Review: Bone Thugs at The Republik
REVIEW BY JASON GENEGABUS / firstname.lastname@example.org
An eclectic mix of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony fans filled The Republik on Sunday, Jan. 19, as the Cleveland-bred crew turned in a set filled with nostalgia and tributes to fallen hip-hop heroes.
Fans from all walks of life were at the Kapiolani Boulevard nightspot, from stereotypical hip-hop heads — both male and female — who were “Creepin on ah Come Up” with Bone Thugs back in 1994 and are now in their late 30s and early 40s, to an entirely different generation of fans who didn’t discover the group until 2007’s “Strength & Loyalty” or 2010’s “Uni5: The World’s Enemy.”
And then there were the randoms, like the older couple who could’ve passed for grandparents of more than a few fans in the room… and stuck around until the very end. Or the San Francisco 49ers fan who apparently forgot Bone Thugs hails from the Midwest as he spent an extended amount of time with a team scarf high above his head. Or the young(ish) couple who decided it was a good idea to bring a sleeping toddler into The Republik without any type of hearing protection whatsoever.
Despite their visible differences, the packed house was united in their adoration for Bizzy Bone, Flesh-n-Bone, Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone (fifth member Layzie Bone left in 2013) as they delivered a steady stream of early hits during their 55-minute set. Starting with “No Surrender” and “East 1999,” fans waved their hands in the air and hoisted middle fingers high on command, and clouds of sticky smoke began to permeate the room.
As Bone Thugs celebrates the 20th anniversary of their signing with Ruthless Records in 1994, they also made sure to take a moment and honor their mentor, Eric “Eazy E” Wright, who died from AIDS in 1995. After rocking The Republik with “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” and “1st of tha Month,” they paid tribute to Wright by performing “Boyz-n-the-Hood” and “Foe tha Love of $.”
The Notorious B.I.G., Tupac Shakur, Luniz and Styles P got the karaoke treatment as well, with Bone Thugs reprising verses from “Hypnotize,” “California Love,” “I Got 5 On It” and “I Get High” and performing collaboration tracks “Notorious Thugs” (originally recorded with Biggie) and “Thug Luv” (originally recorded with Tupac). And of course, they paid tribute to pakalolo with “Bud Smoke” and multiple marijuana references throughout the evening.
But the best part of the concert had to be its finish — instead of simply walking off stage following “Crossroads,” all four Bone Thugs members stuck around while Wish Bone announced they would spend the rest of the night partying with fans.
The Republik would be known as Club Bone, he said, before instructing security to let any female who wanted to dance up on stage. And dance they did!