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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

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Cleveland, Ohio, United States (1991 – present)

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is a U.S. rap group formed in Cleveland, Ohio, United States in 1991. It consists of rappers Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone.

Perhaps the group’s most important contribution to rap is their speedy, harmonizing flow. While fast rapping has always had a niche in the culture, Bone certainly brought the style to the forefront. In addition, the group’s ability to harmonize whilst flowing at top speeds is truly remarkable. Not before nor since has a rapper or rap group sung an a cappella tune without loss of street cred.

Their albums have varied in subject material, with 1994’s Creepin on Ah Come Up being heavily influenced by the G-Funk gangsta rap era. E. 1999 Eternal, the group’s most successful album, focused primarily on violent criminal activity, but also showed Bone exploring themes of spirituality, and the introduction of the group’s trademark “weed songs”— songs devoted entirely to smoking weed. The group’s 1997 album, the Art of War, saw Bone further explore a wide variety of subjects and styles, with even more focus on God and family and an overall more ambient, mellow sound. The group still found time for violent lyrics, though, with a large portion of the album dedicated to what they labeled “clones” who claimed Bone had stolen their quick-tongued rapping style and vice-versa. 2002’s Thug World Order album saw a drastic change in subject matter and tone for the group. The lyrics were almost completely void of any violence.

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