Back when they were still a group, everyone had their favorite member of Bone, Bizzy was always a close second on my list to Krayzie's raspy-voiced flow. His flow had that eerie essence you might expect to hear coming from a ghost or any other visitor from the other side. And while we all favored one member or the other, no one really expected any of the thugs to survive without the harmony. Fast forward years later and it seems when Bone split up so did the fans. Krayzie developed somewhat of a cult following with his unapologetic thug ideology and Bizzy has been the only one with a somewhat constant rap career. With "Alpha and Omega" Bizzy hopes to keep appealing to his loyal fans, expand his fan base, and go completely independent all in one fell swoop.
Never the one to really say too much on the mic, Bizzy, like his Bone brethren, relied more on style to keep you around. This of course hasn't changed as Bizzy stays with the quick-tongued, high-pitched, and melodic rap style that made him famous. Bizzy's style is conversational as he avoids anything highly conceptual or metaphorical and sticks to spitting game on the mic. On "Sit Back and Relax" he says:
"Hey it's the Martin and Malcolm
And the Bobby and the Q-we ebony ivory
Brother the others the Indians gentlemen
Business executives single my pendulum
Living legends yeah we veterans
No need to tell them they know who we better than
These cigarettes killin me, ebony ivory, peace and war
One hell of a diary see I could get serious
Dig in y'all chest cause people been reppin
They bullet proof vest they so concerned
With who was the best
I don't even think about it
I done put my publicist on it
So y'all motherfuckers could read about it"
This is as serious as Bizzy gets as otherwise its street tales he focuses on, of course with Bone it was never really about what they said anyways. The only track really worth peeping more than any of the other ones is "Died 4 U" where he addresses his falling out with the other members of Bone and his views on his old label, including a reference to Tomika Wright where he claims "the widow tried to play me."
Musically is where the album suffers as Bizzy's house producers are not very good. There is literally not one standout track on the album. Track after track we are served with generic production that is a mix of Midwest and west coast funk, doing justice to neither. Production has been a problem for Bone since "The Art of War" and this problem has followed each individual member through their solo career. The melodic style of Bone is hard to match musically and outside of DJ Uneek, few producers have been able to provide them with the proper backdrop. Those down with Bizzy's current label can barely produce filler material, let alone carry an entire album.
"Alpha and Omega" is recommended only to hardcore fans. If somehow you are new to Bone go grab anyone of their first 3 albums or the recent greatest hits compilation to see why they were at the top of the rap game at one point. Bizzy's style is interesting and original, but the truth is that Bone was more about the harmony than the individual members. While Bizzy can do a decent job of carrying an album without the entire band, the forgettable production makes this release a sub-par effort.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 5 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 5.5 of 10
Originally posted: December 21, 2004