Whatever Happened To Bone Thugs-N-Harmony?

Since Eazy-E plucked Bone Thugs-N-Harmony out of midwestern obscurity, the Cleveland, OH-based rappers have had a career as massive as it is chaotic. The legendary group — consisting of Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, Wish Bone, Krayzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone — spent much of the '90s on the Billboard charts, even grabbing a Grammy for their 1995 single "Tha Crossroads," a tribute to the late N.W.A. member who made them famous. For nearly a decade, it seemed like the group was on top of the word (and the rap charts) ... but even the mighty occasionally falter.

Problems began to emerge after Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's second album, Art of War, was certified quadruple platinum within a year of its 1997 release. The members had all pursued successful solo projects, even launching the spin-off group, Mo Thugs Family. However, according to AllMusic, the group's second round of solo records were poorly received. By the new millennium, the group was only occasionally reuniting (see: 2002's Thug World Order, 2006's Thug Stories, and 2007's Strength & Loyalty) as members shifted in and out between feuds, jail time, and solo gigs. 

So, what actually happened to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony? After more than two decades worth of studio albums, it looks like this group is still at a crossroads.

Solo records were always the plan for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

It's no secret that the members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony took some significant time off to pursue solo careers. Krayzie Bone (pictured, left) released a string of albums between 1999 and 2017, including a spot on Chamillionaire's 2005 Grammy-winning hit, "Ridin.'" Despite what his name suggests, Layzie Bone (pictured, right) was far from lazy, and followed suit with a few solo albums of his own. Bizzy Bone also lived up to his adopted name, releasing more than 20 albums since 1998, including his Bone Brothers collaboration with Layzie and a best of collection.

It may seem like Bone Thugs-N-Harmony slacked a little as a unified front, but these solo albums were always part of the plan. In a 2016 interview with Vice, Krayzie admitted that this vision was laid out before they ever met Eazy-E and signed to Ruthless Records. "We knew what we wanted as soon as we got the opportunity," he told the outlet. "We had friends that could sing and rap, and we all said whoever makes it first will come back and get the other ones, and that's just what we did. We had plans to come out with a few Bone albums, then each member would start doing solo albums. I still think we did it a little too soon, the solo albums, but it was always in the plan."

Bizzy Bone got the boot from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

Bizzy Bone has one of the most prolific solo careers of the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony bunch, but he's also been subject to his fair share of drama. The rapper has been in an on-and-off-again relationship with the group since almost the start. According to MTV News, Bizzy was finally booted seemingly forever in 2003 after he appeared to be drunk as the group's Grey Goose Tour started off in New York. Though Layzie played it off like Bizzy "made his own choices," it doesn't seem like it was his choice at all.

"Lay said to come on tour, so I come to be on the tour," Bizzy told the outlet. "Lay said, 'I need to talk to you. [Krayzie Bone] don't want you on the tour. He was back there talking with his manager and they just badmouthed you.' I played it off. I was hurt, [so] ... I go to the bar and I was like, 'F**k it. I'm gonna drink because I don't wanna snap."

Bizzy tried his best to shake it off. The star, who was abducted as a four-year-old and rescued after his case appeared on America's Most Wanted, admitted his harrowing formative experience helped him "take pain better than some muthaf**kas." He was going to be just fine. Years later, we finally got the real story. In 2016, Bizzy told OWN's Where Are They Now? that he left because there was an "infringement on [his] creativity" and he wanted his band to "roll with [him]."

And then there were two

In 2011, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony more or less called it quits — at least, in the way we were used to seeing the group. According to Rolling Stone, both Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone left to go solo, leaving just Flesh-N-Bone and Layzie Bone to fend for themselves, and they weren't happy. In an interview with TMZ, the pair claimed Krayzie was a "dumb f**k" who tarnished their founder's "legacy."

"Krayzie might as well say, 'F**k Eazy-E,' because he is disrespecting Eazy-E's legacy by leaving the group," Flesh admitted, adding, "Let [Krayzie] walk away ... Bone Thugs will be here regardless. The group will not be affected by Krayzie going ... he knows where home is."

Later that year, the group reunited for one final hometown show as a five-piece. It was the first time in two years all five members — including Bizzy Bone, who left during the BTNHResurrection album cycle, and Flesh-N-Bone, who was navigating various legal issues — had shared the stage. "Over the years, we proved ourselves," Layzie told MTV News. "OK, we break up to make up, but we proved to be a family that comes together throughout anything."

And Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is back

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's sort-of breakup was extremely short-lived. According to Rolling Stone, the boys were back in 2012 for Rock the Bells at Los Angeles' House of Blues — and this was just the beginning of an entire new chapter. Wish Bone told the magazine that the show was a "kick start for a very beautiful situation." And more was in the works: "We do music, that's what we do. It's just a matter of time where we come back together, do it as a whole. We're family, we're brothers. At some point it's all gonna come together."

