interview LAYZIE BONE  (January 2008) | Interview By: George Skoutakis

Dubcnn had the chance to connect with Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs N Harmony for an interview. We go in-depth on this one, and talk about the reception of the last album "Strength N Loyalty", Layzie & Bizzy's "Bone Brothers 3" album which is dropping in February, as well as the whole Bizzy Bone situation with the rest of the group. Layzie tells us about Flesh's situation, future plans for the group, Interscope Records, working on the new album and much more.

As always we have both the transcript and the audio for you to check and please feel free to send any feedback regarding the interview to: rud@dubcnn.com or nima@dubcnn.com

Interview was done in January 2008.

Questions Asked By :
George Skoutakis

Dubcnn: We are here with Layzie Bone from Bone Thugs N Harmony. Layzie whatís happening?

Layzie Bone Ė Ah man, everything is everything. Everything is going down, how are you feeling bro?

Dubcnn: Iím, doing well, thank you. Itís a brand new year and before we get started I wanted you to reflect on 2007 since it was such a huge year for Bone Thugs. What did it mean for you to prove all the critics wrong?

To me, thatís what Iím built on. It means everything for me to prove everybody wrong. Iíve always been the underdog, Bone Thugs N Harmony have always an underdog. Thatís where I get my gratification from; telling a motherfucker ďI told you so, I told you I could do itĒ. We set our goals so high and the average person canít really fathom the goal we set out for 2007. For it to actually happen and come back in a big way with the album and movie and all that when people counted us out. Thatís what I live for, thatís what I grind for; to let a nigga know you canít out due me, period.

Dubcnn: Another thing you guys are known for is surprising people and doing things they wouldnít expect. Your first project of 2008 is you and Bizzy Bone on the Bone Brothers 3 project. How did that come about?

Layzie Bone Ė Well basically, I got wind from family members that Bizzy Bone was reaching out to me and you know, we were basically reaching out to each other man. We were both getting an understanding that it was about time to put that thing together. The three of us, Krayzie, Layzie and Wish proved that one member doesnít make Bone Thugs N Harmony. Bone Thugs N Harmony is majority rules anyway. I felt in my heart knowing my brother Flesh comes home in June, and we got the American Music Award, I felt it was time to start looking toward the future to a reunion. The first thing I did was called Bizzy and said ďletís do an albumĒ and prep the group and let them know you working and youíre really ready to get back.

Dubcnn: Bizzy hasnít always been there mentally. Where do you think his mental state is after spending some time with him after being apart? Where is he at mentally?

Layzie Bone Ė What I see out of Bizzy is that heís really, really dedicated to work. Heís seen what heís had to seen and gone through what he needs to go through as far as being solo. He came to me in a real genuine way as brothers, even though Iíve heard that and seen that in the past, but this time I think we all felt that the four and the five is stronger. I just seen the nigga dedicated to work. We did the Bone Brothers album in three days and we ended re-building the relationship out of that again. He ain't changed, heís still the same old Bizzy but just realized that weíre stronger together. I think we all had to go through that, I donít think itís just Bizzy that went through that. I just think he went through it in a more major way because heís the youngest member.

Iíve always been the dude who felt we gotta keep it together. I just felt it was time to bring him back in. I felt he was ready. Other group members didnít feel he was ready so I came with the thing that we needed to do a Bone Brothers 3 project, called Brothers 4 life, and show niggas lets do it gradually. Lets do it gradually and lets not jump back into it like weíre all Bone and weíre all here now. Weíre going to take baby steps at it. That was our understanding and thatís how I knew he was serious about his shit.

Dubcnn: For the majority of this millennium youíve been kind of the glue thatís held Bone Thugs N Harmony together and stuck youíre neck out. Youíve tried your best to keep the name strong with all the members. How do the other two (Krayzie and Wish) feel about the Bizzy situation, Iím sure theyíre a little bit weary?

Theyíre older then me man. When niggas get older they got way more responsibilities and no time to play with it. I donít question Krayzie when he says Bizzy has to show me. Krayzie gets into his modes when he says ďman we gotta get Bizzy back, I love him, but I donít know if I can trust that.Ē You gotta understand weíre in a billion dollar business. If we have the potential to make $50 Million, and we set that goal, and we only get half of that, then thatís a disappointment for all of us.

