Album Review: For The Fans (2005) by Bizzy Bone

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For The FansIn June 2005, Bizzy Bone’s 6-track semi-album For The Fans was released neither under a major label nor an independent label – but rather through BTNHBoard.com (the official Bone Thugs-N-Harmony forum/fan site) by a member that goes by the screen name of GodOfWar.

Before this Internet-only album made its way into the underground market, so much hype was put behind it, but all that publicity was much to do about nothing, because the album is horribly pathetic, beginning with the opening track to the final track.

1.  PRICELESS
By definition, priceless is a word that entails something precious and valuable, but this track is quite the opposite.  The song starts off with Bizzy Bone giving praise to the Lord, giving shout outs to his family, and disclaiming that he isn’t crazy which is priceless (that is, very funny disclaimer) considering his past behaviors.  This song basically has no vibe whatsoever.  Some of his lyrics are actually good because of the mention of his family, but it doesn’t work in the scope of the priceless theme, because it is unmoving and doesn’t seem genuine.

Bizzy talks throughout the entire track without any care.  The rapping that he does do is very little and comes in verse three.  It’s a shame because the beat is rather pleasant, but Bizzy doesn’t do anything to complement it.  Honestly, it is not a terrible track but sticking to the title, this track is a priceless piece of mediocrity.

If this opening track was expected to grab the attention of the listener, it clearly does not.   What “Priceless” does do is showcase how the following tracks would be, for they all mirror its lackluster ambiance.

2.  YOU EVER BEEN LONELY
This track is not terrible, but it’s not quite there.  The beat is average and Bizzy’s playfulness on the track is not amusing.  The theme of “You Ever Been Lonely” centers on lonely women, and he makes it clear that he would love to take one to his “telly” and fill the void.  In fact, this song has no degrading lyrics toward women; he simply wants to cuddle with a female and partake in some extracurricular activities.  After finishing his verses, he states in the latter that he will entertain any woman with the following:

“Now that’s what I’m talking about.  I want you to take this effing song in the club home boy, and you better bring me out somethin’ that look good with some high heels, with a pedicure, with a manicure, or some fine legs, smooth, chocolate cocoa, mocha; it don’t matter baby we even mess with vanilla swirls around here; give it to ’em.”  This statement is quite funny, especially how Bizzy says it with his hyperactive voice.  Obviously, majority of men share his sentiments.  All in all, this track is boring but decent.

3.  BABYLON
“Babylon” starts off promising but falls off quickly.  Bizzy’s energy on this track is lively but he sounds sloppy and fails to capture that outstanding signature sound that he once had.  Some of his lyrics are so incoherently confusing that Bizzy himself may call into question what he actually raps about and the actual meaning behind his verses.  For example, one of his line states:  “Yuck, in embalming fluid, incinerate me like chicken strips or butter… like filet mignon with the grease…”   Perhaps he was eating while recording or thinking about his next meal.  Whatever his lyrics entail is a guess, but one thing is clear: his verses are careless and average.

The old-school Bizzy would have made this song sound so amazing that people would ignore his questionable lyrics; in fact, he could have rendered his verse in Chinese proverbs and leave people awe-struck, but he doesn’t have that luxury anymore due to his sub-par performances and style.

Bizzy, however, is not the primary force that ruins this track; that blame goes to a no-name rapper by the name of Baby Phil whose verse/style is classic trash.  He raps off-beat; he comes in very loud and very low in many instances, which makes it clear that his verse was probably put together by taking small pieces of his lyrics and fusing them together to form a complete verse.  Condolences go to that recording engineer who had to partake in such mess, because the entire verse is Pure Refined Trash.  He breathes heavily throughout the entire verse as if he’s having a heart attack or an asthma attack.

Moreover, his verse is pointlessly filled with gun-clacking and murderous lyrics – with quite a lot of mother-F bombs for unknown reasons.  Trying to make sense of such convoluted, nonsense lyrics is like trying to understand the phenomenon of outer space and its environment.

Baby Phil’s performance literally turns an average track into an unbearable track.

4.  A LETTER
Surprisingly, this track has a very good beat, but Bizzy ruins it with his sloppy flow.  He laughs for no apparent reason a few times as he raps, and he changes his voice by making strange sounds, etc.  In brief, he plays on this song; and as a result, he shoulders all the blame for destroying a good track.