In 2013, the year after its highly-anticipated reunion, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released Art of War: WWIII, the long-awaited follow up to 2010's Uni5: The World's Enemy (though according to AllMusic, Krayzie and Wish didn't contribute to any new tracks). Since then, the group's been regularly touring, including a string of dates honoring the 20th anniversary of "Tha Crossroads." In 2017, Krayzie and Bizzy also teamed up for New Waves, which they released under the name Bone Thugs (apparently, there wasn't any harmony there). 

Most recently, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's 2020 tour was cut short as the band geared up to re-release The Collection Volume One.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony really has it out for Migos

In more recent years, most of what you've probably seen about Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is its long-running feud with Migos. Why the group has it out for Katy Perry's "Bon Appetit" collaborators is hard to justify. According to Revolt, the guys were mad that Offset claimed Migos was the "biggest group in the world to ever exist" in XXL's 2018 winter issue. Perhaps that anger should be redirected to the Beatles or whatever island Tupac is chilling on. Who knows? Either way, Layzie came out with a weirdly Christmas-themed diss track called "Let Me Go Migo," and Bizzy backed him up with a diss track of his own, in which he refers to the group as "Offsides, Tequila, and most notably the unknown third member," according to Complex. Okay, we chuckled.

If Bizzy's beef was limited to a diss track, that'd probably be the last we heard, but instead, the rapper took to Instagram Live to rant with a gun and, for some reason, drag 21 Savage into it. According to XXL, Savage apparently claimed Bizzy's wife ate pork chops when she had a plant-based diet and also thought Layzie's diss track was "wack as a muthaf**ka." It's unclear which comment bothered Biz more, but he reportedly threatened to "blow" the guy's "motherf**king head off." The stream ended with police knocking on his door, because that's what happens when you tote around a gun and appear to threaten to shoot people. Calm down, dude.

Krayzie Bone's been dealing with an autoimmune disease

There's a reason Krayzie Bone had to limit his touring schedule, at least temporarily. According to TMZ, the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony star was diagnosed with sarcoidosis, an "autoimmune disease that attacks the lungs," and came down with pneumonia during a Canadian tour in 2016. This is a serious condition that forced him to cancel his dates, and, according to Scientific American, it's the same one that may have contributed to the death of comedian Bernie Mac. The disease also caused problems for the rapper when he was recording his solo album, Chasing the Devil, though some reports falsely claimed Krayzie had a collapsed lung.

"It's a disease when my immune system works too much, but it doesn't have anything to fight off. It starts attacking your healthy organs — your lungs, your heart, whatever," Krayzie told Vice in 2016. "In my case, it started attacking my lungs, and I was going through it for a while. Coughing, crazy chest pains. I'm good now. I'm actually still on medication, but everything is good now."

This Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper rediscovered his faith as a Jehovah's Witness

In the years since Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rose to fame, Krayzie Bone has rediscovered his faith. Actually, by his account, the only reason he ever became a rapper in the first place was because he lost his way. In an interview with Vice, the rapper revealed he was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but felt the need to rebel when he was younger, so he joined a rap group and "lived that whole crazy life." Now, he's completely devout.

"When I started studying back and I was old enough to actually comprehend what they were saying, it all started making sense, common sense, like logical sense," Krayzie told Vice. "When you start thinking about life, it's like, 'Wait a minute?' All of the questions I needed to have answered, were answered."

In that same interview, Krayzie also revealed that he believes strongly in both the Illuminati and the Devil. "That's all in plain sight," he said. "It happens right before your eyes, all of the stuff you see in the news and what certain people are representing. It's there. There is good. There is evil. I know there's a devil, for real." It's unclear if this Illuminati is the same one that reportedly made Lady Gaga and the Carters famous, but if that's the case, Bone Thugs didn't need it.

Flesh-N-Bone has had some major legal problems

Flesh-N-Bone was noticeably absent from Bone Thugs-N-Harmony for most of the early aughts because the rapper was serving time. In 2000, Flesh was famously sentenced to 12 years in jail for "pointing an AK 47 machine gun at a friend during an altercation," according to Entertainment Weekly. Though Cleveland.com reports that he was released four years early, he didn't stay out of trouble long. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, Flesh was pulled over by police in 2009 because his brake light was out. They subsequently searched his car and found a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol that he claimed belonged to his wife. Admittedly, this was a bad look for someone with past gun charges who was also on parole. Flesh was arrested for the weapons charge, "possession of ammunition," and "misdemeanor drug possession," but pleaded not guilty. The gun charges were dropped not long after.

