Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Preview Reunion Album in New York
Almost 10 years after the release of their last album with the original lineup, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is back in full effect. Last night, the group assembled members of the media to get a sneak taste of their upcoming reunion album ‘Uni 5: The World’s Enemy’ at Legacy Studios in New York City.
With Bizzy Bone missing in action, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, Flesh-N-Bone and Wish Bone stood behind an engineering board in front of their seated audience and played 13 of the 67 tracks recorded for their comeback album, puffing blunts and swigging Heinekens while their freshly minted tracks boomed through the studio speakers.
And after a string of setbacks that included Flesh-N-Bone’s incarceration, group acrimony and label feuds, the Cleveland-based group is back like they never left. The album hinges on the classic singsong, rapid-fire style that first put them on the map, with tracks like the inspirational ‘See Me Shine,’ cautionary street tale ‘Gangsta’s Glory’ and knocking ‘Determination’ capturing the same sound and spirit that fans have come to love from the quintet.
But with the old comes the new, and the group played a few cuts that employ a crisp style that they call “universe.” “Instead of doing 16 bars,” explained Layzie Bone, “we share a 16.” Their newly hatched style makes for some of the album’s tightest cuts, with the sunny ‘Universe’ beaming with each member completing each other’s melodies, swirling into a creamy blend of vocal harmonies that flow on top of searing trumpets and glossy keys.
The sinister ‘Let Ya Self Go’ rounded out the session with the group flowing over a delicate chipmunk vocal sample, with shady synths brooding under their densely layered vocals. The group fielded a few questions from attendees, explaining that it’s taken them years to find the right label situation before they ended up inking a deal with Warner Bros. “Interscope wasn’t showing us any keen interest at all,” said Krayzie Bone. “They was tryin’ to retire us,” added Layzie Bone.
After over 18 years in the game, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is far from calling it quits. With a tentative release date set for December 22, Uni 5: The World’s Enemy could include some of their sharpest, most realized tracks to date. In the meantime, the group is holding listening sessions dubbed “Think Tanks” for fans to get feedback on their new fare, giving them a good idea of what to include on the final tracklist of the new album. But based on what we heard, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is back, flows as tight as ever and ready to get the respect they deserve.