Thursday, June 7, 2012

Mysteries of Rap: What Does B.O.N.E. Stand For?

Before the Harmony

First class, leaving mics in a cast. Causing ruckus like the aftermath when guns blast.

Welcome to something HUGE. Well, not that big! Very small, in fact. All we're going to do is see what BONE stands for.

In case you didn't know, sometimes when I see the name of "Bone Thugs-n-Harmony", the word Bone is an acronym, you know: B.O.N.E.? What is that all about? And why didn't we answer this question during the five million words we published during "1st of tha Month" week (what a stupid name by us).

Okay. So for a while there EVERYONE in the hip hop world was making their name into an acronym.

KRS-ONE: Knowledge Reigns Supreme Over Nearly Everyone (Duuumb)
NWA: Everyone knows this one
Notorious B.I.G.: either "Books Instead of Guns" or "Business Instead of Game" (I'm pretty sure it's the second one) but I think he elaborated or changed it or something on Life After Death.
Junior M.A.F.I.A.: Junior Masters At Finding Intelligent Attitudes (Good Grief)
Fat Joe: Uh, Fat Jealous One's Envy (very stupid, jealously and envy are different things)
Memphis Bleek: Waaaay too dumb to look up
Wu Tang Clan: Witty Unpredictable Talent and Natural Game (sigh)
Beastie Boys: Boys Entering something something whatever
Ja Rule: Jeffrey Atkins Represents Unconditional Love’s Existence (You've got to be kidding me)

You get it, right? Each letter stands for something really stupid.

We're not even the first ones to notice this, it's a thing. It's called a backronym, when you tack on meaning to each letter after the fact (or sometimes before the fact). It's all quite dumb, tisk-tisk. So, I don't think that I've ever heard what B.O.N.E. stands for and I was listening to them a lot longer than several of those guys listed above. Internet, can you help me?

Well, when they started out BONE was called "The Band-Aid Boys", could it have something to do with that? Maybe. Wasn't Nelly a Band-Aid Boy? Probably not the same thing (hopefully).

Then, suddenly, they became B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e when they released their first small time album called "Faces of Death" (which I bought after they signed with Ruthless, and it sucked). Anyway...Bingo! SEE, THERE IS THE ACRONYM. So what is B.O.N.E.?

I don't know! It doesn't say, and once they signed with Eazy they just became Bone. WTFF? I know Eazy named them "Thugs-n-Harmony" and they insisted on keeping the name Bone, but they dropped the acronym. Why? Eventually they started using BTNH. That makes sense. Then they came out with an album called T.H.U.G.S., or Trues Humbly United Gathering Souls, which doesn't make sense, and I hate it, but it had something to do with the Mo Thugs family WHICH I ALSO HATE. Haters gon' hate. Also, I forgot they called each other trues? LOL, kind of. Then they had a album called UNI-5 which is so freaking dumb. BUT WHAT IS B.O.N.E.?

Why is the Grim Reaper saying that?
 Hey death, WTF does BONE stand for?

This is really hard to track down. BUT WAIT BINGO! I MIGHT HAVE FOUND IT? I might have found part of it. In Google, the little summary under this link says "...stands for Blood Only..." but that's it. I can't access the site. What's the rest, GOOGLE? Blood Only What? The site looks really shady, but I seem to recall that B.O.N.E. might stand for Blood Only, No Enemys. Is that right? NO? Yes? I don't think so.

Ah, I really found it, and I can prove it! Check out the very small text in the liner notes from "Faces of Death":

Did you catch it? B.O.N.E. stands for Beating On N----z Everyday. NO DUH. That is so simple. Here is what it says in the "thanks" section of the notes: "To tha Cops: STOP! Beating On N----z Everyday!!! - B.O.N.E. Enterpri$e". I guess I could be reading that wrong, but I'm just going to live with it. It's so perfect for 1974 or whenever this came out. Bone. Never Forget.

Now that the mystery is solved, let's examine the rest of this artifact. Holy crap, they were already calling themselves the Mo Thug organization in 1993. I thought that they had invented that much later just to make money.

I'm going to go a step deeper. How many people listed in these cover notes went on to become performers in the Mo Thugs Family?

I see Boogie Nikke listed, he was in the Poetic Hustla'z (who eventually released an album). There is someone named "Tonya Tone" listed, and the Poetic Hustla'z had a guy named either Tony Tone or Touch Tone. I guess that could be the same guy. That's about it.

There is a guy named Stew Bone. I like that.

There is a threat of a "whipping" for unlawful reproduction. Funny.

Flesh-n-Bone wasn't a member of the group yet (I don't think he joined until E. 1999 Eternal).
What else? The members of Bone have alternate names! That's something!

Layzie Bone - #1 Assassin
Bizzy Bone - Rest In Peace
Krayzie Bone - Leather Face
Wish Bone - Strate Jacket

I see that Layzie wasn't signed with his team at this point but was appearing through his own talent group or something, and the boys hadn't met DJ U-Neek yet.

In Conclusion: Memory Lane. So fun.


Your best friends are ready for a picnic!


  1. Thats was up,I have always been a big B.O.N.E fan and never knew what it stood for.Its 2014 and I still bump they shit.E.1999 Eternal is one of the best rap albums ever.Its a classic 2Nd would b Ti's Trap Muzic that shit is dope.The song Ti vs T.I.P classic.

  2. Back in the 90s, I was told it stood for "Bloods Only, Nothing Else." But I honestly think that was just urban legend. I also own the Faces of Death tape and I agree, that's most likely what it really means.

  3. Growing up in San Diego. I was always told that it stood for bloods on Eastside I don't how true it is but given the fact that they claim Eastside it's not to far fetched. Still love listening to there old stuff.

  4. When I was growing up in San Diego. I was told that it stood for bloodsonEastside. I don't think it's to far fetch seeming they claim eastside. Still love listening to there old stuff.

  5. We always thought it stood for Blood Of the North East. More gang stuff because in the 90s every rapper had to be in a gang.

  6. We always thought it stood for Bloods Of the North East. More gang stuff because in the 90s every rapper had to be in a gang.

  7. Blunted Out Niggas Everyday