July 25, 2023

Krayzie Bone - Thug Mentality 1999 (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, Pop Rap
Label Number: 1671-2

© 1999 Ruthless/Relativity/Mo Thugs
Theoretically, an epic hip-hop album could be compelling, but almost of all of the sweepstake entries are tedious, serving to diminish the artist's music instead of enhancing it. Nowhere was that more true than Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's overwrought third album, The Art of War and, unfortunately, that same sense of hubris characterizes Thug Mentality 1999, the ridiculously inflated debut solo album from Krayzie Bone. Freed from the group setting but not necessarily the members -- who fill some of the obligatory guest slots, along with Bone family members such as Relay -- Krayzie doesn't hesitate to accentuate the already smooth surfaces of his music. Some of these cuts are positively smoove, which stands in direct contrast to the gangstafied lyrics, but that's always been a part of the Bone trademark. In fact, other than the occasional cut that veers toward urban territory, there isn't a whole lot to differentiate this from the average Bone release -- there's just more of it. A lot more of it: 38 tracks, to be precise. Breadth does not necessarily mean depth. Even though there is more depth than there was on The Art of War, there's a whole lot of filler cluttering these two discs, including several tracks that feel as if they're designed to launch developing artists. Krayzie tries to keep it interesting by varying the flow, never putting too many similar tracks next to each other, but who the hell can make it through 38 tracks of this without a breather, even if some cuts are skits? It may be a cliche to say that this double-record would have been much more potent if it was trimmed to a single disc, but that doesn't make it less true, especially since there are enough songs to make a very good record, possibly one of the best things Krayzie has been involved with. It's just hard to discern that for certain in this guise.

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 tags: krayzie bone, thug mentality, 1999, flac,