He still ain’t neva scared, but a lot has changed for Bonecrusher since his debut single launched him into Hip-Hop’s limelight. A stint on VH1’s Celebrity Fit Club has him shedding major poundage and his upcoming summer release, Free, will feature a whole new sound for the gregarious MC. This week RapReviews sat down with Bonecrusher to discuss the numerous changes he’s made in his life, from his diet to his music, and why he feels they’re all for the better.

Adam Bernard: First off, congratulations on all the weight loss. What are you down to now?
Bonecrusher: Thank you I appreciate it. I am at 350 now. I was at 424 on Celebrity Fit Club.

AB: I know you have some culinary skills, so how have you altered your cooking style to fit your new lifestyle?
BC: I’ve just learned how to eat less of what I like. That’s what I did. I eat organic hot dogs instead of regular hot dogs, and I eat organic chicken, organic fruit, everything. It’s like eating food from the 80’s!

AB: That’s great, and you even still get to eat what you enjoy eating.
BC: That’s the thing, when I was on Celebrity Fit Club, Dr. Ian, that’s what he teaches, that you can eat what you want to eat, you just have to moderate what you eat. He teaches a lot of Hollywood stars how to lose weight. People would be like “how could you lose 60 pounds in two months? That is impossible.” But it really isn’t and you can do it real healthily if you do it the right way and the way he does it is eating the weight off instead of trying to diet the weight off. The first weight in at Celebrity Fit Club I lost 19 pounds in two weeks. But it’s really easy. A lot of people take those pills, but those pills are the worst thing ever. God gives us natural things to make us lose the weight we need to lose and all I did was eat fruit and vegetables and soy beans for two weeks and I lost 19 pounds, and I hit the treadmill. That’s the key to it, working out. I hit the treadmill 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

“Well you know, my new stuff is not really crunk, it’s more hybrid. It’s a new form of music.”

AB: Is it easier to be crunk this way?
BC: Well you know, my new stuff is not really crunk, it’s more hybrid. It’s a new form of music. Cee-Lo came with it first with the Gnarls Barkley project and my stuff is coming right behind it.

AB: You stole my next question, which was – on the lead single you’re doing a bit of singing. Are you switching things up the way Cee-Lo did, showing another side of Bonecrusher?
BC: Yeah, indeed. Me and Cee are real good friends, that’s my boy, and we were playing each other’s album, some of the stuff we was doing, and he was like man this record is going crazy. I was like yeah, you better let me hear it, and then I was like man, I hope you’re ready. That shit it outta here. Either they’re not ready or they’re gonna be ready and obviously they’re ready for something fantastic and I think crunk is dead and I think it’s kind of a passé thing for me as far as I go. I helped start it. We sat down to talk about this hybrid music and some of the fantastic grooves we were thinking about putting together and I was like man this is gonna be the new wave. I think it’s gonna be a great movement. I think good music is back. He dropped the record and the rest is history. My story’s about to be even more phenomenal. We’re just trying to have some fun, enjoy life and let people know that you can do good music without all the cuss words and you can still maintain the certain type of energy and fantastic groove areas without all the vulgar language and I think Hip-Hop has to go that route.

AB: So this album is going to be hybrid. Is it also going to be, for the most part, clean?
BC: It’s all clean. It has no cuss words on it.

AB: What else is different this time around? Are you maybe switching things up topic wise?
BC: Yeah. The whole album is, I call it the party groove. Me and a couple of homeboys who did the album with me, Bread & Water and Rhythm D, we sat down and really talked about it and thought about some of the fantastic things we used to like as kids and things we liked as far as grooves that we always want to do that we never did before. You always sit back and say I want to do this type of music, I think people will like it, and then you go to the label and they be like naw that ain’t it, and end up with the same stuff everybody else got and it doesn’t do too well and then they get mad at you like it’s your fault. This music is definitely something that has changed my whole way of life. I speak totally differently; my subject matter is totally about the party, the groove.

“k-os, I think his stuff is hot. He’s gonna blow eventually. Sometimes it takes a little longer [..] labels have forgotten the struggle…”

AB: You mentioned the labels. I wonder, do you feel you had to release something more traditional first before releasing this?
BC: I do. The thing about labels that we’ve forgotten, labels and us that’s in the industry, we follow trends sometimes that don’t work, but we just keep doing em because they give us a little money. Why don’t people follow the trend of Outkast? They sold more records than anybody in Hip-Hop history but people don’t follow that trend. You know why? Because a lot of people can’t do that. This is another reason we make this music, so the real stars can really shine and the people who aren’t really supposed to be doing it won’t be able to do it. Best Buy is cutting back on their buys for rap music and Hip-Hop and it’s because music isn’t really that good anymore because people are following trends instead of letting the real people come out or let those people that are doing it be stars. I can remember back in the 80’s there were about ten people that were stars, now you got a thousand people out and it’s flooding the market with something that’s not very good and labels need to understand that, they need to start following some trends of something that’s bigger than regular. I don’t understand why people don’t follow Outkast. I don’t understand why they ain’t following Cee-Lo. He’s at three million right now and nobody’s trying to follow that. I don’t understand the logic of that, that makes no sense, but they want to follow some other cat that ain’t selling no records. You know what it is, it’s because they can’t do the Michael Jackson type of music. They can’t do the Gnarls Barkley kind of music and they really shouldn’t be doing it. There are other jobs in this music industry. You wake up with the notion that I am a journalist and I can write about music, it helps my lights stay on, it helps me eat everyday, that helps everything. If we start thinking about it like that, like this is my job and tomorrow I may not have no job because this fool gave us some wack ass music? Bro I’m not gonna say that’s hot, that’s wack. Get that outta here, that’s not it. That day is over. The A&R’s gone. Music is really in a bad place I think. You got a few guys out there that are doing it and good music, I think it’s gonna win. Like k-os, I think his stuff is hot. He’s gonna blow eventually. Sometimes it takes a little longer, but when he does blow it’s over and that’s the thing, labels have forgotten the struggle to get to an Usher. Usher’s a star.

