Bizzy Bone: The Greatest Rapper Alive

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony were one of the biggest selling hip hop groups of the 1990s. Their hits like “1st of tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads” lead to multi-platinum success. The group’s popularity waned in the 2000s and Bizzy Bone went solo. Since his debut solo album, 2001’s The Gift, Bizzy Bone has released a plethora of albums but none making a commercial impact. His decade of productivity is crowned by his latest album, The Greatest Rapper Alive.
There is something humorous about Bizzy Bone naming his album, The Greatest Rapper Alive. I have never heard Bizzy Bone’s name enter into the greatest rapper alive conversation. The conversation always revolves around Jay, Ye, and Weezy. Since Bizzy has not been getting any love from hip hop heads, he thought he would enter himself into the conversation with his album title which is a little scary for him. If you release an album called The Greatest Rapper Alive and it sucks, you lose credit for forever. So I started listening to the album, hoping for Bizzy Bone’s sake that the album was not a complete flop.
Fortunately, Bizzy Bone’s album is not a total flop, but it also does not live up to its title. Part of this is due to the fact that Bizzy Bone does not maximize his potential. I feel about Bizzy Bone the same way I feel about Twista; when you have the ability to rap twice as fast as the average rapper, why would you bother rapping over slow, watered-down, R&B beats? It just stands to neutralize their most amazing talent.
The other thing that is odd about the album is that Bone Thugs signature was their ability to harmonize rapid fire rap/singing. Bizzy’s vocals on The Greatest Rapper Alive sounds like Sadat X from Brand Nubian. It sounds like he was sick while recording this album or has smoked his voice away; either way, it sounds as if those signature Bone Thug vocals are eons behind him.
The final nail in The Greatest Rapper Alive is the album’s content. On “Eye Candy”, Bizzy Bone croons in a manner that can sounds like Cartman mocking Aaron Neville. He uses the track as a platform to call out R&B divas; he specifically calls both Rihanna and Beyonce “eye candy.” On “Shoes ‘n’ Knockout”, Bizzy Bone essentially raps the entire story of Steve McNair’s demise over an R&B beat. The attempt to take on such a loft task might be admirable, but his storytelling ability is ham-handed at best.
It is easy to make this a negative review because of the album title, but the truth is The Greatest Rapper Alive is not a half-bad album. “My World” sees Bizzy Bone utilize his rapid fire vocal style over a hard-bodied beat. The chorus features some female R&B-esque vocals but more similar to Snoop Dogg‘s “Doggy Dogg World” style than a straight up R&B song with rapping.
In the end, if Bizzy Bone had called his album nearly anything else, it would probably have gotten a little more of a fair shake. The album definitely has some potential hit singles on it and some commercial viability. But the album suffers from what many hip hop album suffers from and that is it is too damn long. The album could have been 10 good tracks instead it gets watered down by trying to extend it to 15 tracks. Rappers need to realize that keeping it short will get you better reviews.
Rating: 6.2/10
MP3: Bizzy Bone “My World”
Buy: iTunes