Time is one of the trickiest notions to comprehend in this third dimensional reality. What it does to our psyche, our mindsets, our understanding & memories is a conundrum for most. Its interesting, to say the least, how time affects not only the music recorded during various generations but also the artists that make that music. Most artists that were some of the most popular entertainers 20-30 years ago don’t have the same impact on mainstream popular culture today as they once did. But why is that? Does it have to be an absolute reality? Sure some artists may lose a step in their penmanship & musical ability, but what about those that stand the test of time and still make incredible music that’s still relevant today as it ever was? They matter just as much if not more as the artists that have just become known within the past couple of years. Their work should be as heavily praised now as before; unfortunately that’s not the case for most artists in the music industry.
Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony have been around for over 20 years. Their first break-out single “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” might as well have been my introduction to puberty. Their unique melodic, double-time flows mixed in with a unique blend of catchy harmonies made their music memorable and timeless. Over the years they’ve sold over 25 million records in the U.S, have won two American Music Awards & a Grammy. They put the midwest on the map for hip-hop during the mid-nineties & cultivated a sound that to this day still can’t be replicated or mimicked. They will forever be one of the greatest Hip-hop/Rap groups of all-time and had a direct impact on myself as well as millions of others in my generation.
However like everything else in this trivial existence in the music industry & life, all good things must come to an end… Right? For the past 15 years Bone hasn’t made many “Waves” with their music. Though I’ve found a handful of singles from each album since, BNTH resurrection was the last noteworthy project of the rap quartet, occasionally plus-1 when Flesh-N-Bone is included, hailing form Cleveland, Ohio. UNI-5 wasn’t a bad effort in my honest opinion and each member seems to have had somewhat moderate success trying their hand at solo & duo projects with one another as well as random pairings with members of The Outlawz (Pac’s proteges that are still doing their part to preserve his legacy by releasing music in dedication to the slain legend every chance they get). So unless you’re a die-hard Bone fan, chances are you haven’t heard much from them musically speaking… Until now.
Withe the release of their latest project “New Waves” under the shortened name Bone Thugs, Bizzy Bone and Krazyie Bone have re-ignited a fire in their musical endeavors. While the first single that made me aware of the project was “Nothing Matters” from Thug Brothers 2, a joint effort from Krayzie & Young Noble of The Outlawz, it was still enough to spark my intrigue and nab my attention as a listener.
Though “Coming Home” featuring Stephen Marley was released first, I didn’t stumble across it until I saw the video for Nothing Matters. Since then the Bone franchise seems to be on a roll with standout records, most noticeably “Fantasy” & “Change The Story” (featuring Uncle Murda) which they released a video for just last week.
What has me pressed however is how virtually no media outlets are covering the album nor the singles in-depth in any way. While there’s obviously posts on major hip-hop publications, there’s no real enthusiasm about the music. Its as if its not even worth discussing for most bloggers even though the music is incredible in my opinion; and that’s not just coming from a life-long Bone fan, I’d love this music even if it were released by one of today’s Hip-Hop up & comers. Its just quality work all the way across the board.
For the past few years both major online music publications & independent blogs have become the primary means of press for artists both rising & established alike. While print slowly eases its way out of our lives, the internet, specifically social media, has been how we discover much of the entertainment we consume today. But there has been a tremendous imbalance amongst what gets extensive coverage. Most online outlets care far more about clicks then actually developing quality content that both stimulates and encourages readers to expand their listening tastes. For this reason, many artists in the underground still continue to struggle with developing a larger listening audience as they fall short in competing with the usual suspects that continuously uphold Billboard charting positions on a regular basis. But more than that, veteran artists’ like Bone Thugs N Harmony are also of less concern for bloggers to focus on as the younger generation of artists garner more appeal with the apparent demographic online outlets adhere to. But that doesn’t make their music any less worthy of discussing.
Truth be told Bone Thugs are making some of the best music of their collective careers respectively. Their current singles have the potential to be radio hits if given the chance and opportunity but since the major media in music isn’t talking about them, few people are listening and that therein outlines a bigger problem with much of these popular Hip-Hop publications. Many of them would rather discuss the controversy of artist beef and celebrity drama than actually talk about who’s making great music. Its one of the main reasons NMR was developed, to shift the tide and focus to change these trends. Its past time to re-evaluate music journalism and talk about the music, not the hype.
Some believe music is a generational thing, i.e. one can’t relate or connect with music that was released before their time living, but that is nothing more than a myth. I wasn’t around when Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles or The Beatles were in their prime releasing hit records, but that doesn’t mean I can’t adore and connect with the music they made, no matter how long ago it was. To think that legendary artists are ever “too old” to be celebrated regularly for their continuous efforts to gift the world with new music is not only absurd, its prejudicial which is how I feel many of these bloggers behave when it comes to who the donate their attention to. It may have been 15 years or so since the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony franchise have been in the spotlight but that doesn’t mean we have to pretend they no longer exist. The new album “New Waves” is definitely worth checking out and has a handful of singles that would serve your daily playlist well, all you gotta do is take the focus of XXXTentacion, Lil Pump & Lil Yachty briefly and acknowledge that there’s still life in the booths the vets are recording in; and its still as vibrant as ever.