Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Credit: courtesy the artist

The pinnacle of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s artistry and commercial success was their 1995 album E. 1999 Eternal, a smooth and spooky smash hit dedicated to the death of the group’s mentor, gangsta rap pioneer Eazy-E. Anchored by the unstoppable and timeless singles “1st of tha Month” and “Tha Crossroads”—an instant classic that probably even had your squarest middle-school teacher musing about how badly the Cleveland group missed their Uncle Charles—E. 1999 Eternal showcased the wide range of personas and voices of Bone Thugs, from the unhinged Krayzie Bone to the beyond smooth Layzie Bone to the rapid-fire rhyming of Bizzy Bone over smoky, snappy DJ U-Neek beats. Though Bone Thugs have remained active since the release of the record, with members constantly coming and going over the years, the quality of their subsequent albums has waned, and they’ve failed to make as powerful a mark on pop culture as they did in the 90s. But recently they’ve been popping up with the original five-piece unit for guest spots on tracks including ASAP Ferg’s “Lord” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Reach for the Stars.” This summer Bone Thugs started hitting the stage with all five larger-than-life rappers, and their reunion tour is scheduled to hit Patio Theater tonight. Fingers crossed that the group, constantly in flux, keep their shit together until then, because when they’re all aboard and at their best, Bone Thugs are a force to be reckoned with.   v