September 2, 2015

Flesh-N-Bone - T.H.U.G.S. (1996)

Based on Flesh-N-Bone's background I was expecting nothing from this album and was pretty reluctant to listen to it. Flesh was too in and out and addicted to PCP for Eazy to sign him to Ruthless Records and as a result was hardly featured on Creepin On Ah Come Up or E.1999 Eternal. You never know what might surprise you though, and I left my listening experience with a new favorite Bone Thugs solo album. The instrumentals are somewhat of a step back from what DJ U-Neek did for E.1999 Eternal, and that's a great thing since the producer manages to avoid the over-production plague that started hitting the coastal/midwestern hip hop world around this time and lets Flesh's rugged and grimy lyrical style succeed to its full potential. The drum programming work and mixing is sick, more experienced listeners will instantly notice how much the snares pop and how hard the kicks hit while still benefiting a genuine g-funk sound. The saw synths, whistles, string, and piano work isn't anything revolutionary, but the layering and placement of each sound is more than just effective. Just because Flesh-N-Bone is usually cast as the fifth and final member of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony doesn't mean he's not a terrific rapper, he's just had lot of personal and incarceration issues that held his career back. I wouldn't have known it before listening to this, but Flesh is nearly as dope as Krayzie Bone (Bizzy's a beast of his own); his chopper, falsetto delivery is pretty much perfect on this album and proves that he should have been on as many tracks as everyone else on E.1999 Eternal.