Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s Manager Makes Bold Claim Regarding Mariah Carey

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Thursday; September 24, 2009


Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s brand manager Bobby Francis claims that Mariah Carey’s vocal style was taken from Felecia Howse (Layzie Bone’s wife) after releasing her hit song “All Good” in 1998.

Bobby’s claim was precipitated by a thread created, September 20, in the “Bone Thugs Affiliates” section of Bone’s official message board BTNHBoard.com. The headline, which didn’t even concern Mariah, respectfully read “Phaedra Butler vs. Felicia Howse” with a poll, asking which singer fans prefer. (Phaedra works with Bobby and was a member of R&B trio Lady Soul in the early 90s.)

Two days later, Bobby and/or his Brand Engine team viewed the thread, deemed it inappropriate, and replied with fury and absurdity through his own thread under the “Brand Engine” section of the board. He directed his initial comment to the threadstarter:

“First off, I’d like to say that whomever started this post will never ever have the opportunity to be involved in anything that I’m involved in re: B.T.N.H. Unless they come forth now-privately!!!”

Thereafter, he directed his comment regarding Felecia and peppered it with admiration:

“Let’s be clear, Felicia Howse is the 1st Lady of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony! End of that discussion! Her track record speaks for itself! Her major smash “So Good,” not only marks her place in history with Bone but it marks her place in music history.”

The song that Bobby wrongly refers to as “So Good” is called “All Good”; this song which features Krayzie Bone was featured on Mo Thugs’ 1998 platinum-selling album Family Scriptures Chapter 2: Family Reunion.

Bobby is correct when he asserts that Felecia is the first lady of Bone. He is also correct when he asserts that her hit single marks her place in history with Bone. However, his latter comment regarding her place being marked in music history is unfounded, because she has no music catalog; thus, she has no reputable history in the music industry. The fact can not be denied: Felecia is only known for one song (not to mention her affiliation with Bone).

After his praises for Felecia, without any provocation, Bobby felt obligated to add Mariah Carey into his rant, stating the following:

“Many music lovers across the world don’t realize that her HIT song serves as a blueprint for every HIT song that Mariah Carey has ever recorded, since she heard Felicia’s Song missile and copied/borrowed/used her vocal style ever since!!!”

Not only is this statement a head-scratcher, but it renders the purest form of foolishness. Granted, “All Good” was a hit and beautifully executed by Felecia and Krayzie Bone; it sounded amazing when it came out and sounds amazing today. Both the song and its corresponding music video are top-notch – and she should be credited for her performance.

However, Mariah’s entrance into the music industry came with her self-titled album in 1990, while Felicia’s introduction came via Bone in the late 90s. Before Felecia was even known, Mariah sold millions of records and recognized worldwide. Thus, Bobby’s claim that Mariah stole her “blueprint” does not make sense, nor is it plausible.

With more than ten albums under her name, Mariah has released hits after hits and represents one of the top-selling music artists of all time, selling more than 200 million records. She signifies a worldwide icon and will go down in history as one of the best female vocalists that ever belted out a note. Felecia, on the hand, has not released one solo album; aside from the Bone community, she is neither known countrywide nor worldwide.

To make Bobby’s statement even more outrageous is the assertion that Mariah utilized Felecia’s vocal style to gain success. No disrespect to Felecia because she represents a good singer in her own right. However, comparing her to Mariah in any facet is like comparing Michael Jordan to John Salley. The disparity in talent is quite evident.

Moreover, her vocal capacity does not compare to Mariah’s. It does not take an A&R executive to figure that out, for anyone with ears can tell the difference and the superiority of Mariah’s vocal range.

What motivated Bobby to make such audacious accusation is not known, but one thing is clear: his statement is nonsense, laughable, ill-advised, and makes Bone look bad.

Ironically, Bone is currently working on their long-awaited album, as a 5-member group, titled The World’s Enemy due out November 24, 2009; if Bobby continues, Bone may indeed turn into the world’s enemy.

It would be in Bone’s best interest to sit down with their manager and advise him to stop any future jargon, because if he can wildly accuse Mariah of stealing Felecia’s vocal style (while constantly yelling with various exclamation marks), there is no telling what he will say and/or do next.

If there is ever a time to showcase his professionalism, the time is now. Bobby Francis needs to find his intellectual and managerial compass and refrain from grotesque comments.

