Bizzy Bone sits down with Royal Purple

Bizzy Bone is no stranger to success. He sold millions of records with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony before parting ways with the Grammy Award-winning group in 1998.

Bizzy performed on Thursday, Jan. 20 at Buzz Bar. The show, sponsored by Evolution Ink and Piercing, gave Bizzy Bone fans a chance to get up close and personal with the artist. (photo credit: Dennis Ottosen photo/[email protected])

Early last year, Bizzy reunited with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony for the album “Uni5: The World’s Enemy.” This marked the first time all five members were together on a full CD in more than a decade.

But the reunion wouldn’t last long. Following financial fallout, Bizzy recently distanced himself from the crew once again, and is now fully focused on his career as a solo artist.

The orbiting member of Cleveland’s legendary rap group keeps working. Bizzy has released 20 albums in the last seven years, with the most recent being a rap/rock album titled “Crossroads 2010,” which he released after “Uni5.” Bizzy is also writing movies, piloting reality shows, and planning his next tour.

Throughout the years, one thing has remained constant. Bizzy’s signature rapid-fire flow. He has kept a constantly growing cult-following of fans by spitting what comes from his heart.

The Royal Purple sat down with Bizzy to discuss his latest musical transition, the status of his Bone Thugs-n-Harmony affiliation and his opinion of the recent hate crimes on campus.

Royal Purple: What solo projects are you currently working on?

Bizzy Bone: I’m putting out mix tapes … I got a book and a record coming out. Definitely doing the Make-A-Wish Foundation stuff, you know. I stay heavily into that. I got something with the Bizzy Bone Kidnapped Kids (a foundation Bizzy started to help kidnapped kids), because I’m like the only person to be kidnapped publicly. So I’m heavily into helping kidnapped kids on YouTube, and we’re going to turn it into a reality show after we garner enough attention … I just kind of want to bring something different to the reality show arena. Something a little more heartfelt, a little more meaningful, and true.

RP: Can you explain a little bit about being kidnapped?

BB: I was like five years old [when] I was kidnapped. And John Walsh, the person who started America’s Most Wanted, had a son who passed away who was kidnapped. And [Walsh] did a movie (titled “Adam”) and he put a lot of kidnapped kids on pictures, and they found me in a trailer park from that movie.

RP:Where do you stand with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony right now?

BB: It’s the same place I stood in ’98. If we’re going to do a record together, I deal with the companies by myself. No one talks business for me. That way we can be friends when we get in there because everybody’s money is what everybody has spoken about.

Bizzy Bone signs autographs following his performance at Buzz Bar in Watertown. A mob of fans stayed after the performance to get pictures and meet the rapper. Bizzy Bone is currently on tour for his latest solo album, “Crossroads 2010.” (photo credit: Dennis Ottosen photo/[email protected])

RP: Where is the group at right now?

BB: The group is doing their own thing right now. I think they’re trying to regroup and get their minds right, among other things of that nature. I don’t know the entire setup of where they’re at with everything they’re doing, but I know they tour every now and then.

RP: Last year you reunited with the rest of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony for the first time in years, and put out UNI5: The World’s Enemy. How do you feel that went?

BB: That last record was just not well-organized and there was no extra “oomph” to it. They came off of winning an American Music Award for Strength and Loyalty, and I felt as though with Flesh coming out, and with me participating on the record, that it should have had a major impact. But it just turned out not to be; it turned out to be something stupid.

RP: Last semester we had three hate crimes on campus. Two dealt with sexual orientation and one was race oriented. Do you have any thoughts on that?

BB: I think on a minute level some people don’t want to see certain things that are different, outside of what they’ve been taught or what they’re learning. But that starts at home … a person doesn’t wake up and say, “I don’t like her because she likes girls!” It’s a buildup, it’s a buildup, it’s a buildup and then boom. After that spark happens, people feel as though they can get away with doing criminal acts toward someone who isn’t bothering anybody. I think it’s purposeless, thoughtless and meaningless.

RP: How do you feel about the current state of hip-hop music?

BB: This is the auto-tune generation, and that’s just the way that it is. There is not one genre of music that is not auto-tune affiliated. That’s cool because it’s the new wave. It’s like break-dancing or spray paint on the wall. It’s becoming an insignia of hip-hop. This is the auto-tune age, and it’s a beautiful thing.

RP: How does performing in a small bar like Buzz Bar compare to performing in a sold-out arena?

BB: It’s sort of the same, depending on the kind of artist you are. I’m the type of artist to where I’m more introverted. I take it out of the venue, if you know what I mean.  The venue is a box, and I perform out of the box.

RP: What’s the best thing about performing in a small venue like this?

BB: That’s the good thing about doing shows, you get to interact with people. It’s not always about a paycheck. You know what I mean, of course we’re working, but you get to interact with people, and that’s the best part about it. You’re touching people on a whole other level.