Bone Thugs-N-Harmony join WTOP ahead of Capital One Arena with LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, The Roots – WTOP News

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony perform live at Capital One Arena on Sunday in D.C. for “The Force Tour” in a collaboration of rap legends, including LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Z-Trip.

Hear our full chat on my podcast “Beyond the Fame with Jason Fraley.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Capital One Arena (Part 1)

It may not be the first of the month, but it’s time to “wake up, wake up” and buy some hip-hop tickets!

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony perform live at Capital One Arena on Sunday in D.C. for “The Force Tour” in a collaboration of rap legends, including LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, The Roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff and DJ Z-Trip.

“Touring with these legends has been more than a dream come true,” Flesh-N-Bone told WTOP. “We grew up on these guys, especially LL. To be on that stage and have The Roots playing your set for you live, man, words can’t even describe that. You folks definitely don’t want to miss this show. It’s the greatest show on earth. We were raised off these dudes’ music, all of them, Queen Latifah … We’re coming to bring D.C. one heck of a show.”

Born in Cleveland in 1973, Stanley Howse, a.k.a. Flesh-N-Bone, was the older brother of Layzie Bone and the cousin of Wish Bone before meeting Bizzy Bone and Krayzie Bone to form Bone Thugs-N-Harmony in 1991.

“My mother was great friends with both Krayzie’s parents and Bizzy’s father,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “I met Kray in junior high school at a school called FDR, I was taking a civics class, like a social studies class with him, and at the time Layzie Bone was taking a home economics class with him, so we were going back and forth before Kray even knew that me and Layzie were brothers. We’d be in class rapping, beating on the desk, doing beatbox.”

After their first album “Faces of Death” (1993), they dropped the EP “Creepin on ah Come Up” (1994) with the breakthrough hits “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” and “Foe tha Love of $,” the latter featuring Eazy-E and Jewell.

“We recorded that whole EP within the first week that we were in Los Angeles with a great man, God bless his soul, rest in peace, Mr. Eric Wright, Eazy-E,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “As soon as he heard us, he jumped to it. … He immediately got us out to L.A., put us in the studio and within a week we had ‘Creepin on ah Come Up,’ a six or seven-song EP, ‘Thuggish Ruggish’ was the first one that we dropped, and of course ‘Foe tha Love of $.’”

Their next album became iconic. “E. 1999 Eternal” (1995) was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Grammys in the category’s first year. The album has underrated tracks like “Mr. Bill Collector” and “Die, Die, Die,” not to mention huge hits like “1st of the Month” and of course their Grammy-winning smash “Tha Crossroads.”

“We lost a couple friends,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “We had a previous version of ‘Crossroads,’ but when Eazy died, we did another version of it. We just capitalized on the fact that, ‘hey, we’re losing so many loved ones around you, but we know that there’s a crossroads and we’ll see you again one day.’ That is the biggest smash in the universe, hands down. There’s no song bigger than ‘Crossroads’ in the hip-hop world, so you’ve got to give Bone their flowers.”

After such massive mainstream success, he says he still didn’t feel any pressure for the third studio album, “The Art of War” (1997), featuring the tracks “Look into My Eyes” and “If I Could Teach The World.”

“I don’t think we faced any pressure at all because it just rolled naturally as creating art usually typically does,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “I don’t believe in writer’s block because a writer’s block is just a steppingstone to let you know that you’re getting ready to unlock the floodgates of your creativity, forcing you to think and forcing you to be creative. Only lazy bums use the excuse, ‘Aww man, it’s hard to follow up’ … that’s bull, get up off the tail.”

Their next two albums, “BTNHResurrection” (2000) and “Thug World Order” (2002), featured street songs like “Resurrection (Paper, Paper)” and “Money, Money,” but also inspirational songs like “Let’s Change the World.”

“You have to visit both sides of the coin,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “You’ve gotta take the bitter with the sweet. Even God’s greatest prophets, Jesus himself, he wasn’t worried about Paul and Matthew and Mark and them. No, those guys came to him, but Jesus went to the thieves, the prostitutes. Jesus was in the trenches! He wasn’t out there being high and mighty, messing with the billionaires and politicians. He went to where he was needed the most.”

The albums continued with the EP “Born 4 Life” (2005) and the LPs “Thug Stories” (2006), “Strength & Loyalty” (2007), “Uni5: The World’s Enemy” (2010), “The Art of War: World War III” (2013) and “New Waves” (2017).

Along the way, they delivered some of the best hip-hop samples of classic tunes, turning Phil Collins’ “Take Me Home” into Bone Thugs’ “Home” (2002), turning Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler” into the Mo Thugs hit “Ghetto Cowboy” (1998) and turning Prince’s “When Doves Cry” into Bizzy Bone’s solo hit “Thugz Cry.”

“You can dig and go pull up something man, I swear to God, a lot of people pull these samples from out of nowhere it seems!” Flesh-N-Bone said. “You would never believe that the ‘Ghetto Cowboy’ song was a take from one of Kenny Rogers’ songs, which tells me that you’re a real hip-hop head and real Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fan.”

Each member of the group has spun off into catchy solo work with Bizzy Bone recording “(The Roof Is) On Fire,” Layzie Bone a.k.a. L-Burna recording “Thug By Nature” and Krayzie Bone recording the rapid-fire “Heated Heavy.” As for Flesh-N-Bone, he wants you to check out his newest single “Stay Dangerous,” featuring Gold Rush.

“‘Stay Dangerous’ is my latest single featuring the artist Gold Rush, a.k.a. Raedon Rush, he’s an amazing producer, writer, lyricist and rapper, he’s like a quadruple threat, he does it all,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “‘Stay Dangerous’ is like capturing the epitome of a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony memory, so dangerous lyrically, you just gotta be careful.”

He’s also working on his autobiography, which will arrive soon. Until then, he asks fans for continued prayers for Krayzie Bone, who remains hospitalized after coughing up blood due to a bleeding artery in his lung.

“He definitely went through a scary situation,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “For nine days, he was on life support in the ICU. It was a scary situation. To be honest, we didn’t know if he was going to make it or not, but prayer warriors got busy. I want to thank all you prayer warriors out there who played for my brother, prayed for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and prayed for Kray … Please continue to pray for us because there’s still a slow recovery ahead of us.”

“I’m not sure how many other hip-hop groups out there that you can still consider together with a 30-year history,” Flesh-N-Bone said. “There may be a few, but not in the capacity of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.”

WTOP’s Jason Fraley previews Bone Thugs-N-Harmony at Capital One Arena (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation below on my podcast “Beyond the Fame.”

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