They (Krayzie and Wish) just want to be for certain. Wish is ďUncle God Damn itĒ of the group, Krayzie Bone is the Grandfather, Bizzy is the baby, Iím the nephew and Flesh is always the 5th Dogg. Flesh can play any of those roles, he get in where he fit in with that. Wish is harder to please; he always has been since he was a kid. Krayzie; he want it but heís weary. We ain't 18 years old anymore, we still look it but weíre not. We really donít have time to play with it. Itís just something we gotta be real men about and work at it. Itís not something thatís going to happen overnight and thatís why I took the initiative to get that ball rolling at least 8 or 9 months ahead of time instead of all of us going to get Flesh and painting a faÁade for him. We might as well start building it now because thatís always been my role in the group. Not the best rapper, the fastest rapper, not none of that shit. Iím basically the glue.

Dubcnn: You guys got a new album coming on Interscope. Have you gone into the studio and started working on it?

We did 100 songs for the last album and Interscope didnít really give us the leeway to do the album like we wanted to. We really werenít pleased with all the song selections. Even though we know we didnít make any bullshit, the song selection in our eyes could have been a whole lot rougher. We got most of the shit done for the next album. Weíll probably go in for a month right after we get off tour and go in and finish it up. Weíll save a couple songs for Flesh and probably have Bizzy featured on 3 or 4 and have Flesh featured on 3 or 4. Weíll do that until what I call the legendary last Bone Thugs N Harmony album before we go on tour like a rock group forever ever.

Dubcnn: When you do put out this next album, will there be more guests or will it be more of a Bone Thugs N Harmony thing?

Itís going to be more of a Bone Thugs N Harmony thing because out the gate to me, that was a whole lot of wasted money on the last album. Most of these motherfuckers doing us anyway; so why would we go out and spend all that money? Thatís something Interscope felt they needed to do to bring Bone back, but that didnít help none. They didnít promote it to that capacity and we sold basically to our fan base. Bone Thugs N Harmony is going to go Gold anyway because our fan base is like that. Itís Bone Thugs time. Itís five of us, five rappers in the group anyway so there ain't too much room. We probably have some people who can help us with the course lines. Some Ohio natives like Lyfe Jennings or someone who can truly harmonize like Jaheim but not too many rappers unless theyíre one of our dawgs.

Dubcnn: One thing youíve made mention of is Interscope selecting certain songs. Are you guys leaning to more harder stuff for this next album? Some Thuggish Ruggish Bone, No Surrender type stuff?

Man weíre coming all the way street dawg. When you hear some of the shit that wasnít selected for the album, everybody going to be saying ďman those motherfuckers are crazy.Ē They tried to reach for the Crossroads, the pop stuff. They donít know the Bone history. They think all of our shit is singing and sweet music because all they know is the Crossroads and 1st of the Month. They didnít know we were singing but saying such hard shit. The street shit is coming. Right now Iím pumping gas in a nice little Expedition. Nothing too flashy, I donít like causing a scene when Iím by myself. Iím in the streets all the time. Iím by myself, Iím not with security, and Iím not with 30 niggas. Thatís how we move, weíre still out here and the world needs to know that. Anyone who reads this, and they see Layzie Bone, they already know what time it is. Thatís a real nigga because heís out here with us. Iíve been out here the whole time.

Dubcnn: Now that youíve reached Gold, do you expect Interscope to be less hands on with this album and kind of let you do your thing?

We basically shocked everybody. Our A&R was very hands on but at the same time he was very hands off. I think with any relationship you have to build your respect up. I think we earned our respect with Interscope, with Jimmy Iovine and Tubby Holliday. Now theyíve seen weíre a good investment, why wouldnít they let us do our thing? Right now the whole situation is love. I can talk to Tubby anytime I want to. I can tell him ďwe should have done this.Ē Itís a healthy relationship now as opposed to us getting to know each other before.

