November 20, 2014

unnamed If Flying Lotus wanted to do a Rick Rubin and revive the 666-fighting spirit of Krayzie Bone, I would not be the only one celebrating like I had just won the rodeo. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are permanently underrated because they exist in no category and thus elicit few comparisons. As loved as it was, barbershop gospel in triple-time that merges Midwestern murder-core with West Coast gangsta attitude and wardrobe does not compute.

Even if they did ever lift a little inspiration from Freestyle Fellowship or Triple Six, the E. ’99 eternals did their own thing in such a way they has never been effectively copied. Rocky can borrow the flow, but there is always the harmony component. Back before your favorite Canadian lint-rolling telenovela star even considering singing and rapping, the brothers Bone were harmonizing like they were the fucking Bee Gees if the BeeGees really enjoyed picking up checks on the first and fifteenth.

Given the right beat, Krayzie can still scythe everything. And for this track from GTA 5, Lotus meets him halfway — with ectoplasmic lost soul vocals, hard snares, and some funky Thundercat bass playing. Medication and meditation and elevation. You know where this is going to lead. Krayzie has been smoking buddha since people called it buddha. The transcendence through toking equation was always elementary to their makeup. You can count him on the short list of veteran rappers that can still talk about weed without seeming like their brains are shriveled vegetables (shout out to Reggie Noble). This song reminds you how high Krayzie can go. Flying Lotus staked his name on that idea and just like that, you have the best Bone Thugs-affiliated song since “Ridin’ Dirty.”

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!