It was in 1994 that Bone Thugs-n-Harmony rose to prominence with “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” an anthem that embodied something that had never been heard at the time. In late 2007, the rapid-fire rappers reunited to craft their eighth release, Uni-5: The World’s Enemy, set to release on May 4.
The album is a fourteen cut portfolio that relies on their legacy in the rap game more so than the style that brought them to fame in the late spring of ’94. The opener “Rebirth” emerges as one of Uni-5‘s most definitive tracks. Pacing itself at seven minutes, sixteen seconds, the song resurrects Bone as a fast paced inferno as they verbally assault other rappers who try to mimic their legendary flow. “See Me Shine,” reaches into the sound of the Resurrection album with its production and melodic chorus.
“My Life” wanders into the mix midstream taking Uni-5 into a different direction than the previous tracks exhibited. Relying on their annihilating verbal tactics, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony capture their essence with repeatable results, while “Gone” switches to a more contemporary sound for the group. Straying away from the hardcore and coarse backdrop, they spit over a laid back vibe that bears mentioning for its modern sound.
The three highpoints of Uni-5 are the “Crossroads”-esque “Meet Me In The Sky” that could potentially go down as a sequel to the E. 1999 Eternal classic; “Universe” a mix of each of their styles submerged in a memorable hook, and “Pay What They Owe”, which many have called the “only real song on the album.” It brings the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony mood without overdoing it.
Uni-5:The World’s Enemy may not satisfy hip-hop kingpins or diehard fans who grew up on the group’s menacing techniques, but does merit a stamp of approval as a reunion record from a group that shaped hip-hop music into what it is today.
Uni-5:The World’s Enemy receives a PAR