Dubcnn: At the beginning when you first hooked up with Interscope, Swizz was a part of the deal and you guys were Full Surface. In the original press shoots Swizz was there, and then he was a little less prevalent as time went on. Whatís the deal with Swizz and Full Surface Records?

We definitely expect to have more hands on from Swizz. Swizz is going to be way more involved. We probably have 50 songs done with Swizz that we werenít able to use. For some reason, political or what not, Swizz seemed like he got pushed to the side and none of Bone Thugs N Harmony were happy about that. Swizz was the one who truly stepped up and got the vibe back going like, ďYaíll niggas legends, we need yaíll in the game, come fuck with me.Ē Swizz definitely going to be a part of it man. Even though motherfuckers tried to break us up, however it went down, whether itís the powers that be or everyday life or whatever the case may be, it never broke the friendship. We were in the studios like brothers the whole time anyway. Thatís like a brotherhood, that ain't never going to stop. Itís like me and Bizzy falling out. It may not seem like weíre together at the time, but we are.

Dubcnn: We talked about Flesh before and heís up for parole in June, howís he holding up right now?

Ah man, Heís doing absolutely excellent. They moved him into a penitentiary where itís easier to do time. They had him in maximum type shit. He had to really fend for his life and put hands on motherfuckers. He really went through it in a raw way, the way a rapper probably never did. Heís doing great; mentally heís doing greater then a motherfucker. Heís ready to come home. I canít say heíll be out in June but heíll be up for parole. Iím trying to get as many signatures from high profiled business people.

You know all the Jimmy Iovineís and everybody I can to help me petition that this man needs to be on the streets. He did his time and made it up to society and now he needs to be cut loose because he has a real bright future ahead of him. Iím trying to get all these signatures and everything together to show his judge when he goes up for parole that this man is coming home to straight business. (Bone) all kept our noses clean through the grace of God. We aint get caught up in no dumb shit and Boneís record is cool so they should have no problem with him coming home to work with us. His parole is in June and weíre just praying for the best.

Dubcnn: Have you considered waiting until June to get Flesh and Bizzy on a few more tracks?

I got two solo albums coming out and Krayzie got shit coming out. We working on the Ghetto Cowboy movie that Krayzie just got a deal for so weíre going to be shooting that movie. We got a lot of stuff to hold us over, so there really is no big rush to record this album. The album is really done, we just going to add Bizzy and Flesh, and in the summer time, we will own it. We have enough music to hold us over for the next 6 months to make noise until Flesh gets home. The object is to hold down and have that real reunion album. We plan to do it live on television. We going to pitch it as a reality show Ė Flesh coming home from the penitentiary, roll into his new house with his kids and we going to hit the studio like it always used to be.

Dubcnn: Is the Twista and Bone thugs n harmony album anywhere near done or is it difficult because of both of your schedules ?

No it ainít really that tough. We do a lot of shit over email too. We might do a song or two, every two to three months. That is one project that will definitely happen. I feel like Twista really needs to be on this album. He is probably one of the few rappers that will be on this album because he representing that fast flow and Midwest. We definitely trying to have Twista involved with the new whole thing. If not, if he is just a feature on the album we want him to go on tour with us. We might end up finishing that album on tour; who knows ?

Dubcnn: One thing on your last album, and I did a few interviews with you along with Flesh, the common thing you mentioned when I interviewed you all was the lack of respect. Do you feel like you are getting that respect now with the success of Strength and Loyalty?

Man we get respect from our hardcore loyal fans. We got hardcore loyal fans that are in the business. We got hardcore loyal fans that are from the streets, you know what I mean? We get it from that angle but you know everything great you have to have some kind of shit to go with it. So we get respect, we get love, but they be songs out now, and I be like I wonder why motherfuckers like DJ Khaled didnít consider us for the remix for Iím So Hood. He got Ludacris and Busta Rhymes and them doing Bone Thugs N Harmony. To me, to throw it out there, but he got us on the album so they ain't no disrespect but I am saying to me I feel respect could always be greater and I am always going to feel like that, but I am biased about my own shit. I donít know if that makes sense at all?

Dubcnn: You talk about your loyal fan base, one thing I have noticed is that your fan involvement has seen to grown. I see Krayzie Bone on Btnhboard and youíre always interacting with the fans. Is that something you are consciously doing more of now?

