Best known as a member of the Cleveland crew Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, rapper Bizzy Bone began a prolific, risk-taking, and sometimes baffling solo career in 1998. Combining rapid raps and laid-back singing, his soul-searching debut, Heaven'z Movie, didn't sound entirely unlike a Bone Thugs album, but it was obvious that on his own Bizzy felt free to explore his psyche and to go eccentric places his group just would not. The Gift from 2001 further divided Bone fans, with some seeing his confessional writing as riveting while others found it overly indulgent. A year later at a Bone Thugs-N-Harmony performance in New York City, Bizzy was noticeably drunk and walked off-stage halfway through the show. He was let go from the group that night, but Bizzy claimed he had been a solo artist for years and only a guest in the group. He also began giving more interviews around this time, frequently speaking about his new crew, the 7th Sign. He also made an appearance on the Fox television series America's Most Wanted, revealing he had been kidnapped at the age of four and had wrongly believed his mother was dead until he was rescued, thanks to someone who had recognized his picture from a photo shown at the end of the 1983 television movie Adam.
If it seemed the black sheep of Bone was becoming more personal and approachable, 2004's fascinating and cryptic Alpha and Omega was a puzzling move, but fans responded positively to the album, influencing Bizzy to produce his own underground limited-edition album, The Beginning and the End. In 2005 he made news with a drunken appearance on Houston's KPFT radio, where he claimed to be homeless. He made no excuses for his appearance in the many interviews that would follow, and while he admitted he wasn't actually homeless, he did admit to having a drinking problem and that he was working on controlling it. With Bizzy showing no signs of slowing down, the perfectly titled Speaking in Tongues appeared that year along with two mail order-only releases -- For the Fans, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 -- and a reunion album with Bone member Layzie Bone titled Bone Brothers. Bizzy's refusal to tour in support of Bone Brothers found him out of favor with the group once again, and the full Bone reunion that had been talked about fell apart. Bizzy moved ahead and made 2006 even busier with the albums Thugs Revenge, The Story, and The Midwest Cowboy all landing that year. A second volume of Bone Brothers arrived in 2007. ~ David Jeffries