It is important to note that Mariah Carey and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have a working relationship and have collaborated several times: In 1997, Bone appeared on Mariah’s single, “Breakdown” from her multi-platinum album Butterfly; a different version of the song titled “Breakdown (Mo Thugs Remix)” appeared on Bone’s 1998 compilation album The Collection Volume One, featuring longer verses from Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone, with an added verse from Layzie Bone, who was absent from the original song. In 1999, Mariah’s “I Still Believe” remix from her #1’s album featured Krayzie Bone and Da Brat (a similar version of the song appeared on Krayzie Bone’s Thug Mentality 1999 album with only Mariah). Moreover, in 2007, Mariah appeared on Bone’s “Lil L.O.V.E” single from the group’s Strength and Loyalty album. (Music videos were produced for each song.)

Despite such bold claim by Bobby Francis, the long-standing working relationship between Mariah Carey and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is strongly cemented and will not end in the future, for their mutual respect has been publicly noted many times.

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Originally published September 24, 2009 via now-defunct Web site Examiner.com

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Great Educational Computer Games for Children Ages 4-12

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May 26, 2008


There are various educational computer games that parents can buy to foster and better their children’s intelligence. When considering educational computer games for children, parents will never be limited because there are hundreds of stimulating titles they can choose from. However, parents may have a difficult time trying to decide which games are suitable for their children and which will serve as an effective learning tool. To help parents with their decision-making, some great educational computer games will be cited, ranging from ages 4 to 12.

Three games will be cited for each age group. The age groups that will be covered herein are as follows: ages 4-6, ages 6-8, ages 9-10, and ages 11-12. Some games will overlap, covering other age groups.

The location of each game will be provided with a hyperlink via the word software.

AGES 4-6
1. BEGINNING READING, covering ages 4-6, teaches kids how to read simple and short sentences, supported with repeated words, pictures, and many clues. If he or she has difficulties pronouncing a word, a click on the word will provide help. There is also a dictionary that allows children to define any word they may not know; definitions are read aloud. This read-out-loud feature serves children well, for it allows them to clearly hear the pronunciation, sound it out until perfected, know its definition, and understand what the word means. Interestingly, kids can create and print their own stories when they understand the basics. Created by teachers and educational experts, this program helps children learn in a cool way. This software is priced at $12.95.

2. ARTHUR’S MATH GAMES, 4-7, provides a fun and interactive game for kids to learn the basic mathematical skills. It helps kids learn the fundamental skills of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, shapes, and counting. This game is embedded with many fun images to make the learning process much easier. This software is priced at $14.95.

3. I LOVE PHONICS!, 4-7, is a steppingstone for great articulation and reading. Kids first learn how to sound letters and climb to more challenging reading phonics. This CD focuses on alphabets, letter recognition, sound recognition, rhyming, short and long vowel sounds, consonants and clusters, phonemes, segmenting words, blended sounds, reading and spelling. Developed by education experts, this program – containing all 44 phonemes of the English language – is a tool that will benefit any child. This software is priced at $14.95.

AGES 6-8
1. SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK! / GRAMMAR ROCK, 6-10, makes learning the parts of speech entertaining with engaging music. It develops grammar skills with 9 music videos (i.e., Nine Emmy award-winning videos) that kids can dance to and smile while learning the various parts of speech: nouns, pronouns, adverbs, adjectives, verbs, prepositions, predicates, and so forth. This software is priced at $14.95.

2. I LOVE the USA!, 5-9, analyzes all 50 states in conjunction with each state’s history. Kids learn about various regions, cities, and major landmarks, etc. while exploring the USA in search for Joe, who is hidden all across the country and provides educational clues to his whereabouts. In all, this CD is packed with countless information: flags of states, shapes of states, capitals, rivers, tallest building, highest mountains, information about space, and significant facts about the USA in general. This software is priced at $14.95.

3. READER RABBIT’S MATH ADVENTURE, 6-9, is a ton of fun and kids will not be bored. The many activities allow kids to maneuver wherever they choose, and the option to tweak the difficulty levels from easy to hard is a plus. Basically, the many activities cover all the math basics, in conjunction with other math skills that kids ought to know. The cute characters and the goal to build a boat will keep kids hooked as they have fun while learning the fundamentals of mathematics. This software is priced at $11.99.

AGES 9-10
1. THE TUTTLES MADCAP MISADVENTURES, ages 7 and up, won the 2008 Parents’ Choice Silver Award for its fun and educational excellence. This semi-educational game involves a family of 4, the Tuttles: Barbara, the mother; Barry, the father; Jess, the teenage daughter; and Zach, the little brother. The parents are happy to go on vacation whereas their kids are not. The family goes on their trip and runs into trouble as their car runs out of gas, crashing in a desert. This crisis unites the family, and they work as a team to remedy their problem. This adventurous and amusing game is aided with notable voiceovers from William Shattner, Jamie Lee Curtis and Ashley Tisdale of “High School Musical.” This software is priced at $19.95.

