Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Look Back At ‘Creepin On Ah Come Up’

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Look Back At ‘Creepin On Ah Come Up’
Hip-hop was blessed with a slew of outstanding debuts in 1994—Nas, The Notorious B.I.G. and OutKast all come to mind—but the year also saw the mainstream debut of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who came seemingly out of nowhere to take hip-hop by storm. The Cleveland quintet caught the eye of Eazy-E in late 1993, and soon brought their harmony, gift for melodies and eccentric personalities to the world. Bizzy Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone and Wish Bone dropped their Ruthless Records debut Creepin' On Ah Come Up on June 21, 1994, and behind their breakout single "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" they rode a new wave of hip-hop all the way to platinum status. "We was fresh off the streets, really living the life we were talking about, trying our best to get out," Layzie says now. "That album is where we designed our style, everything about ourselves and what we came into. That was the album when we were coming into ourselves as artists." But that first joy of success was to be short-lived; Eazy-E fell victim to AIDS mere months after Creepin’s release, and outside conflict over his estate began soon after. What followed for the group is well-known by now: Hiatuses, collaborations, controversies and, most importantly, a string of continued successes and a secure place as one of the greatest groups in hip-hop history. With Creepin' On Ah Come Up’s 20th anniversary tomorrow, XXL spoke to all five members of the group over four separate interviews about life before, during, and immediately after the release of their seminal EP, their mentor Eazy-E, the legacy of the group, and what they’re up to now. It's the thuggish, ruggish bone. —Jordan Lebeau

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