When: Sun., Dec. 7 2014
hip-hop, 8 p.m.
Bone Thugs are the apotheosis of ’90s hip-hop trends — fast “chopper” flows, violent, bravado-drenched imagery, and low-riding R&B rhythms sprinkled with unabashed pop hooks. They’re the more radio-friendly kin of N.W.A. — and not just because they broke on Eazy-E’s Ruthless Records label. They sold over nine million copies of their next two albums, 1995’s E. 1999 Eternal and 1997’s seminal double-disc The Art of War. Their nimble tongues, sweet hooks, and undeniable grooves made them irresistible. But with success came contentious label relations, particularly for Bizzy Bone who’d sue Sony and later be kicked from the group. The aughts were dotted with rancor, arrest, and mediocre solo (or trio) releases, as well as frequent reunion rumors. The quintet finally reunited for 2010’s somewhat disappointing Uni5: The World’s Enemy. They followed with last year’s surprisingly good The Art of War: World War III, though Krayzie and Wish Bone complained of being frozen out. This minor return to form prompted a Wu Tang-like bid: Bone Thugs are allegedly recording a “final” double-album, E. 1999 Legends. They intend to sell the single existing copy for $1 million. Though ever a maddeningly inconsistent act, they never lack for excitement, and when they’re on, they’re half Sam Cooke, half N.W.A. — as badass smooth as it gets. —Chris Parker SUNDAY
Price: $26 ADV, $28 DOS, $80 Meet & Greet