Yeah man, I think we all just making a point to really just get back involved with the fans. You get so big you forget about the little things. Before email and Myspace, we were still getting fan letters Ė boxes and boxes of fan mail and we used to answer that shit. A fan would have their number in the mail, and out of the blue, we would be going through that shit and saying call that mother fucker, that motherfucker is thinking crazy, we need to tell him to chill out. We definitely getting more conscious on getting more involved with our fans because really a fan is like a friend for life. If you donít holler back at your friend in some kind of way and donít show some type of appreciation then eventually they not going fuck with you no more. I think that is what we realize now. We know how to cater to those that are loyal to us.

Dubcnn: As we wind down, what are the plans for the new year? Things that are coming real soon from Bone Thugs .

The Layzie/Bizzy Bone album. I just got a shoe deal that I just signed. I canít talk about it just yet, but the Bone Thugs n harmony sneaker is coming soon. We got a lot of individual things coming together. We have another tour coming out, we touring all of February and March. We starting to shoot the Ghetto Cowboy movie Ė Krayzie called me yesterday and was like ďLayzie the Kid, is you ready!Ē He is pumped about the deal, so weíll start that right after the tour is over. We working. We got movies and deals. I got the strong possibility to get this lead role in this sitcom. Thereís a lot of things going on for us man. We definitely had a come back year in 2007.

Dubcnn: Speaking of acting, how come ďI TriedĒ didnít get released to TV, it was just to DVD ?

Oh itís coming. We had a better idea to sell it first. The movie just went platinum. Thank you to the fans. A lot of people still donít know it is out, but our fans do. The DVD sales is platinum. Everything is slowly bubbling up to this one big ďKaboomĒ for us.

Dubcnn: As of right now officially, Bizzy is working himself back into the group, but would you officially say he is back ? Just to make it clear.

If you ask me, Iíd say hell yea he is back! If you ask Wish and Kray, they will be like ďI donít know about that, I ainít ready to talk about that right now!Ē But I am telling mother fuckers right now, Flat out, He back! Motherfuckers going to kiss and make up in the end, I know I sound kinda boasty when Krayzie and Wish read this, yea he coming back. It is only business to me. Hell motherfucking yea, he is going to add that extra fire like he always did and we going to get super paid. This time it is going to be very contractually stipulated that if mothefuckers flake out on us and that money Ė you see that is what we didnít do last time. I am telling everyone up front, that if he walks off tour this time, we suing you, we taking everything and we going to publicly humiliate you. If you say you going to do something as a man, then word is bond.

Dubcnn: To be honest, some of the letters I got from Flesh, I donít think anyone really has a choice. I think he is ready to bring it back as a five man group anyways.

He got his mind so made up. If he feels like that, I am just the little brother, so you already know this was going to happen. This nigga sat down like ten years. We were all misguided back then at that time we didnít know what we should have known, by Eazy E dying and all that and for him to have to sit down and watch the whole thing from where he watched it and be like ďI want my shit back,Ē we canít do nothing but give that back to him. He put the THUG in this shit. Me and Wish were the first niggas in the streets from Bone Thugs N Harmony at a very young age.

When we got famous, Flesh put the THUG in this shit. He wish a nigga would for real. You can tell by the cases that he did catch Ė we was young, we was dumb, we was really on some real shit. We did not trust nobody, that is why we have always been outcasted, always been carried to ourselves, never overexposed, never exposed enough because we was that BONE ĖBeatin On Niggas Everyday and the Trues Humbly United Gathering Souls in Harmony Ė That shit is real talk for real ! So Flesh want it, Bizzy want it, I want it, Kray want it and Uncle Goddamn it going say cool, he is riding!

Dubcnn: Any last words to the fans.

Thank you for the continued support. Whoever knows anything about Bone thugs n harmony, we ainít going come with no bullshit. We going to give you a full surface of a album every time. We going hit you with every angle on the album every time. We thank everybody for the continued support. Fifteen years in this fickle ass business and we canít ask for more because our fans recognize how real niggas is.





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