Thuggish, Ruggish Bone
featuring Layzie Bone, Wish Bone, Krayzie Bone, and Bone
featuring AK-47, Belo, and Twista
YESSIR! The Battle of the Posse Cuts stops by the Midwest! As a native of Detroit, my Midwest pride is strong. So strong that my hometown pride for local rap groups like AWOL and Detroit Most Wanted made me, for a time, a reluctant fan of some other voices in Hip Hop. My Detroit-ness slowed my appreciation for Das EFX or Blahzay Blahzay. However, interventions from my main man, Rashad, in the form of his incessant replaying of Redman expanded my listening palate. Po’ Pimp and Thuggish Ruggish Bone were my efforts to help Rashad appreciate the Midwest.
You may recall that these battles are subjective and follow three rules. The competing songs:
- must feature at least three different MCs;
- cannot be from the same crew; and
- will be of a similar region.
Also note, that the battle is scored like a relay with each MC being scored this way:
0 – Maybe y’all should have just sang the hook instead of this verse;
1 – Okay, we hear you;
2 – Whoa, that was nice!; and
3 – DAAANNNNGGG, I’ll be repeating those bars all day!
Notes: today’s relay/match-up will feature three MCs from each track. Wish Bone will sit this one out only because he had the shortest verse. Also, Do or Die and BONE are established groups; yet, the guest appearance of Twista and the diversity within BONE allow me to make this small concession. Trust me, you have to listen to a lot of BONE to be able to distinguish their uniqueness.
Lead-off Leg: Layzie Bone vs. AK-47
I’m guessing that there is a rap manual somewhere that says: “With your first track, you have to let the people know who you are.” Although BONE had an underground EP prior to the release of Thuggish Ruggish, Thuggish Ruggish is when they make their first national statement. Layzie’s intensity and fire lays down the gauntlet from the jump, Cleveland is here!
“You’re feelin’ the strength of the rump, step up
Hear the funk of the jump that the thugstas feel
Just be thuggin’, straight buzzin’
Lovin’ your peoples cause we so real
Chill, better bring your weapon when steppin’
Bring on that ammunition, trip and don’t slip
Not to mention, never knew no competition“
The written word doesn’t capture his angst, but trust me, BONE came out swinging.
Swinging isn’t what comes to mind when AK starts; smooth would be more fitting. It’s almost like this match-up features some hungry Cleveland underdogs going up against some laid-back Chicago players. Both groups use a rapid-fire and harmonizing rhyme style. However, if you’ve ever seen The Mack, then when I say Do or Die’s harmony evokes Goldie’s linguistic style, you understand.
“It was seven double-oh P.M
Fly low to them hoes in the B-M
Sipping Seagram, chewing on a weed stem
Touching on my fo’ fif
Move it to the back so I can see who beeping this Po Pimp”
AK personifies the unfazed, cooler-than-a-fan, pimp persona. It’s almost like this rap thing is no thing because he got this other thing, you know what I mean? But Layzie, he’s hungry and it shows. First relay leg goes to:
Layzie Bone 2 AK-47 1
Thuggish Ruggish 2 Po’ Pimp 1
Second Leg: Krayzie Bone vs. Belo
FLOW is the name of this battle and for me, Krayzie’s flow is the easiest to recognize in BONE as he tends to be the one with the most harmonizing within his flow (pun intended). So while his lyrics are cool, if you tried to deliver them as he did, you would be tongue-tied:
“Now follow me, now, roll, stroll off deep in the Land
We’ll creep if you can
Take another swig to the brain, rose
Loc’in, steady chokin’ off that potent smoke
And running from the po-po …”
Of all my favorite Hip Hop tracks, I do the most mumbling when trying to rhyme with BONE (and I know I’m not the only one). Singing along as opposed to mumbling along is what sets Belo apart. All Po’ Pimp fans would rhyme along on cue when he said:
“Mmm, ain’t this some sh**, pull up in the C-A
D-I, double-L, pumping A-C, A see hoes
They peep those, P-I, M-P, and they think that automatically
Cause he’s a pimp, he gotta be full of that
M-O, N-E, but why?”
With Krayzie there is a “you-can’t-rhyme-like-is” thing going. With Belo, the singalong is catchy and makes his verse a communal experience for fans. Neither is breaking new ground with content matter so that leaves us with this outcome for the second leg:
Krayzie Bone 2 Belo 2
Thuggish Ruggish 4 Po’ Pimp 3
Surprise Leg: Shatasha vs. Johnny P
Nope, neither of them rhyme on the track. They both sing the intros, hooks, and outros. In many ways, their contributions helped make these songs big hits. I wasn’t the only signing:
“It’s the Thuggish Ruggish Bbbooooooooonnnnneeee”
“Do you want to rrrriiiiiiddddee in the backseat of a Caddy, chop it up with Do or Die?”
Slight nod to Shatasha for name-dropping the whole team, herself and letting us know Cleveland was definitely in the house.
Shatasha 2 Johnny P 2
Thuggish Ruggish 6 Po’ Pimp 5
Anchor Leg: Bizzy Bone vs. Twista
The significance of flow has already been emphasized. Bizzy comes with a rat-a-tat-tat fire and Twista – formerly known as Tung Twista, who considering his standing in the Guinness Book of World Records, might be the originator or at least, a preeminent early pioneer of the rapid syllable flow. Bizzy came out, guns- blazing with:
“Gotta give it on up to the Glock-Gock
Pop-pop, better drop when them buckshot, blow!
The Bone in me never no hoe, so
No creepin’ up outta the Ziplock…”
Point made. Yet, for all those who do the rapid-fire flow, what makes Twista the king of that thing is that he does not lose enunciation with speed. You may not be able to say what he said as fast as he said it, but you can clearly understand what he said and that my friend, is no small feat. In Po’ Pimp, he sticks to the subject matter and steals the spotlight from Do or Die (which is perhaps why he was the closer). Really, the lyrics are little too graphic to quote at length but we can just start with this:
“Well, a motherf***er might be broke and sh**
And then collecting no dough from tips
But I be spitting mo’ game than a mouthful of poker chips”
“Spitting more game than a mouth full of poker chips?”
Yep, dude spitting crazy game. In addition to his flow, the wit and “oh-that’s-what-he-meant”, takes Twista’s verse up another notch.
Bizzy 1 Twista 2
Thuggish Ruggish 7 Po’ Pimp 7
A tie – can you believe that? Would Wish Bone’s verse be a difference maker? I don’t know. But I do know both of these tracks were major when they dropped. Oddly, as a fan, I’m actually more partial to Chopped & Screwed remixes of Do or Die tracks than the originals. Also, I think I speak for all of us when I say we could not have predicted how HUGE Tha Crossroads would be for BONE. It was such a big hit that it explains how, in hindsight, BONE became much more significantly well-known than Do or Die. But in terms of lyrical skills on their respective first national releases? BONE and Do or Die earn a tie.