Slow Jams Bring People Together

Bone-Thugs hit Denver with their latest tour 20 years after the release of their iconic slow-jam “Crossroads”.


Judging from the line of eager bodies around the block of the Fillmore Auditorium on Jan. 22, it wasn’t surprising that the Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony anniversary tour was completely sold out in Denver.

Bone-Thugs released their momentous, number-one-hit track “The Crossroads” 20 years ago, and it won a Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo Group in 1997. In celebration of their thriving popularity since the 1990s, Bone-Thugs announced a highly-anticipated 2016 winter tour.

The five-member group is notorious for leaving their mark on the hip-hop industry with artists Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone, and Flesh-N-Bone. Bone-Thugs proceed to inspire their fans and maintain a deep-rooted and instinctive chemistry with one another.

Around 9:30 the line ran out the door, and the Fillmore was brimming with eager fans. Deejays Black Pegasus and Liquid Assassin successfully hyped up a crowd of over 900 people playing tracks from contemporary rap artists to the timeless work of the 1990s as the crowd roared and danced.

The audience was palpably eager after the deejays left the stage and Bone-Thugs came appeared over an hour after their slated time. Although only three of the original five members were performing, the crowd, though somewhat disappointed, didn’t let this fact ruin the strong, enthusiastic vibe.

Upon arriving on stage, Krayzie Bone announced, “We are gonna take it back to ‘94,” and the three members launched into their track “Ghetto Cowboy” while the ostensibly endless sea of bodies gleamed with excitement.

The crowd consisted of women and men of all ages and all races, showing Bone- Thugs’ ability to reach an audience of great diversity. The most remarkable aspect of the performance was the unceasing energy from the crowd and the performers.

The space was filled from wall to wall and rafter to rafter, but everyone in the venue was engaged and active during the performance. Most, if not all, of the audience could recite each chorus line-for-line, and it was evident that Bone-Thugs was genuinely invested in their audience.

During their performance, the triad commemorated the 20th anniversary of their hit release by honoring the man that signed them: notorious rapper Eazy-E who passed away in 1995 and who inspired “The Crossroads.”

The song was not only dedicated to Eazy-E, but to anyone who had ever experienced loss. The crowd repeated the chorus: “Pray and we pray and we pray,” in solidarity. The group of 900 strangers were uncommonly united with a sense of immense compassion.

Although Bone-Thugs was not in its entirety, the audience was not swayed and eagerly participated in an event that not only celebrated Bone-Thugs’ 1990s hit, but truly acted a memorial for anyone who has ever felt the pain of loss.

—Sarai Nissan

Above: Bone-Thugs celebrate 20-year anniversary of hit single.

photo: Sarai Nissan • CU Denver Sentry

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