Who doesn't love a little Bone Thugs-n-Harmony? A favorite group of rap fans young and old, they've given the hip-hop nation such timeless classics as “Tha Crossroads” and “1st of the Month,” both of which will certainly be heard at this weekend's show at The Observatory. Even with a harmonious style as unique as theirs, the group's enjoyable unpredictability doesn't stop with their music. Here are our picks for five of the most welcome surprises Bone Thugs have given us.
5) BET Un:Cut and Harmony
If there was one last truly outstanding bit of programming to come from BET in its post-Viacom era, it's the creation of after hours music video block “BET Un:Cut.” The one hour where the network would air videos whose content would cause them not to get played at any other time of the day, it allowed local underground artists to reach a nationwide audience with the help of just a lil explicit content. There was nothing better than coming home from the club and catching Bizzy Bone alongside Alaska's Joker the Bailbondsman for “Money in a Ziploc Bag.” A clip in circulation for all six years of the show's existence, it's the gift that keeps on giving.
4) Bizzy Bone on his Bone Thugz Departure
As Bone Thugs went through its tumultuous times in the late 90s and early 2000s, fans were as frustrated as they were puzzled as to what was going on with the group. While Bizzy Bone interviews have a tendency to be a touch, shall we say, “out there,” given how bizarre the circumstances of his departure and the group's industry woes were, his explanation here sounds downright cognoscente. It's best you hear this from Bizzy.
3) Bone Thugs n Harmony n Phil Collins
The year 2000 was the absolute hottest time for the music industry. Boasting bigger sales than ever, artists were more than happy to expand their audiences, try new things and watch the cash roll in. 13 years later, it's still shocking to be reminded that Bone Thugs once collaborated with former Genesis frontman and MTV's all-time most played artist Phil Collins. Just as shocking was how well received the track was. Yes folks, the hit rap single with a Phil Collins feature was a thing.
2) The BTNH Resurrection of Kevin Federline
But while the BTNH magic happened with Phil Collins, the world never got the promised single that was supposed to bring together Bone Thugs-n-Harmony and former Britney Spears husband/dancer Kevin Federline. While the promotional red carpet was rolled out announcing their 2009 team-up, complete with in-studio footage, the song (not unlike K-Fed's collaboration with The Game) never emerged. We at the Weekly would like to issue a public plea in hopes someone/somethug could please liberate what's sure to be one of pop culture's greatest curiosities.
1) Bizzy Bone's Otherworldly Radio Interview
Finally, we have Bizzy Bone's absolutely baffling circa 2006 radio "interview.” Philosophical, chaotic and utterly bizarre, it became one of the first viral hip-hop phenomenons on YouTube. Nobody's sure exactly what or why or how Bizzy was operating on such higher levels on, um, "understanding,” but it's a piece of audio that will please hip-hop fans for years to come. Praise God.