Bone Thugs-N-Harmony changed the game with melodic harmonies and a fast-paced delivery that could be as harsh as cordite or as sweet as honey. Whether they rapped about violence, good times, bad times, getting by or getting high, the group has always stayed true to their music.
With March 26 tentatively set for the release of their latest album, Uni-5: The World’s Enemy (Life Entertainment/Mo Thug Label Group), the group is poised once again to dominate the hip-hop scene. Joining Bone Thugs-N- Harmony on their tour are two new members of the Mo Thugs Family—Thin C and Ta Smallz, both powerful hip-hop artists in their own right and featured prominently in Uni-5. Ta Smallz’s new album, Who Killed My Momma?, is being released under BTNH Worldwide/Warner Bros/Asylu, available March 9.
We sat down with Layzie Bone of BTNH and Thin C and Ta Smallz to talk with them about Uni-5 and their longstanding support for medical cannabis.
What does BTNH hope to accomplish with the new album?
Layzie Bone: We’re gonna take over the world! [Laughs] I mean, we’ve just come with a message in these turbulent times that even with all that’s going on in the world, family really does exist. Even though there are tough times, you can still have unity. Uni-5 also means that no matter what you do, the world will unify against you. Or the president could feel like the world’s enemy because he can pull all these strings, but even though he’s trying to figure out this bank situation, he’s the world’s enemy because they are unified against him.
But it’s also from a more spiritual aspect. It’s a good versus evil thing. I really feel like we’re bringing truth to the table, but Satan always wants to bend the truth and we feel like he’s providing a mirage of what’s going on while we’re street reporting. We’ve got folks hating on Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. We’ve got people saying that we couldn’t do it, but we’re unified.
The bottom line, the ultimate message of Uni-5: The World’s Enemy is that it’s the truth against the world. We already understand that they’re going to try to break us up before we get started, so we expect that, so we’re the world’s enemy. Period.
Medical marijuana is a huge issue now, but you guys have always been rapping about marijuana.
Ta Smallz: Marijuana is God’s gift. All of these manmade drugs—Ecstasy, crystal meth—these are drugs we make as men. There are no other uses for them. With marijuana, you can make your clothes, your shoes, paper and everything.
Thin C: I think it had to happen. Of course, it was due to negative publicity in early America that gave us this negative outlook on what marijuana is. There were lies and propaganda, but the point of it is that it does what it’s supposed to. You can’t lie about that.
Layzie Bone: There have always been marijuana advocates with rap. If the government regulates the product and makes it legal, the profit won’t stop. I’ve been directly part of it for quite some time to get the movement off the ground. I’m proud to be a part of it. There are so many side effects with these man-made drugs that hurt you more than the original problem. You run the risk of way more complications, whereas with medical marijuana, the worse that it’s going to do to you is make you hungry and sleepy. You don’t have a hangover. It doesn’t cause you any pains.
I know that two of the members of BTNH suffer from painful medical conditions. How has cannabis helped with those conditions? How has it helped you?
Ta Smallz: Well, I’ve been shot. I have pains that shoot from my hip all the way down to my kneecap. That’s why I smoke it.
Layzie Bone: Me, personally, I was shot by a .25-caliber bullet. I got hit in the back of the ear. For a while, and it was before all of this, in the early ’90s, I was suffering from migraines. I couldn’t sleep. I’d smoke a joint to deal with it. The pain would be so bad I’d have a hard time thinking, but when I smoked a joint the pain would go away.
Do you feel the success of BTNH helps you get the media to talk about the health benefits of cannabis?
Layzie Bone: That’s the point, man—education. It can come in the form of a classroom or in the form of a song. That’s why I love hip-hop, because you can play with words and manipulate them to get your message out—even if it’s on a subliminal level. That’s what we do with our weed songs every time.
Look at California. Our economy is messed up. Once again you have the media focusing on the negative aspects of the economy, but saying little about how legalizing and selling marijuana would be a positive.
Thin C: Marijuana is a major part of the solution. Marijuana could play that role for the whole country. Hemp can be made into paper, clothing, the whole 9—whatever you want to do. It could replace plastic.
Ta Smallz: If it got legalized you could eliminate the risk of buying it from a dealer and, instead, go to a doctor. There’d be less people going to jail, and then we could tax it and create jobs. There are a lot of people we could help with it. People need jobs right now.
Layzie Bone: You can fuel a car from hemp. You can eliminate having to cut down trees. We are more than willing to take on the task of pushing this idea to the front and help our planet go green in order to contribute in a positive way to the existence of humanity. This is a message I’m proud to contribute to. A friend in weed is a friend indeed!