2. I LOVE SPELLING!, 7-11, helps youngsters practice their spelling with enticing games that take place on 4 different planets: On Planet Amphibia, kids must select letters to determine the unknown word; on Planet Anagrama, kids must figure out jumbled letters to form a word; on Planet Aquatica and Arachna, kids are challenged to spell the verbal words by clicking on bubbles with the proper letter. Each planet has a friendly host for assistance. “I Love Spelling!” is a winner and will sharpen one’s spelling. This software is priced at $14.95.

3. MATH MISSIONS, 8-11, is a game that awards kids money with every correct answer. The mission is to earn enough money ($150) that allows kids to buy games and accessories for his/her arcade shop. While traveling through Spectacle City, kids learn how to use graphs and charts to answer math problems. Kids even have fun as they travel via public transportation. Each location has its own problems to solve, and students are challenged with word problems, equalities and inequalities, money management, unit conversion, data analysis, geometry, and more. This software is priced at $14.95.

AGES 11-12
1. WHERE IN THE WORLD IS CARMEN SAN DIEGO?, 8-12, outsells all geography programs, making it the best and #1 selling geography program for kids. This game is entertainingly enjoyable and educational. The premise of the game is simple: Carmen and her gang steal world treasures, and players must find them. Players play detective as they travel the globe to find the clues that allow them to locate criminals – and arrest them thereafter. This game allows kids to learn research skills, rational reasoning, and map reading. Moreover, students can learn flags of many countries and their cultures. This software is priced at $14.95.

2. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HISTORY, 11 and up, is a very informative tool that provides students with the knowledge of world events that occurred in the past 4 million years. This CD contains information concerning The Dark Ages, The Middle Ages, The Renaissance, The Prehistoric Era, The Enlightenment, Revolution of Republic, The World at War, The Modern Age, and a bulk of other historical events. In all, this amazing CD is filled with knowledge and will help students tremendously. This software is priced at $12.95.

3. I LOVE MATH!, 7-11, by Dorling Kindersley, subdues the stress of math and helps children learn as they travel the ancient worlds of Greece, Atlantis, Egypt, and the Aztecs. The usual mathematical subjects are covered (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), including a bulk of other vital math areas: pre-algebra, geometry, ratios, time, measurement, fractions, decimals, percentages, money, word problems, etc. This software is priced at $14.95.

These educational computer games will not only help children educationally, but they will also help them socially and foster self-esteem as they grow into adulthood. These games are widely available wherever computer programs are sold, from brick-and-mortar stores to various Internet sites. (Prices may vary for each software, depending on where it is purchased.)

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Originally published May 26, 2008 via now-defunct writing Web site Helium.com.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony appears live on Shade 45’s Lip Service

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[October 27, 2009]

Monday, October 26, 2009, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony sat down with provocative radio hosts Angela Yee and Leah Rose of Lip Service to speak about their upcoming album, the group reuniting after ten years, and miscellaneous subjects (including sex talk).

Bizzy Bone was not present for good reasons; according to the members, he stayed behind in Los Angeles, California to attend court-ordered drug rehabilitation classes, while the rest of the members took the trip to New York to promote their approaching album Uni5: The World’s Enemy.  The four other members, Krayzie Bone, Layzie, Wish Bone, and Flesh-n-Bone, held it down, however, and gave a shout out to Bizzy Bone and stated everything with him is great.

This was not a conventional interview but rather a laid back, carefree, and playful interview throughout.  It was quite entertaining and humorous – and perhaps one of the most lighthearted interviews they have ever done.  It lasted approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.  The entertainment and questions were countless, so this piece will feature a brief recap of what went down via bullet points.

  • Indirect question regarding so-called breakup

Naturally, this indirect question was fitting, considering the group’s constant foursome and trio appearance due to Bizzy Bone’s off-and-on presence (after Flesh-n-Bone was sentenced to prison).  Wish Bone stated all families have fights and problems, but the group never broke up and was always intact; members were just doing their own things, but they always had plans to come together as a five-member group when Flesh-n-Bone was released from prison.  (Flesh was released July 13, 2008.)

  • Regarding hometown of Cleveland

They talked about how Cleveland is one of the poorest cities in America, and how everything is basically the same since they left.  Even though they were born and raised in Cleveland, they said they have houses elsewhere and live outside of Ohio.  Flesh-n-Bone stated he has not visited Cleveland since his release in 2008, but has plans to visit his hometown in the future.