AB: And they had to release like three singles off of that 8701 album before it hit.
BC: Exactly! And that’s what it’s all about. It’s about that. It’s about testing the market. As long as you got a star there’s always potential. They don’t have stars anymore. Half these guys, I can’t even remember em, they could walk down the street, you could have just interviewed them, the next week you walk right past them and you don’t remember em. This is not good. I still remember Anita Baker. I still remember Michael Jackson. I still remember Patti LaBelle. I still remember Duran Duran. I still remember The Police. I don’t remember the guy that came out four weeks ago. That’s real bad.

AB: Something I caught that was real interesting is we have a lot of artists who aren’t very talented but they get their hits and that reminds me a bit of the 80’s when we had a lot of one hit wonders, but do you think we’re recognizing these new artists as one hit wonders or are we elevating them to superstar status because they have one song?
BC: Are we talking about people nowadays or people back then?

AB: People nowadays, because you mentioned we have like a million stars and I think back in the day when The Divinyls everyone said “that’s a good one hit wonder,” they didn’t say “they’re gonna save rock!”
BC: Right. I mean the thing about it is that they’re always trying to find someone to save something. Let the music be the music. I think people don’t really know no more. The greats don’t really pick the stars anymore. I think the one hit wonders, whatever you want to call them, a lot of those guys from the 80’s I still remember. I don’t know why. It is what it is, but I think that we had more stars coming, more quality music coming. I don’t think it’s just the actual music itself, I think it’s the vulgarity of the music that’s really affecting sales, too. Vulgarity without substance, it’s just vulgar and I think that’s what people are kind of getting tired of. They’re getting tired of that, they’re getting tired of a lot of stuff. Right now you have these people dying overseas, but that’s reality and don’t nobody want to hear about reality no more, they want to escape, that’s why movies like Talladega Nights do so well, and Blades Of Glory did so well, because people want to get away from the reality of death all day long. I don’t want to hear nobody talking about killing nobody, I don’t want hear about no damn, shit fuck, hell, I don’t want to hear that. I want to get away. I want to go see Talladega Nights and watch this idiot run around a race track and act the fool. I think it’s the times we’re in, people picking bad music and it’s just a whole circle, just shit, man.

AB: You’ve had a lot of time to observe this, too, because you took a significant amount of time between “Neva Scared” and this new project.
BC: The thing was that God is a wonderful person and I would have been out by now but Arista was going through some troubles with BMG. Cee-Lo was on Arista, too. We all came out the same time and it all kinda went bad after that and at the time I was doing the same kind of music I’m talking about now, just bullshit, cussin and going crazy and just all that stuff. Life changes you and going on that show really changed my life and just thinking about my kids, it’s just something that has to be. At some point you’ve gotta grow up and start having fun and enjoying life like you’re supposed to. I don’t live in the hood no more. My house cost $450,000, in Atlanta that’s a big ass house. I’m on two acres. I don’t have time to be talking about that bullshit. I can only live what I live and that’s what it’s all about and a lot of these rappers should start showing that side of them and show these young kids that it’s more than just the hood and the dope and that stuff man. Go and have a good time, man, that’s what it’s all about, and I think that’s the premise of the album. The album is called Free and I called it Free because that’s just what it is, I’m free. I don’t really care about all the other stuff, all I care about is having fun and enjoying life.

“Good music is timeless and stars are timeless, not to say that I’m star, but I’m just gonna say it, hell yeah I’m a star…”

AB: So what do you feel the affect of the long wait will be on listeners?
BC: Good music is timeless and stars are timeless, not to say that I’m star, but I’m just gonna say it, hell yeah I’m a star, and it’s a situation where just like everything else, a good book is a good book, a good story is a good story, it doesn’t matter when it comes out. I believe in timeless music and “I Ain’t Neva Scared” is still the club rocker. They play it right now and the club goes crazy.

AB: Finally, what would you like to accomplish in the next ten years that you haven’t accomplished already?
BC: I’d much rather become a better person. I know that’s a cliché statement, a lot of people say it, but I really do believe it. I just want to be an individual, a human being as my uncle says. A lot of people aren’t human beings, they get caught up in the drug of life, paying bills and being destructive in their own nature, and all the other things. Human beings are more at one with themselves and that’s what I want to be. I just wanna be human, man, have fun and enjoy it and try to become a person that when people see me they smile and say that’s my boy, he’s good people. That’s what I want to be, I don’t want to be nothing more than that, and be a better father to my children, always, and just enjoy life, man.