Bizzy Bone Talks New Rock/Rap Album, Bone Thugz Breakup And King James Leaving Cleveland
There is no falsehood to the moniker; Bryon “Bizzy Bone” McCain is busy man. Since contractually parting ways with Bone Thugs N Harmony – the group with whom he sold millions of records – in 1998, Biz has dropped 20 albums.
With themes ranging from the mundane to the macabre, Bizzy has kept a cult following of fans by spitting his signature rapid-fire flow.
The revolving member on the Cleveland's legendary crew has stayed working. Busy making music, busy making life's inevitable mistakes and busy making amends.
Earlier this year Biz again reunited with the brethren to drop the album Uni5 The Worlds Enemy marking the first time all five members were together on wax in years.
The reunion wouldn't last long however and following financial fallout, Biz again recently distanced himself from the crew.
Now back fully focusing on his solo career, Bizzy is pushing a rap/rock album Crossroads 2010, writing movies, piloting reality shows and planning overseas tours. Never too busy to get to the money.
Hip-hop Wired sat down with Bizzy to discuss his latest musical transition, the status of his Bone Thugs N Harmony affiliation, his prediction for doomsday and if he still has love for Lebron.
Hip-Hop Wired: How do you feel about the album now that it has been out for a while and your fans have gotten a chance to digest it?
Bizzy Bone: We have been on iTunes top 10 for like five weeks now, so it speaks for itself. They aren't promoting it to the hip-hop crowd or nothing like that, we are going for the long haul on this one. We aren't going to just throw it in the stores and do 100,000 and be happy with it, we are gonna go all around. We are going for a couple of platinum plaques. We are gonna go Rage Against The Machine on them, tour overseas with it for a couple of years. Its one of those records that's gonna be here until the end world, man. I'm very ecstatic about what is going on with it. It's just a beautiful thing.
Hip Hop Wired: The name of the album is Crossroads 2010, along with being the name of an old Bone song; did this album mark a crossroads in your life?
Bizzy Bone: I knew I had to come up with something new. I wanted to come up with something new with my partners, but my partners and I didn't really click on my new vision. They wanted to stick to the script. That's cool, that's always an avenue. “Crossroads” is really what brought the style and really brought Bone into the world. I said I have to do something that takes it and uplifts it. And that's what I'm doing with Crossroads 2010.
Hip-Hop Wired: The album definitely has a lot of rock influence. Have you always been into alternative music?
Bizzy Bone: Definitely, but I needed to take it to another level. It's more like R&B singing, with a little more choppy words. We have 10-string guitars; rock n roll artists don't even use that. We tried to go to another level because you have rappers that are doing that as well. So [the producer] brought out xylophones and 10 string guitars all kinds of different sh*% and took it to a whole different plateau.
Hip-Hop Wired: You seem comfortable in that setting. Is that something you are transitioning into?
Bizzy Bone: Ima tell you, man. Everybody always said, use your voice. Sometimes you take great opinions of the past, leave the bad stuff away and make something bigger than your name. Make something to where they can't say, this is a Bizzy Bone record. So I had to take all of that advice from the past and just use my voice. Because I still have the second tenor going. So yeah, I'm very comfortable in that.
Hip-Hop Wired: Do you play any instruments?
Bizzy Bone: I fiddle faddle with the piano. I get me the presidential suit and play the piano all night long until the next-door neighbors get tired. Serenading my broad or whatever but nothing spectacular.
Hip-Hop Wired: The album art is very interesting. Can you explain that a little bit more?
Bizzy Bone: It encompasses everything in the record. From the man with the eye in the middle of his forehead, to the Stonehenge, to the black crows, to the pitchforks. The record was made through the tribulation of 2012 coming.
Hip-Hop Wired: You are showing a lot of growth as an artist by trying different things. How much do you think you have changed or matured since your first solo LP.
Bizzy Bone: The first solo LP was a lot about learning the business, in the same context of making the music. The first solo LP was supposed to be completely produced by the late Johnny J, but the money started getting funny. I ended up having to do records with other people. It was a great experience because it was successful. Regardless of whatever went down that is still the biggest selling album that I have come out with.
Hip-Hop Wired: After 17 years in the game, what is the key to staying relevant?
Bizzy Bone: A lot of people are just gimmicks. I don't consider myself old school, I consider myself being reborn everyday. That's one of the problems with Hip-Hop, they'll stab you in the back quick. Motley Crew is 90 years old, legs bout to break on stage, 70, 80,000 m#therFawkers [at their concerts]. N%gg#s, no matter if slavery is over, are still gonna get stabbed in the back. Unless you go that extra mile. Yeah they aint beating us with whips anymore, but they are damn sure making sure people who sold millions of records are bankrupt.
