Graced with a quick, sometimes sung delivery, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony burst out of the Midwest in the mid-'90s with a pair of massive hits ("Thuggish Ruggish Bone" and "Tha Crossroads") along with a great album (E 1999 Eternal) and then quickly unraveled. Eazy-E signed the group -- initially comprised of Krayzie Bone, Wish Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, Layzie Bone, and Bizzy Bone -- to Ruthless Records and released a debut EP, Creepin on ah Come Up (1994).
The EP boasted "Thuggish Ruggish Bone," a conventional G-funk song with an unconventional array of Bone Thug rappers that became an overnight summer anthem, especially throughout the Midwest. Amid the fervor, the Cleveland rap group entered the studio immediately and emerged with a remarkable album, E 1999 Eternal (1995). The album topped the charts and spawned a pair of popular singles, "1st of the Month" and "Tha Crossroads," the latter a Grammy Award recipient. It was all downhill from here for Bone, unfortunately. As was in vogue at the time, the group members pursued respective solo careers and also a Mo Thugs Family spinoff group; none of these ventures was fruitful. At this point, the onetime cohesive group, who specialized in interwoven, harmonious singing as well as rapping, became conflicted and failed to collaborate well, particularly after their ambitious double-disc Art of War (1997) sold poorly.
A second round of solo albums sold even more poorly, and Bone became somewhat of a has-been. Occasional reunions such as BTNHResurrection (2000) and Thug World Order (2002) produced occasional moments of glory, but these were brief and few and far between. In 2005 the band reunited again minus Bizzy Bone. In September of that year the Internet-only release Bone 4 Life appeared. Then in 2006, it was announced that Bone had signed to Swizz Beatz's Full Surface Records, which was distributed by Interscope. Their first album for the label, Strength & Loyalty, appeared in the spring of 2007 with guest spots from the Game, Mariah Carey, Akon, Bow Wow, and Twista.