Review Summary: Bizzy Bone is back, confirming 2012 is the end of the world, of the world, of the world!
Bryon Anthony McCane, better known by his performance name Bizzy Bone has had quite an eccentric life.
After finding success as part of the critically regarded hip hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, Bizzy Bone became noted for his increasingly unhinged behavior over the years causing many internal conflicts with the other members of the act. Deeply rooted in psychological trauma due to a kidnapping as a child where he faced mental and sexual abuse from the biological father of one of his half-sisters, it all came to a head in 2004 when Bizzy Bone embarked on a "spiritual journey" becoming voluntarily homeless for seven months, claiming to have traveled all over Ohio sleeping in bus stations and having no money. He managed to find Jesus for his troubles, a number of events since then such as speaking in tongues during a radio interview cementing him as something of an unpredictable personality with those close to him desperately worried about his sanity.
Despite his many personal problems, Bizzy Bone managed to pump out a prolific number of solo albums during the 2000 era onwards with his latest release Back with the Thugz
set to be released back to back with Back with the Thugz Pt.2
in 2009. Bone Unity Report
kicks off things in a cheesy manner with a television news parody, complete with cheap trumpet fanfare at the beginning and an obviously black guy parodying a snotty british news reporter ("Hello this is John Cunningham from the London UK news
"). Many layered news reporter and fan voices talk about how Bizzy Bone is back, and to be quite honest though this is probably something conventional by hip-hop standards it's quite tacky and sets the scene for something truly awful to happen.
By way of disclaimer: the musical quality of Back with the Thugz
is actually not that bad. The arrangements on just about every track are solid, the crisp production bringing out an enjoyable quality in its use of piano loops, synths and the odd unusual texture which comprises the albums beats. The major problem it faces seems to be that as the dominant personality of the record, Bizzy Bone just kinda sucks. From his slurred, whiny delivery to his lyrical content the whole package comes as some kind of lame bastardised reality of gangsta life in the ghetto, love for Jesus, sex, egotistical self promotion and Tony Robbins style self motivation. It really does feel conflicting at times, the gangsta side of the album represented well in title track Back with the Thugz
, Shooting At Me
(feat. Mr. Capone-E), and Race Against Time
(feat. Bad Azz) which certainly show some strengths in their arrangements and choruses. The lyrics themselves feel kind of strange, both the religious and gangbanging elements of the verses a little at odds with one another but the flow is passable enough and can combine these in moments of glory such as the main lyrical section of Shooting At Me
("If we believe in ourselves/There is nothing we can't achieve/If they're shooting at you then they're shooting at me
Indeed Bizzy Bone takes a very positive angle here due to his spirituality, the religious influence very strong with each track featuring verses full of reverence for the lord. The Process
is made up of a voice sample recounting the story of Adam & Eve, the chorus of On That Natural High
as cheery as gangsta rap is probably going to get ("Take a breath and breath it/Thats what I do when i'm on that oxygen/Take a breath and breath/It's just like heaven it puts me on a natural high
") and the auto-tune infected I Wanna Sing
making itself an obvious contender for the cheesiest cut present. I can't quite tell if it features lyrics about paying respect to the Lord in the worst way possible or warping its opening lyrics which discuss finding Jesus into a plea to a lost lover ("*** it I love you/*** it i need you see baby I do love you/Oh baby I need you
") but for the sake of basic decency I hope so.
That's Why Thugs Never Cry
is dedicated in its opening lines to Bizzy's young daughter, full of swearing and lyrics such as ("Live by the sword/Die by the sword/Believe in the Lord and the lords of the Lord
") with sword firmly pronounced s-ward I couldn't imagine a more ridiculous and less poignant track to dedicate to your child to offer advice for them growing up. Lets Get High
(featuring Malow Mac, Snoop Dogg And Miss Lady Pinks) is your typical hip-hop weed song, whilst Jockin' Bizzy
and Women Keep Watching Us
represents the side of Bizzy Bone as a sex machine ("Damn Bizzy Bone be looking finer then a mother***er/He just be lookin' fine/He can hit this anytime!
"). The darkest side of Back with the Thugz
is yet to be explored , and that comes in the form of a track dedicated entirely to the Mayan prediction of the end of the world in 2012, entitled End of The World 2012
. Hilariously awful in both topic and lyrical content, it's one of the more amusing tracks here and ranks up there with the best the album has to offer.
As a whole Back with the Thugz
is terrible, but not in the sense that there has been zero effort put into the album and that the people who created it didn't put their heart and soul into trying to make it sound its best. Bizzy Bone is a very passionate writer, but as a personality he comes off as something of a silly hack here due to the many conflicting sides of his nature, the sheer cheese factor of some of his rhymes and a bold overuse of autotune not helping matters one bit. This is unfortunate because Back with the Thugz
does feature quite a lot of good hooks and production, and at times I definitely want to forgive it for its shortcomings. However if it wasn't for the way it ends with Outro Part 2 Coming Soon
featuring a generic hip-hop beat and the corniest mother***er of a booming soul voice promoting other Bizzy Bones products coming soon whilst inviting you to check out the official Bizzy Bone website and myspace.com, I probably would. There is no excuse.