The new release “Strength & Loyalty” from Bone Thugs N’ Harmony is something of a second-coming for the long-established rap group. The group has been on the tongues of hip-hop fans since their 1994 Grammy-nominated debut “Creepin on ah Come Up,” which was named by Source Magazine as one of the 100 Best Rap Albums. The group has endured their fair share of hard times, including solo attempts and dropping a member along their 13-year journey. However, after teaming with executive producer Swizz Beatz and Full Surface Records, the trio attempted to re-establish their position among the industry’s elite with “Strength & Loyalty.”
The single off the album is “I Tried,” an inspirational and catchy hit featuring the melodic hook-king Akon. The song discusses issues like race, relationships and broken dreams. The Jermaine Dupri-produced “Lil Love” features heavyweights Mariah Carey and Bow Wow, showing a softer side to Bone Thugs. “Streets” is a jumping and upbeat summer-style song produced by versatile producer will.i.am and features lyrical mastermind The Game. Finally, Akon appears on the final track off the album, “Never Forget Me,” where the trio urges its truest fans and even newest followers to keep the group alive in mind and soul. They mention the struggles they’ve endured, the envy they’ve seen and the strength they’ve maintained in an effort to become immortals in the hip-hop game. The album features truly phenomenal producers which makes the album phenomenal from a production aspect, but mediocre in lyricism and subject matter. Despite much anticipation, and even three or four high-quality tracks, the album fails to live up to the high expectations Bone Thugs N’ Harmony’s fans have come to expect.
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