Twenty years has "flown by" for rapper Layzie Bone and his group mates in Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
But now the on-again, off-again quintet -- formed in Cleveland and now based in Los Angeles -- is back in gear with "Everything 100," its first new recording in five years, and a spate of touring to celebrate the troupe's two decades in the rap game.
"Basically, man, we grew up as family," says Layzie Bone (real name Steven Howse), 39, whose older brother is the group's Flesh-n-Bone (Stanley Howse) and cousin is Wish Bone (Charles C. Scruggs, Jr.). "And besides being family, Bones Thugs-n-Harmony was our calling to life. Whenever we fall out and go through differences and whatnot, the family thing overrides everything else.
"Our calling was making music together. It's what God's given us, so we always want to honor what was blessed to us in our lives. So we get through all the hardships and just keep pushing, man, 'cause as brothers we're all we got. That's what it all boils down to."
Layzie Bone says the latest Bones Thugs-n-Harmony reunion was prompted by Flesh-n-Bone after a going through rehab. And, he adds, those who listen to "Everything 100" will hear something different than they've grown used to from the group over the course of its nine albums.
"Y'know, everybody wants the 'Mo' Murda' and the 'Bang Bang (Shoot 'em Up)' and all that type of stuff from Bone Thugs-n-Harmony," Layzie Bone acknowledges, "but we do want people to now we've got women in our lives, we've got children in our lives. We grew up and this is what we're doing; we made our money and we're no longer selling illegal narcotics and things like that on the streets.
"We're in the streets here and there, but we're more businessmen and family-oriented. So we wanted to give people something that was fun but told 'em about who we are and where Bones Thugs-n-Harmony's at right now. That's 'Everything 100.' "
The Oakaloosa '13 Music Festival, featuring Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Girl Talk, Royce Da 5'9", Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, Bizarre Kaleido, Ro Spit and more runs from noon to midnight Saturday, July 27, at Historic Fort Wayne, 6325 Jefferson Ave., Detroit. Tickets are $45 general admission, $55 VIP. Visit www.Oakaloosa.com for more information.
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