  • Question regarding reality show

Krayzie Bone stated the group would partake in a reality show, but it has to be under the right circumstances.  He added that they are looking for a show that depicts them as professional businessmen and not as a bunch of idiots.  The group actually had a pending reality show titled Living In Harmony, where several footages were already recorded, but Bone’s manager Bobby Francis recently revealed that the show was canceled because it was not the right situation.

  • Question regarding sharing and fighting over women

They emphatically said they have never sexually shared women, or had women come between their friendships because they have boundaries:  never mess with a woman that your friend and/or family is involved with.  In a disgusting voice, Krayzie Bone said, “That’s nasty to me.”

  • Question regarding leader of group

Throughout the group’s career, the question of who’s the leader has been asked several times, and the answer has remained the same:  there is no leader (but Layzie Bone takes credit as the unofficial spokesman).   The members basically said each member is a leader and plays his role and contributes when need be.  When it’s time to speak out, they emphasized that there is no problem, because they have known each other since they were kids and have a close relationship.  Thus, speaking out on any matter, especially regarding music, is natural.

  • Question regarding best fighter in the group

This segment was rather funny.  Krayzie Bone, with some added bass to his voice, said he would beat the [expletive] out of them.  Layzie Bone jumped in with rejection, claiming his bigger brother and eldest member Flesh-n-Bone could beat up everybody (and faintly added his name in the equation for approval).  Wish Bone, strongly rejected with two words:  “Hell no!”

  • Account regarding Flesh-n-Bone’s prison fight

Sticking to the subject, Flesh-n-Bone revealed a hilarious story about a fight that he had in prison with a troublemaker, stating that he abused this fellow inmate from one side of the gym to the other and left him bloodied – so bloodied that he was sent to the infirmary.

  • Question regarding relationships while in prison

One host asked the members a complex question pertaining to “would [they] wait for a woman who had a 10-year prison stint.”  Wish Bone jokingly said yes, but staying monogamous would be out of the question.  Layzie Bone said that every man would wait for his woman but, at the same time, he would sleep around until she is released.  The question was sparked when Flesh-n-Bone revealed that his 10-year prison stint caused his marriage to dissolve.

  • Question regarding Flesh-n-Bone’s transition, prison to real world

Flesh-n-Bone stated his transition went rather smoothly, but he did have to get accustomed to the new technology.  For example, he saw someone talking without any device in his hand and thought the person was crazy.  However, the person had an earpiece (i.e., Bluetooth) and he had no idea what it was, which generated some laughter.

In the latter part of the interview, R&B singer Omarion came into the studio and embraced and shared a few words with Bone.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony also talked about their new album and what new style they are bringing as a five-member group.  Their leading single “See Me Shine” featuring Jay Rush, Lyfe Jennings, and Phaedra was also played twice – at the beginning and near the end.

Unsurprisingly, they announced a new release date of December 22, 2009(?) for UNI-5: The World’s Enemy; this is actually the sixth time the album has been pushed back.

Overall, the interview was interesting.  Angela Yee and Leah Rose are known for their provocatively sexual tone, and they did not shy away from that motif with Bone.  They presented a carefree atmosphere and Bone reciprocated that vibe.

Lip Service, the two-hour show, comes on every Monday night on Sirius at 8:00 PM.

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[Originally published October 27, 2009 on now-defunct Examiner.com]

License To Kill

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Once again, another unarmed Black man has been brutally murdered by a white police officer.

Video shows the savagery of this cop, shooting 8 times (striking the victim 5 times in the back) as he runs away.

Video shows after the victim is handcuffed while faced down, the savage cop jogs back – and retrieves – his Taser and walks and plants the Taser next to the victim’s body.  The truth comes to life after the officer fabricated police reports with the usual narrative: he was attacked; he felt threatened as the victim tried to grab his Taser; thus, he responded with gunshots.

Despite the clear video-evidence of what transpired, racists online are supporting this officer and placing blame on the victim, stating he caused his own death by running away and other ridiculous excuses.  More disturbing, money is being raised via crowd-funding Web sites in support of this brute – and some have the audacity to argue that racism should not be brought up, for racial disparities do not exist.

Black men are the most hated, antagonized, and brutalized people in the U.S. There is a deep-rooted hatred for Blacks and that hatred is being executed with ruthless murders through cops, all of whom are given the license to kill without any repercussion or prosecution.