Strength & Loyalty

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Strength & Loyalty
Bone Thugs N Harmony Strength&Loyalty.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 8, 2007 (US)
Recorded2006-2007
Genre
Length47:21
Label
Producer
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony chronology
Thug Stories
(2006)
Strength & Loyalty
(2007)
T.H.U.G.S.
(2007)
Singles from Strength & Loyalty
  1. "I Tried"
    Released: February 16, 2007
  2. "Lil Love"
    Released: July 1, 2007

Strength & Loyalty, originally titled The Bone Thugs Story, is the seventh studio album by American hip hop group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, released on May 8, 2007. IT was Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's first major album after an absence of nearly five years. The album contains guest appearances by Akon, Autumn Rowe, Bow Wow, Felecia, Fleetwood Mac (sampled), Mariah Carey, Swizz Beatz, The Game, Twista, will.i.am, and Yolanda Adams. Producers include Akon, DJ Toomp, Jermaine Dupri, Mally Mall, Neo Da Matrix, Pretty Boy & Bradd Young, Street Radio, Swizz Beatz, The Individuals, Ty Fyffe, and will.i.am. The executive producer of the album was Swizz Beatz. Then imprisoned member Flesh-n-Bone was featured on a track entitled "Into The Future" but did not make the album.

The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, with 119,000 copies sold.[1] It has since gone on to be certified gold by the RIAA, having sold over 500,000 copies within the US to date.[2][3]

The first single was "I Tried", which features Akon, and was also produced by him. The single was released on February 16, 2007. On March 7, the video officially debuted on Yahoo! Music, and on March 17, it debuted on BET's 106 & Park. The second single was "Lil Love", which features Bow Wow and Mariah Carey, and was produced by Jermaine Dupri. The single was released in June 2007, while its video was premiered on July 5, on 106 & Park.

Critical reception[edit]

Strength & Loyalty received generally positive reviews from music critics, praising the production of the album and Bone's ability to "reinvent themselves with just 3 members." David Jeffries of Allmusic gave the album 3 and a half stars out of a possible 5, stating "This 2007 edition of Bone is missing members Flesh-N-Bone (thanks to incarceration) and Bizzy Bone (thanks to his being Bizzy Bone) and it shows. As a trio Krayzie, Layzie, and distant third Wish are a solid crew, able to deliver good weekend numbers like "Bump in the Trunk," "Lil Love," and "C-Town" (they never forget Cleveland) along with polished gangsta tracks like "I Tried." In the big picture, Bizzy and Flesh are missed, but what's remarkable about Strength & Loyalty is how it makes the listener forget they're missing while in the moment. Numerous melodious hooks in the easy-rolling Bone tradition fog the memory, and guest stars are brought in at just the right moments. Mariah speaks to the commercial possibilities Bone always had, while the Game speaks to how they seemed to never leave the streets. Every song is at least solid and the album flows very well, making it one of the better-built efforts from the house of Bone in nearly a decade. Problem is, this album could have twice the star power and it wouldn't make up for how important Bizzy's strange voice was for the overall chemistry. Strength & Loyalty doesn't overcome its challenges; it just sidesteps them and works hard to reward fans for a decade of patience. It's as good as it can be, and better than expected." Simon Vozick-Levinson of Entertainment Weekly of gave the album a "B+", stating "These Midwestern-rap pioneers sound more focused than they have in a decade. Much of the credit for the revitalized sound on their seventh LP, Strength & Harmony belongs to producers like Swizz Beatz, will.i.am, and Akon, who deftly flip samples from sources as disparate as Bobby Womack and Fleetwood Mac. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s lyrics, too, are impressively crafted, tempering rough bluster with humble spirituality and calling to mind their classic mid-’90s hits — a pleasant surprise after years of diminishing returns." Decades-long Bone heads need not worry about total change, though. On the Neo Da Matrix–tracked gem “C-Town,” fellow spitfire Twista tag teams with the crew atop an airy bed of whistles and sonic hypnosis. The strongest moment of seamless old meets new comes on the head-spinning “Flowmotion,” a remake of a cut from their 1993 indie project Faces of Death. Backed by newcomers the Individuals’ intense strings, all three members’ flows reach new levels of velocity, especially Krayzie’s: “I’m coming at you with a sound like thunder, strike like lightning/Hit them and they wonder where these thuggish ruggish niggas came from.”