However, it only took a year for the star to get arrested again. In 2010, Flesh was dramatically cuffed at his own sold out concert at the House of Blues in Cleveland in connection to a 12-year-old incident. According to Cleveland.com, in 1998, the rapper reportedly fired a shot into the air and struck his mother in the head with a pistol, leaving a gash. Flesh told CBS News that the incident never happened. "I would never do anything like that to my mother," he said. "Anyone that thinks I would do something like need to check themselves."

This Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper also had some trouble at home

Flesh-N-Bone didn't just have to deal with gun-related legal issues. Behind the scenes, the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rapper had an extremely tumultuous home life. In 2011, he narrowly avoided prison time in an alleged domestic abuse case by taking a plea deal. According to TMZ, the star was arrested following an alleged physical altercation with his wife and was "charged with inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, threatening her, and false imprisonment." As part of the plea deal, Flesh only pleaded guilty to false imprisonment and the two other charges were dropped. He got three years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and time-served. He was also required to complete a "domestic violence program and donate $400 to a battered women's shelter."

The following year, tragedy struck again. According to TMZ, Flesh's 15-year-old daughter was reported missing when she never returned home from her shift at Taco Bell. She had last been seen with a 23-year-old male named Alberto Silva Sanchez. Two weeks later, a family member tracked her down and brought her home. It's not clear where she was or what she was doing, but Flesh told TMZ, "I am very grateful that she is back home and okay."

Flesh-N-Bone got a side gig in the weed business

Flesh-N-Bone didn't just have a solo career outside of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The star also had a side-gig in the weed business — legally. This is a huge jump from the group's beginnings of allegedly selling crack cocaine on the streets of Ohio, though rumor has it those drugs weren't even real, so Flesh-N-Bone may be one of the best or worst drug dealers in rap history, depending on how you look at it.

According to a 2013 report in Michigan Live, Flesh partnered with medical marijuana company The Green Oasis to create a strain of cannabis called "Phifty Caliber Kush" for patients in Flint, where medical marijuana is legal. Apparently, it was a pretty good pain reliever. Later that year, the Broward Palm Beach New Times named Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "one of the most 420 friendly ensembles in the history of hip-hop," a title the group clearly worked hard for based on the sheer number of lines its members spit about the sticky icky.

At the time of this writing, it's unclear if Flesh further invested in the legal cannabis industry. According to TMZ, the rapper hoped to expand his efforts to California, Colorado, and Washington.

The reason why Bone Thugs-N-Harmony went boneless

Money's got to come from somewhere, and let's be honest, in recent years, that's not record sales. Spotify only gives artists a mere fraction of a cent for each stream, so can you really blame Bone Thugs-N-Harmony for taking that sweet chain restaurant cash? In February 2020, the band joined the ranks of celebs who seemingly sold out for some greasy eats. Might we turn to their rivals Migos, who set the precedent with a Migos Menu for Popeyes and Uber Eats. Uh oh. There's going to be some beef here — or actually, chicken.

According to Rolling Stone, as part of the group's partnership with Buffalo Wild Wings, the band changed its name to Boneless Thugs-N-Harmony, because the members simply loved the chain's boneless wings way too much. Each one of them also changed their individual names to Krayzie Boneless, Flesh Boneless, and Wish Boneless; however Layzie refused. "I ain't changing s**t," he quipped in a VH1 Behind The Music-style spoof. Bizzy was not involved, and it's clear only two of the original five know that boneless wings are not, in fact, real wings. They're chicken nuggets. Sorry, we don't make the rules, but we would take the advertising money, too.

Passing the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony torch

The members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have certainly settled down since their early days. According to TMZ, Krayzie Bone got married in 2014, XXL reports that Wish Bone got hitched in 2018, and Bizzy Bone tied the knot with his girlfriend, Jessica Nancy Cassidy, in 2020. The most unsettled seems to be Layzie Bone, who's been married since 2007 but may or may not have had children with a mistress or two. According to a 2019 report by TMZ, a paternity test proved that the rapper had a baby with a woman named Shateira Marketa Childress. Layzie also had a separate paternity suit in 2013, where he was found to be the father. The dude allegedly gets around, but apparently so does Bizzy. The star told Wendy Williams that he has "about 10" kids with four different women — that's enough for a whole new rap group, and that's sort of what happened.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have made way for a new generation. In 2016, two of Bizzy's sons and three of his nephews released an EP with their group, Bloodline Harmony, or as they're affectionately called by Uncle Layzie, the Baby Bones. This was truly a family affair and a veritable passing of the touch. The track "O.H.I.O." even features Layzie's son, Jeremy Howse, and Layzie appears on the track "Og's."