long as they can handle the answer.