Friday, 6 March 2015

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony "E. 1999 Eternal" (1995)

The once called "Bone Enterpri$e" Hip Hop group was signed by the late N.W.A. rapper Eazy-E in 93 to Ruthless Records. Acting as a manager and mentor he guided this quartet to success, giving them their name "Bone Thugs-N-Harmony" and producing their debut release "Creepin On Ah Come Up". This record is their third album and second on Ruthless Records that dropped four months after the death of Eazy E, the album title is a tribute to the late rapper and ties in to the groups origin neighborhood.

What sets BTH aside from other Hip Hop groups is their distinctive melodic rapping, the group harmonize together and sing melodies with their rhymes. Their annunciation is accentuated and delivered in a pacing flow, often accelerating and slowing while amplifying the syllables, creating a sharp continual jolt like pulse through the rapped words. Its a strong characteristic of the record that is emphasized on tracks which look to explore the possibilities through many different ideas with harmonization and overlapping. The performance and execution is dynamic and serves as no gimmick, but an enjoyable delivery style.

Behind the raps the instrumentals create a smooth, yet dark atmosphere thats got a subtle G-Funk vibe to it. Compositions consistent of clean instruments, bright pianos, synthesized strings, bells and ghetto whistles that come together in a mature manor, playing out their melodies without over emphasizes. The kits are laid back and sturdy, theres a lot of space in these tracks that don't try to over do it, giving plenty of room for the vocal element to take the lead. There's not a lot of hooks or breaks, a few strong melodies elevate a few tracks but most of the time its about the melodic raps.

As an entire record it dulls with length. Although the group establish a great sound and showcase their unique rapping style their is a lot of filler. The subtler, calmer instrumentals occasionally mis the mark, failing to deliver enough energy or any melodic hooks, and with 17 tracks theres a lot of material here that could of been condensed into something more grabbing. That being said their are also some great tracks where the chemistry between the two are spot on, but they are far and few between. I really liked this record on the first few listens, there were new musical ideas to digest but with continual listening I didn't feel a depth to many of the tracks which would mostly drift to the back of my mind. Well worth listening too though.

Favorite Tracks: East 1999, Eternal, Down '71, 1st Of Tha Month
Rating: 6/10