Turn those Levi's backwards
As far as rap reunions go, the regathering of Bones Thugs-N-Harmony (which plays the House of Blues Tuesday night) may not have made my list of top three hip-hop curiosities in need of a do-over.
That list is is a no-brainer.
1) A Tribe Called Quest: Hailing from Queens, N.Y. , the primary ATCQ trio of Q-Tip, Phife and Ali took rhymin' to a whole new level of consciousness. While other beatmasters were dishin' on thug life, A Tribe Called Quest was giving listeners an education on everything from sociology to existentialism.
Artists like The Roots and Wyclef Jean owe some love to this crew. (Update: There are rumors that this reunion may actually happen sometime in the near future).
2) 3rd Bass: Why the phrase "Givin' 'em the gas face," didn't catch on with greater acceptance in pop culture vernacular is a mystery to me.
3) Kriss Kross: Why wearing all your clothes backwards on your body didn't catch on with greater acceptance is not as big of a mystery (wear the ass-end of a pair of Levi's on your groin for a couple hours and you'll know why), but it still made me chuckle every time I saw the video for "Jump."
For now, we will have to be grateful for the return of the midwest gansta rap stylings of the Bone Brothers — Krayzie, Layzie, Bizzy, Flesh-n- & Wish — who combined soulful Boyz II Men harmonies with some pretty gritty poems about life in the Cleveland hood. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony peaked in 1996 with the international No. 1 hit "The Crossroads," and won numerous Grammys and other prestigious awards throughout the mid-1990s.
The group's popularity waned a bit after 1997's "The Art of War" and the members, while never officially breaking up, went their separate ways for awhile. Most went on to prolific solo careers. Others had some bumps along the way (Flesh-n-Bone was released from prison in 2008 after nearly a decade of incarceration stemming mainly from an assault with a deadly weapon conviction).
The hope is that new album, Uni: The World's Enemy, might signal to past fans (and potential new ones) that the time is right for a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony rebirth.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, 8:30 p.m. @ House of Blues