In the current issue of HYPE, we got an exclusive with the Cleveland crew on their 20 year reunion. Here’s more from the interview that you didn’t get to read in the mag.
HYPE: Last year there were fliers and marketing done around a Bone Thugs tour to South Africa. I remember the day you were scheduled to land on our shores, I read a statement that Krayzie put online about leaving the crew. What really went down with that tour – or was it all just a public stint by a fake promoter?
Bizzy: No one spoke to me. I haven’t left the United States EVER in my professional career… And Kray can say whatever he wants… We are a family first.
Krayzie: No, we were actually ready and willing to come to Africa. Are you kidding, the motherland? We were excited to finally get to go to Africa because we have never been. Unfortunately, I don’t think whoever the promoter was had the means to actually make it happen. It wasn’t a hoax or none of those other silly games that celebrities do to get attention.
HYPE: Speaking about that album, it featured the massive collaboration with Tupac ‘Thug Luv’. Around that time you’d also collaborated with Notorious B.I.G on ‘Notorious Thugs’. In your honest opinion, had they not been killed, what do you think the status of hip hop would be today? Where do you think their careers would’ve taken them having been blessed to record with both of them respectively?
Layzie: I think if they would have had time to let the media hype die down they would’ve been friends again. I think the political side of hip hop would have been a lot stronger because that’s what they – and we – really stood for; to change the world and save the kids. I think we lost some great young men with potential to be great leaders. There’s definitely a void because they’re gone.
Krayzie: They would’ve both went to be even more successful than they were at the time because they were both very talented individuals. I think they would’ve also impacted the world just as much or more than we did. I think the game would’ve eventually changed into what it is now but you can never really know it would’ve been. That’s something that our generation will always ponder upon…
HYPE: Please describe the writing process. There were always overflowing harmonies and verses, and tracks always came off very well designed. Do you discuss the concept of the song first? What’s a typical recording process like? Are you all in the booth at the same time?
Layzie: We were always critical of each other’s lyrics, for the simple fact that we strive on excellence when it comes to music and business. We critique each other a lot. We got used to constructive criticism early on.
Bizzy: The process is ever evolving to me. It varies but lately we been together on all of it.
HYPE: Words of advice to those looking for longevity in the game?
Layzie: Trust your instincts, follow your heart, and don’t sell out for no-one.
Krayzie: Be original and create your own lane. Don’t be a follower. Study, master and understand the music. You can be the biggest music lover, but if you don’t understand music and what it means then it’s a waste of time.
HYPE: What are your feelings about the current state of the industry having been in the game 20 years? What are some of the biggest notable differences particularly in the hip hop scene between the time you first started recording professionally up to now?
Layzie: Music is in good shape right now. You still have every type of music in hip hop as always; party music, street music and a ton of fly-by-night songs. It’s always been like that. The biggest difference from when we started is the convenience of the internet. Independently, you can reach across the world now if you can market your product as opposed to carrying around big bulky heavy a*s albums and cassettes.
Bizzy: The most major difference is that there’s better technology as far as sound.
If you want to read the full interview, remember that you have two more weeks to go out and cop the Apr/May issue of HYPE with the 3 x SAMA winner Khuli Chana on the cover!!!