Tha Crossroads

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"Tha Crossroads"
Single by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
from the album E. 1999 Eternal
Released April 23, 1996
Format CD single, 12" single, cassette
Recorded 1995
Genre Midwest hip hop, R&B
Length 3:44
Label Ruthless
Writer(s) Bryon McCane II, Anthony Henderson, Steven Howse, Charles Scruggs
Certification 2x Platinum (RIAA)
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony singles chronology
"East 1999"
(1995)
"Tha Crossroads"
(1996)
"Days of Our Livez"
(1996)

"Tha Crossroads" is a Grammy Award–winning song performed by the hip hop group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, taken from their album E. 1999 Eternal and released in 1996. The song is dedicated to the group's mentor, the late gangsta rap icon Eazy-E. It is one of the group's most popular songs to date, and their biggest selling single.

Background[edit]

There is a misconception that "Tha Crossroads" is a direct remix of the group initial song titled "Crossroad". They are, in fact, two versions of the "life after death reunion" theme. "Crossroad" originally debuted in 1995 on the E. 1999 Eternal album. It was dedicated to Bone's dead friend Wallace (Wally) Laird III, but after the death of Eazy-E they decided to remake it as "Tha Crossroads".

"Crossroad" begins with a hook: 'And, Wally, even though you're (Gone, gone, gone) You've still got love from (Bone, Bone, Bone) My nigga, just rest your (Soul, soul, soul) (And we'll see you at the Crossroad) (Soul, soul, soul) (And we'll see you at the Crossroad)' [repeated x3]

"Tha Crossroads" begins with a harmonious intro: 'Bone Bone Bone Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone.. Bone Now tell me whatcha gonna do when there ain't no where to run (tell me what) (When judgment comes for you, when judgment comes for you) And whatcha gonna do when there ain't no where to hide (tell me what) (When judgment comes for you (Cause it's gonna come for you)' [repeated once]

The original song now appears on the edited version of the album, though the European release has the original as track number 8 and the remix as track 18. The song is performed by four of the group's members, (Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone). The remake contained the line "And I'm askin' the good Lord 'Why?' and sigh / It's I, he told me we lived to die" from the original. Bone's lightning fast rhymes are delivered softer than is usual for the group, without profanities and creating a sad and heartfelt effect. With soft instrumentals revolving around a sample of The Isley Brothers' "Make Me Say It Again Girl (Pts. 1 and 2)", the song has a sad yet quick tone to it. After receiving high praise for their song the group decided to make it their third single for their already released album, E. 1999 Eternal.

The song was a smash hit worldwide and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100. It has been certified 2x platinum in the United States.

"Tha Crossroads" moved so quickly up the charts after its release in May 1996 that it ranked with the legendary success of the Beatles’ "Can’t Buy Me Love" and Whitney Houston’s "I Will Always Love You"[citation needed].

In 2008, "Tha Crossroads" was ranked number 33 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Remix[edit]

The official remix, "Tha Crossroads (Tha Flesh Flip Remix)", features the fifth member Flesh-n-Bone as well as Krayzie Bone reciting – but also shortening – his original verses, Layzie Bone & Wish Bone reciting & shortening their first original verses followed by new second verses respectively and two new verses from Bizzy Bone.

Music video[edit]

The music video was filmed on February 27–28, 1996. It opens with the female vocal group Tre' (Kimberly Cromartie, Rebecca Forsha and Maniko Williams) singing the traditional spiritual "Mary Don't You Weep" in a church funeral setting, followed by the members of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony singing the main song in several settings, such as a church and a mountain top. Additionally, an imposing man with sunglasses and a trench coat, akin to a Reaper, appears throughout the video. Bone are among the few who can see the man, and watch him as he gathers souls of various individuals who are marked for death, such as a young man who leaves his distraught mother behind (presumably have died after entering life as a gang member), Bone's friend Wally, Wish Bone's uncle Charles, Eazy-E, and a newborn baby (possibly to have died from a childbirth complication). The Reaper then leads the souls, with the baby in his arms, up a mountain where he reveals himself to be an angel, then takes the dead to Heaven.

Track listings[edit]

Australian CD single[edit]

  1. "Tha Crossroads" (D.J. U-Neek's Mo Thug remix) – 3:50
  2. "Tha Crossroads" (D.J. U-Neek's remix instrumental) – 3:48
  3. "Crossroad" (LP version – radio edit) – 3:33
  4. "1st of tha Month" (The Kruder and Dorfmeister remix) – 6:15
  5. "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" – 4:42

Charts and sales[edit]

Blazin' Squad version[edit]

"Crossroads"
Single by Blazin' Squad
from the album In the Beginning
B-side "Offering"
"Uproar"
Released August 19, 2002
Format CD single, cassette, digital download
Recorded 2002
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:10 (Radio Edit)
Label East West Records
Blazin' Squad singles chronology
"Crossroads"
(2002)
"Love on the Line"
(2002)

"Crossroads", a retitled and reworked version of "Tha Crossroads", was released by British ten-piece hip-hop group Blazin' Squad as their first single in August 2002.

Background[edit]

The group's cover version of "Crossroads" was recorded for inclusion on their first studio album, In the Beginning. The decision to record and release "Crossroads" came about during the final stages of the album production: until June 2002, the song "Standard Flow" was planned for release as the group's first single, with a promotional version of the "Standard Flow" even made available on August 5. Despite being labelled as a cover version, only the chorus from the original version remains, with the verses replaced by new lyrics written by the band. Despite being the only 'cover version' the group ever recorded, it became the band's only number one single, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for one week in August 2002.[5] Two versions of the song exist: the main version, which features in the music video and on In the Beginning, and the full version, which contains two extra verses, which appears on the second physical release of the single.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Crossroads" directed by Vaughan Arnell was premiered in July 2002. The video runs for a total length of three minutes and forty-eight seconds[6] and shows the band performing the song on top of an unfinished flyover in the centre of London. The video also shows scenes of an underpass where a number of homeless people are living, and individual shots of each band member. The video was filmed with the phantom effect, which provides a 'shadow' type movement for each member of the band.

Track listing[edit]

  • Digital single[7]
  1. "Crossroads" (Radio Edit) – 3:10
  2. "Uproar" – 3:25
  • UK CD #1
  1. "Crossroads" (Radio Edit) – 3:10
  2. "Uproar" – 3:25
  3. "Crossroads" (CD-Rom Video) – 3:45
  • UK CD #2
  1. "Crossroads" (Full Version) – 3:50
  2. "Offering" – 3:20
  3. "Crossroads" (T.N.T Remix) – 3:50
  • Cassette
  1. "Crossroads" (Radio Edit) – 3:10
  2. "Crossroads" (Full Version) – 3:50

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2002) Peak
Position
German Singles Chart 82
Irish Singles Chart 13
UK Singles Chart[5] 1

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"Round Round" by Sugababes
UK Singles Chart number one single
25 August 2002 – 31 August 2002
Succeeded by
"The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" by Atomic Kitten

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Irish Singles Chart Archives". irishcharts.com. Retrieved February 8, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Chart Stats – Bone Thugs-n-Harmony – Tha Crossroads". chartstats.com. Retrieved May 16, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1996". Longboredsurfer.com. Retrieved 2010-08-27. 
  4. ^ Geoff Mayfield (December 25, 1999). 1999 The Year in Music Totally '90s: Diary of a Decade – The listing of Top Pop Albums of the '90s & Hot 100 Singles of the '90s. Billboard. Retrieved October 15, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 676. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ Video on YouTube
  7. ^ "iTunes – Music – Crossroads – Single by Blazin' Squad". Itunes.apple.com. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

External links[edit]