Matt Baron of XXL (magazine) gave the a "L" (Large) rating, stating "Don’t call it a complete comeback, however. While Krayzie and Layzie show and prove, Wish’s inferior skills frequently emerge as well. Take his infantile wordplay on the Jermaine Dupri–produced radio shot “Little Love” (“Not trying to say that you’re about that paper/But me and you, yes, we’re about that paper”), which makes guest Bow Wow sound superlyrical. Further downgrading the album are scattered, drowsy soundtrack lapses (DJ Toomp’s bland bass guitars on “Sounds the Same,” for example) and stunted creativity (the “been there, shot that” murder taunts of “9mm”). Through attempts at experimentation, such as the Fleetwood Mac–sampling rock/rap hybrid “Listen to the Wind Blow,” Bone clearly display a hunger for relevance. And as evidenced by the solemn “Crossroads”-comparable single “I Tried,” their knack for genreless harmonies is still intact. Yet, with the final product sounding slightly uneven, some fine-tuning would have done these Bones good."

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic(74/100) link
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3.5/5 stars link
AllHipHop3/5 stars link at the Wayback Machine (archived May 12, 2007)
DJBooth4/5 stars link
Entertainment Weekly(B+) link
HHNLive3/5 stars link at the Wayback Machine (archived May 15, 2007)
HipHopDX3/5 stars link
RapReviews8.5/10 stars link
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars link at the Wayback Machine (archived July 15, 2007)
The Source4/5 stars
XXL(L) link

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleProducer(s)Length
1."Flowmotion"The Individualz3:09
2."Bump in the Trunk" (Feat. Swizz Beatz)The Individualz4:25
3."Wind Blow" (Feat. Fleetwood Mac)Pretty Boy, Bradd Young4:18
4."I Tried" (Feat. Akon)Akon4:47
5."Lil' Love" (Feat. Mariah Carey & Bow Wow)Jermaine Dupri, LRoc3:52
6."C-Town" (Feat. Twista)Neo da Matrix5:05
7."Order My Steps (Dear Lord)" (Feat. Yolanda Adams)Pretty Boy, Bradd Young3:57
8."Streets" (Feat. Game & will.i.am)will.i.am4:21
9."9mm"Street Radio4:43
10."Gun Blast"Ty Fyffe3:37
11."Candy Paint" (Feat. Swizz Beatz & Autumn Rowe)Swizz Beatz3:45
12."So Good So Right" (Feat. Felecia)Mally Mall3:35
13."Sounds the Same"DJ Toomp4:25
14."Never Forget Me" (Feat. Akon)Akon4:46

Samples[edit]

# Title Samples
1. "Flowmotion" "Sky High" by Jigsaw
3. "Wind Blow" "The Chain" by Fleetwood Mac
6. "C-Town" "Trust in Me" by Lenny Williams
8. "Streets" "Across 110th Street" by Bobby Womack
10. "Gun Blast" "Living a Lie" by Cam'ron
12. "So Good So Right" "So Good So Right" by Brenda Russell
15. "Just Vibe" (Best Buy Bonus track) "Why Have I Lost You" by Cameo

Unreleased songs[edit]

  • "Assurance" (produced by Polow da Don)
  • "Bone Thugs Boys" (produced by Danja) (co-produced by Timbaland)
  • "Certified Thugs" (featuring Jazze Pha) (produced by Jazze Pha)
  • "Come with Me" (produced by Swizz Beatz)
  • "For the OG's" (featuring Chamillionaire) (produced by Play-N-Skillz)
  • "Got My Back" (featuring Jodeci) (produced by Play-N-Skillz)
  • "I Ain't Satisfied" (produced by Kanye West)
  • "Into The Future" (featuring Flesh-n-Bone) (produced by The Platinum Brothers co produced by Travis Cherry)
  • "Never Been Industry"
  • "Not Familiar"
  • "One Day at the Time"
  • "Real Niggaz" (produced by Swizz Beatz)
  • "Shotgun" (produced by EVontheboards)
  • "So Crazy" (featuring Kelly Rowland) (produced by Play-N-Skillz)
  • "Struggles" (featuring Petey Pablo) (produced by DJ U-Neek)
  • "Toast 2 That" (featuring Swizz Beatz) (produced by Swizz Beatz)
  • "We Workin" (produced by DJ Paul & Juicy J)
  • "What's Up" (featuring Swizz Beatz) (produced by Swizz Beatz)
  • "When the Thugs Come Out" (produced by Swizz Beatz)
  • "You & Me" (featuring Gwen Stefani)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Buble Takes Down Bone Thugs In Mother's Day Chart Melee".
  2. ^ "RIAA - Gold & Platinum - BONE THUGS 'N HARMONY".
  3. ^ "Upcoming Releases". HitsDailyDouble. Hits Daily Double. January 12, 2007. Retrieved 2008-12-18.

External links[edit]