May 25th, 2007 | by Michael Byrne Music | Posted In: Columns, Columns

Travel Light: Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-N-Copy-N-More

     
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bonethug_100Wait. You didn't know about this bit of r-a-d? Beyond writing his new-ish album, Hair Guitar, Copy's been spending some serious quality time over the past year with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Remix time. The result is the just-out Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-N-Copy. You can't really buy the thing in stores, but it comes free if you buy Hair Guitar in either format. And, yeah, Copy (Marius Libman) handles "Crossroads." I caught up with him last week for a few words on the project, his general affection for the Bone Thugs, and what's up next for his remix skills...

TL: How far back does your affection for Bone Thugs-N-Harmony go? What makes them so special for you, personally, that you felt the calling to make such a fine tribute as this remix album?
ML: Well, Bone Thugs were a sort of ubiquitous presence on the radio and on MTV for a while when i was growing up so part of the initiall appeal was because of that... but, other than a brief moment in my early teens when i was obsessed with LL Cool J, Sir Mixalot and Public Enemy, most of my formative years were spent listening to Fugazi, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Dead Kennedys etc. Once I got back into hip hop near the end of high school it was mostly 'underground' stuff like the Hieroglyphics crew, Native Tounges stuff--De La, Tribe, Digable Planets--and the roots. Radio rap and R & B was something I looked at with a little bit of contempt. I didn't really get it, so my response was to sort of look down on it. Nowadays my tastes are way more populist, and doing these remixes of 90's era music had been a way for me to reconcile my snobbish past with my more well-rounded present.

Did you have a specific ideal in mind for how you wanted to put Copy into Bone Thugs?

I found a lot of pleasure in recontextualizing these things that were part of the culture that I grew up in and was young and distracted to be able to really process. And being an adult affords us the ability to re-examine that stuff and rediscover things that we missed the first time around. that applies to both my Bone Thugs remixes and the diva remixes, and part of the fun of those two projects was framing those songs in a way that made them make sense in a different way than they originally did. Not that it was a totally conceptual process for me... the bottom line is that a good song is a good song, and a Copy beat is a Copy beat, and its cool to hear something
old updated to sound like something modern while still retaining what made it good in the first place.

What material was more enjoyable to work with, the Divas or Bone Thugs?

They were both really, really fun to do... the diva mixes were maybe a little more exiting because it was a totally new thing for me, and making Whitney and Mariah songs into jams that me and my friends were stoked on was a pretty awesome good time.

What's your favorite Bone Thugs song? What does it mean to you personally?
I don't know if i have a favorite song. Tha' "Crossroads" was such a huge it that it's sort of permanently lodged in my and a lot of other people's heads, and its a good encapsulation of their weird smooth-and-sensitive-yet-thugged-out aesthetic that I'm way down with.

Do you know if the band knows of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony-N-Copy? Have you sent
them a copy? Pun totally intended!

I don't know if they are aware of it. The cd-r did get reviewed in the issue of the Fader that they're on the cover of, so i guess there's a chance they read about it in there. I wouldn't even know where to send a copy to that would actually get it into their hands. If I could figure that out I'd totally send it to them.

Who's next? Or, who do you want to be next for the gift of remix?
I've done a couple random hip hop remixes of more current stuff that's come out within the last couple years, but my main goal is to do another volume of diva remixes. They're are a lot of ladies that still need a Copy remix out there. It wouldn't be fair to neglect them.

I'd also love to find some hyphy acappellas because I'm really into that bay area shit like Keak Da Sneak and E-40 and all that. Hopefully a hyphy mixtape is something I'll be able to do. We'll see.

Copy on da web.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony also on da web.

Photo: An E*Rock illustration that almost brings me to tears.
 
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