The next few months are going to be bonier than Calista Flockhart, as three of the four members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Bizzy Bone, Layzie Bone and Krayzie Bone plan to release solo albums.
Bizzy Bone is scheduled to drop his second album, The Gift, on March 20, the same day Layzie Bone's solo debut, Thug by Nature, is due. Krayzie Bone's Thug on the Line, pushed back from its initial, February release date, now is due June 5.
Those albums are not scheduled to feature appearances from any other Bone members. Layzie Bone said that was because the group members are working on solo albums, while Krayzie Bone said each member was "doing his own thing," which is why he didn't feature Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone or Wish Bone on his album.
Although Bizzy Bone was berated in the press by the other Bone members for missing promotional duties for the group's most recent album, 2000's BTNHResurrection, Krayzie Bone said he doesn't feel there's any competition among the group members regarding their solo releases.
"I can only speak for myself, but it won't affect me," he said. "I just go in and work like I normally do. There isn't any competition with me at all. I've heard Layzie's album and it's off the hook.
"This is the first time that we've ever [released albums so close to one another], but I don't think that it should have a negative effect on anything, because we've got a lot of fans," he continued. "Everybody likes different members. Bone fans will buy all three of them."
Despite the lack of appearances on one another's albums, Layzie Bone and Krayzie Bone say another Bone album should be released by the end of the year.
(Wish Bone is also working on a solo album, according to Layzie Bone and Krayzie Bone, but it is not yet scheduled for release.)
Layzie Bone said one reason he kept his outside guests to a minimum was to make sure that fans heard enough of him. "On the solo side, I put all of me into it," he said. "It's always easier when I'm working with other cats. All I've got to do is really have my little 16-bar verse, if that much."
Krayzie Bone also trimmed the outside guests on his new album, which is a single album, unlike his double-disc debut, 1999's Thug Mentality. "On the first album, I felt anxious, that I had a lot to say," Krayzie Bone said. "Now I'm more relaxed. I'm trying to keep it short but sweet."
Bizzy Bone's follow-up to 1998's Heaven'z Movie will be released independently. It's his first album since the Ohio rapper sued Loud Records, Sony Records and others in December for allegedly failing to pay him a $1 million advance for the recording of his second album. Bizzy Bone dropped the charges last month in exchange for a release from his recording contract as a solo artist with Sony, allowing him to release solo albums independently, according to a spokesperson at AMC Records, which will release The Gift.
Layzie Bone will adopt the "El Burna" alias on Thug by Nature. "I just feel like I'm a thug by nature," Layzie Bone said of his album's title. "It's just in my nature to be that way. I'm not trying to be a thug. It's what I'm made up to be." The project's first single will likely be "Make My Day."
Krayzie Bone's Thug on the Line was pushed back to get clearance for samples and add new songs, according to a Loud Records spokesperson.
Krayzie Bone also is working on "Ghetto Cowboy," a movie inspired by the 1998 Mo Thugs single. "It's a black Western," Krayzie Bone said about the film, which he hopes to release by the end of the year. "I'm locking down the people now to star in it. I'm going to have R&B singers and rappers in it, as well as some of the top black actors."
The Bones see their impact continuing to creep into hip-hop nearly a decade after their introduction, via gangster-rap pioneer Eazy-E.
"The music and the flow has definitely advanced towards Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's style, because there's a lot of stuff going on that wasn't before we came out," said Krayzie Bone, who also appeared on "Murder Murder," a song from the Comrads' Wake Up & Ball album last year. "Our music has had a major effect on the industry."