Hip-Hop Wired: What keeps you motivated in this cutthroat game?
Bizzy Bone: To not have been taken care of, you gotta keep working. Plus you love the music anyway, Hell, I would do shows for free if we didn't have to make sure things are being taken care of step by step. Its been like 17 years but a lot of people work for like 30, 40 years to get their pension. So its not that amazing. It only becomes amazing when you know the oppression that comes behind it. That's just the criteria of a man. If you can stand the rain. You stay healthy, you stay hungry and you love music.
Hip-Hop Wired: What was it like linking back up with the crew for the Uni-5 album before the most recent fallout?
Bizzy Bone: You know what, we never left. I think that the hip-hop community was mad because I wasn't a dummy, because I wasn't willing to take just anything. So the energy of the hip-hop community was like, oh he's a rebel. No, I'm not a rebel. We sold 50 million records and I want what's rightfully mine. And if I cant get it with you, I'm gonna try and get it on my own. I can do bad all by myself. I love my dudes. Them my dudes, we cool. I live 10 minutes away from Lazy. I go to his house and see his kids, ‘Hey man, I think its best if we just be buddies.' He like, ‘hell yeah I agree, man.' Sometimes we wanna get back and do some stuff but we are better off friends. This industry will turn you against the people that you love.
Hip-Hop Wired: What was the cause for the most recent breakup?
Bizzy Bone: Bone asked me to not be a part of doing shows anymore. I did my arrangement with Warner [Bros records] by myself. So I emailed Warner and I told them what was going on. One of the execs hit me back and he was like, ‘Why did [they] say that?' I said, ‘Man, they didn't want me to negotiate my own prices.' The exec was like, ‘Well you negotiated your own price with us, what's the difference.' I'm like, ‘I really don't know.' I walked away [from Bone]. The next thing I know they are like, ‘Hey, are you on the Uni-5 Tour?' I said, naw they are the Uni-4. That's basically what happened with that.
Hip-Hop Wired: With you defecting and Krazy and Lazy Bone recently speaking out about their displeasure with the group – but later recanting their statements – what is the status of Bone?
Bizzy Bone: I've been gone from Bone since 1998, legally. I was always there to do a record but I just negotiated my stuff on my own. Like I said, people got upset with that. Because they wanted to have me in that same ‘Fawk you' game. Eazy E is dead. We have no loyalty to nobody but ourselves and that's how I thought. But everybody wasn't on that level. But that's their mind, that's their heart, that's their soul, that's their spirit. If you not rolling with me its all good. You still my partner.
Hip-Hop Wired: So your stint with Bone is officially over?
Bizzy Bone: Bone isn't [the original five-man] group anymore because we are better off friends because it's a lot of backstabbers, man, a lot of downloading, a lot of money gone. We'd rather be friends if we don't have any money in our pocket. That's how we started out. If that is how it finishes out then that's just the way it is. We gonna grind and take care of the kids up until then.
Hip-Hop Wired: You have always repped for Cleveland hard, what do you think about Lebron's off-season move?
Bizzy Bone: They said in this magazine, ‘5 Things Lebron Said To Cleveland Before He Left.' The fifth thing he was like, ‘I'm going to Miami but I'm taking Bone Thugs N Harmony with me.' I chuckled, that was funny. Get your money, whatever you do. [Lebron] brought a billion dollars plus to this city. You cant ask him for much more. The man wants a ring. But you can tell the energy around Cleveland. I saw a n*gg# walking around with [Lebron's] USA jersey, and a n#gg@ almost tried to shoot that n#gg*. I'm like, ‘Run, you fitting to get lynched out here by these beer chugging motherf@#$ers!' People in the hood aint really tripping. Go get your money Lebron. This is your life. The world is going to end in 2012 anyway so…
Hip-Hop Wired: You went through a lot in your childhood and was even kidnapped as a child. You have been very outspoken against child abuse. What are your thoughts on the Bishop Eddie Long situation?
Bizzy Bone: Hilarious. That's between that man, the court system and them young men who are suing him for punitive. [The media] are purposely trying to make him look like a piece of Shyte. Let that man have his day in court. Aint none of this Shyte our business. Life is too short.
Hip-Hop Wired: What are some of the things you plan on accomplishing between now and doomsday?
Bizzy Bone: We are doing Bizzy Bone's Kidnapped Children, a nice reality show kinda [bringing to light] how children are kidnapped and different things of that nature. We are in talks NBC and BET. I'm doing a USO show for the Navy. I'm getting that cleared outside of Las Vegas and that's airing in December. I just wrote this movie with Kat Williams. Its gonna be a nice hip-hop western that we are talking to Cube Vision about. I'm definitely touring with the record and just working. Staying clear and free without too much frustration.