Bone Thugs-In-Edmonton: Wish Bone & Krayzie Bone perform at Encore [Review]
Edmonton, AB – On Mar. 18, our friends over at Pearl Entertainment brought Bone Thugs-n-Harmony‘s Wish Bone and Krayzie Bone to Edmonton’s Encore at WEM. The event was promoted as a “Hip-hop fan appreciation night,” which means two things: Firstly, it was a show geared towards the heads (because BTNH was a first for many ’90s come-up hip-hop fans). And secondly, no cover charge.
A few years back, Krayzie and Wish split from Bone Thugs to work on their independent The Life Entertainment label. The original crew did briefly reunite, but ultimately, Wish and Krayzie wound up carrying on their BTNH legacy as a duo. See how everything went down at Encore after the jump.
Pearl Entertainment is diligent about stacking their shows with local openers. I’ve been lurking many of the Edmonton rap cats via their YouTube videos and SoundCloud accounts for the last year, from my digs over in Calgary. But I haven’t seen many of them live. So it was kind of surreal to finally get to watch them on the stage. For example: Kryple, from Doom Squad. I’ve been a huge fan of Kryple, so I was geeked to walk into the Encore to see him up on stage with K-Blitz. Str8 Gutta was also illness. And Vancouver MC Terell Safadi had a solid set, too. He had some weird EDM-hip-hop-mash-up joint that he performed. He more-or-less apologized for making the track prior to his performance of it. But the thing is— Albertans love their EDM. So the crowd ate it right up.
After the official support acts finished, Bone Thugs’ official DJ – Pozition – hit the stage with The Life Entertainment rapper, Caine. The two of them had a nice little schtick. They should have had more time for their opening set. Because they were like Wish Bone & Krayzie Bone 2.0. Yeah, spoiler alert: Pozition is best known for his DJ work, but the dude also raps. And it’s great. And I would fork over money to go to a Pozition & Caine show.
Thankfully the two of them also performed hypeman duties for Wish and Krayzie. So they stayed on stage throughout the rest of the evening. And grunted. And hyped. And all that other good stuff. Cali lyricist-rapper Wildcard briefly hit the stage for a few minutes of ridiculous chopper flow, and bars for days. But then it was time for the Ruggish Thuggish Bones to get things going.
Wish Bone and Krayzie Bone didn’t hit the stage until well-after 1 a.m. It was worth it, though. The night pulled double-duty as an ode to the “fallen soliders” – all of the hip-hop legendaries who have left us. So of course Wish and Krayzie performed their verses from their Biggie collaboration, “Notorious Thugs.” And then they performed Eazy E, and Pac, and Biggie. And -of course- their monstrous “Tha Crossroads” single that was dedicated to the great late Eazy (who initially signed BTNH to Ruthless Records).
But generally speaking, you can never go wrong with covering any of that classic material. I’ve seen dudes at karaoke go from tone-deaf hopeless messes to D-List celebrities after squawking out Biggie’s “Hypnotize” or 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up.” So when two legendary hip-hop heavyweights cover songs by other legendary hip-hop heavyweights, magic happens. And people go bananas.
Obviously the best part of the night was when Wish and Krayzie performed their verses from the Akon-assisted “I Tried.” If we’re being completely honest here, this is the song that forced me into the rest of the BTNH discography. Because the emotions. And also, because I like it when Wish Bone sing-raps. Oh, and I had a major thing for Akon when I was a teenager. Okay, I still have a major thing for Akon. But I digress. This song has feeling. And the fact that Krayzie and Wish can get their Tuesday night crowd to alternate between turning up, crooning out drug ballads, and swaying along to Akon vocal tapes speaks volumes to the impact that these two Bone Thuggers have had on hip-hop.
One beef I did have with the set, though, was that Krayzie and Wish wore their sunglasses throughout the entire show. Facial expressions are bond in performance. Because they convey feeling. When a dude is versing chopper-style; and his words are flowing 500 words per second; and you look into his eyes, that’s when you see the love of the craft. I was already overheating when the two of them performed “I Tried.” But if I had been able to see Wish Bone’s eyes during that first line on his verse where he’s all like, “I see that things won’t change,” I would have melted into a puddle of emotions.
The show didn’t get out until around 2:30 a.m. But everyone was still buzzing. So the stage turned into a dance floor. The crowd was invited up to dance until closing. So they did. And all of Edmonton’s thugs boned in harmony. Tee hee.
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Twitter: @iamKrayzieBone | @WishBoneBTNH | @Caine216 | @POZITION | @PearlEnt780