5.  WHO THA THUG
“Who That Thug” represents another sub-par song.  After he delivers his one verse, he does some strange scratching sound with his voice; in other words, he mimics a scratching turntable with his distorted voice and says “get get get get busy ya’ll” a few times.  “Who Tha Thug” is annoying because Bizzy makes it annoying with his teasing and rapping rather than presenting a serious attitude.  The beat itself doesn’t help either due to its Christmas-bell-carol atmosphere.

6.  CLOCKWISE
This entire track has an otherworldly ambiance to it due to the cosmic-like (Star Trek) rhythm.  Bizzy only appears on the chorus while two no-name rappers deliver uninspiring verses, one of whom is Baby Phil.  The first verse, occupied by an H-Faktor affiliate, sounds like an elementary kid who is learning how to rap with poor lyrics that state in part: “I’m ready for the warfare, strapped at all times / One hand on my money, other hand on my nine / Your man come through, I take a bite out of crime / I put a dime on this line, H-Faktor I signed / You better recognize game, listen up when I’m speakin’ / In other words, get your notebook cause I’m preachin’…”  Whatever he’s preaching is an unholy clutter of nonsense, including his slapdash style of delivery.

Baby Phil is no better and delivers the same boring performance as stated earlier in “Babylon.”  And yes, he again fires off with a load of crap filled with profanity and murderous lyrics.  A more fitting name should be “No Skillz” because that is what he represents. “Clockwise” as a whole is dull and has no interesting moments – it signifies the worst song on the album.

Bizzy must have been outer space throughout this entire album as the opening of this track states, “Breaker breaker breaker sector 1-9, we’re about to land,” accompanied by some outer space-type music that plays in the background.  Knowing how strange Bizzy can be at times, him having an outer space experience wouldn’t surprise anyone.  Perhaps he visited Mars or Pluto and collaborated with some Martians.  Who knows?  Interestingly, while scrutinizing and listening to this painful album, it is safe to say that it is very alien.

Knowing the fundamentals of record labels and how difficult they can be, one would think it’s a good thing to carry out a solo project because of full creative control, but not in this case, especially when one has no clout or experience (i.e., the catalyst and overseer of this album mentioned in the opening paragraph).  Trying to put an album out on your lonesome (or with the aid of a few others) comes with struggles that usually bring about failure.  In other words, it calls for a disaster in the product’s development and conclusion, and a disaster For The Fans is.

On a scale of 1 to 10, this album is a 2 (equivalent to a D-minus grade); that’s how apathetic it is.  Frankly, the album is a mess and very deprived of energy, effort, uniformity, and professionalism.  It is simply boring and has no replay value – and renders no curiosity.  No effort at all was put into this album and it shows throughout Bizzy’s lyrics, nonchalant style, and lackluster rapping.  This album sounds like it was recorded in a dumpster-like recording studio.

The album doesn’t even have the name of the album on the actual CD, nor does it have the year of the album’s release; that’s how sloppy and unprofessional it is.  It’s simply underdeveloped.  Everything about this album is amateurish, from Bizzy’s delivery to his carefree atmosphere, from the CD’s production to its mastering. Bizzy is known for his mesmerizing quick tongue and smooth, high-pitched harmonies, but he doesn’t showcase any of those qualities at all.

If you have not heard this album, save yourself the headache because it is not worth it.  If you insist to chance a listen, you will find out that one listen (or maybe two) is all this album deserves.  If you are a Bizzy Bone/Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fan and a collector of their albums, this album will be difficult to find, but it possibly can be located on EBay, selling at a high price that is not worth the purchase.  It can be found on some sites for free download, however.

For The Fans is a bad album, but it doesn’t compare to how bad its second installment is, which is called Only One, orchestrated by the same person who rendered this album.  In a few words, Only One is laughable and a dump of elephant manure.

As a whole, For the Fans epitomizes a price-less piece of lackluster tracks, and it is not a memorable album.  Anyone who argues otherwise is crazy and ought to clean his or her ears with Ajax.  Bizzy’s performance on this album is uninspiring and nonchalant, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone because this album was not released under a major or an independent record label – but rather through a BTNHBoard member.

***
[Originally published April 5, 2008 on now-defunct Examiner.com]

 

 

 

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