If you’re a fan of hip-hop, then on Thursday night, you were probably at Tipitina’s with a drink in your hand and a swagger in your step. Five of the biggest names in rap and R&B came from Cleveland to get down with NOLA, grouped together to form Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. From Ohio, consisting of Bizzy Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, and Flesh-N-Bone, the group blew up in the early 90’s when rap and hip-hop were finally starting to get mainstream recognition. They were first signed by Easy-E, to his record label Ruthless Records, in 1993 and have since released a total of ten studio albums. Bone Thugs have also worked with countless legendary artists such as Tupac, Biggie, Easy-E, Akon, Stephen Marley, and more. Their last release as a group was in 2013, an album called Art of War: World War III. Bizzy Bone and Layzie Bone also released a duet album together called New Waves in 2017 under the name Bone Thugs.
Local talent Amanda Ducorbier and Alfred Banks opened up for BTNH Thursday evening, and by the time Bone Thugs hit the stage, the audience was already quite lit, buzzed, blitzed, turnt, twisted, and everything in between. Bone Thugs are avid pot smokers and they like to make it known, but getting messed up in general is apparently how to attend their shows, because with the Tip’s crowd, drinks were abundant and dignity was tossed aside. The venue was probably more full of embarrassingly intoxicated characters than many shows before.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are so named due to their inclination to sing R&B melodies together while rapping back and forth. MTV once noted them as being “the most melodic hip-hop group of all time.” They’ve lost a bit of that luster over the years, though, as the vocals weren’t all that together, especially at the times when the members were rapping over their own recorded verses. Maybe they just needed the vocal equivalent of bowling alley bumper lanes to keep themselves in check after so many drinks and blunts.
Regardless of their half-assed effort, the show was still a roaring success. The crowd could not have had a better time rapping along with the Bones and remembering their good ‘ol days. When it was time for Bone Thugs, each rapper stepped onstage one-by-one to rap a verse, and then join in the group. Sadly, Bizzy Bone was nowhere to be seen, and did not make an appearance for the show. They sang/spit all their most known tracks like “1st of the Month” and “Foe Tha Love of Money,” but also tracks with famous features such as “I Tried” (which featured Akon), “Notorious Thugs” (which featured B.I.G.) and their all-time greatest hit “The Crossroads” (a tribute to the loss of friends including Easy-E). After Crossroads, they started a “Goodnight” chant with the crowd to the tune of samples from Dr. Dre and Phil Collins. After the fans had said their farewells and begun to trickle out, Bone Thugs sent everyone off with a group collaboration with the trap artists that were sharing their tour. Hopefully the patrons didn’t stumble too hard on the way out and made it home safely to see Bone Thugs-N-Harmony another day.