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