Bizzy Bone Explains Why He Went After Three 6 Mafia

Last Thursday (December 2), Bone Thugs-n-Harmony squared off against Three 6 Mafia on Verzuz. Both crews in the battle used the widely publicized moment to remind viewers that this particular matchup was 26 years in the making. Moments in the performance certainly proved that point. After four rounds on Thursday, Bone Thugs member Bizzy Bone confronted Three 6 Mafia at the center of the stage. A verbal exchange escalated to a brief but significant altercation involving Bizzy and Juicy J. Plastic bottles were thrown, and at least one person swung a fist. After being separated by crews and stage security, Bizzy left the stage, only to return several rounds later to apologize for his actions. He remained with Bone Thugs the rest of the evening, including when both crews stood together to perform BTNH’s hit “Tha Crossroads” as a tribute to deceased Hip-Hop artists.

During tensions in the 1990s, Bizzy was one of the Bone Thugs members who addressed the issue on wax. On The Notorious B.I.G.’s diamond-certified double album, Bizzy Bone used “Notorious Thugs” for a quick semi-subliminal jab, when he called his crew “Triple six rivals spittin’ hot fire.” The words may have been a response to 1995’s “Live By Yo Rep,” where Three 6 Mafia used Mystic Stylez-era wordplay to confront Bone over an allegedly stolen style of rapping over slow beats.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony & Three 6 Mafia Clash With Fight During Verzuz

Ahead of Thursday’s Verzuz, Bizzy hyped the competition with a social media video claiming, “[I’m] finna f*ck you devil-worshipping ni**as the f*ck up.” Then, when he entered the stage on Thursday, the gold-selling soloist distanced himself when the crews dapped up after Fat Joe introduced them to the stage. Several moments later, the escalation ensued.

In speaking with Joe after the Verzuz (embedded at the end of this article), Bizzy Bone had more to say about the trash-talking, banter, and what eventually caused him to lash out physically. “A little back-history: before I got there, my son, he was really, really sick, and I had to take care of him. He kinda gave me his cold, and I had to like—I’d been spitting green, nasty mucus, and not able to laugh, not able to do anything. So I was already feeling [bad]; I couldn’t go back-and-forth with the banter like I wanted to. So I said, ‘let me stay in character,’ because I knew at the end, it’s gonna be all hugs and all kisses. So the first time I tried to create some sort of banter and do a little back-and-forth, ‘Y’all ugly mothaf*ckas ain’t finna be…’ I expected maybe a ‘shut the f*ck up.’ I expected maybe a ‘who you callin’ ugly? Y’all mothaf*ckas…’ I expected maybe some of that. But I didn’t expect for homie [Juicy J] talk to me on some—I’m a street dude; I didn’t expect him to say no sh*t like that. My soul made my body react.” Juicy J, whose catch-phrase is “shut the f*ck up,” had used that tag several times before Bizzy checked Three 6. However, Juiceman interrupted with “suck my d*ck,” which is what Bizzy Bone says triggered his strong, physical reaction. “I couldn’t think before I acted. That’s one of the things that I pride myself on is being a thinking man. But after that had happened or whatever, I didn’t really know what was up.”

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Fat Joe agrees with his former label-mate that telling someone “SMD” often raises the stakes in conflict and provokes violence. “I think it’s always been that way,” agrees Bizzy. The Ohio native reveals that he contacted the Verzuz/Triller staff after leaving the stage and stated that he was not trying to cause problems for anyone. The rapper says that he heard show-goers chanting his name, too. He says that Bone’s longtime manager Steve Lobel requested Bizzy return to the stage. The rapper says his children called to suggest the same. “When I came back, I felt as a man, a business person, and an adult, that I apologized to their whole side,” Bizzy says of his return to the stage during Verzuz. “They did what they were supposed to do. And my side did what they were supposed to do. I wanted the fans to understand that I’m not trying to f*ck nothing up. So then after that, I called Juicy J over; I said, ‘Come here, ni**a.’ You seen it; you was there. We said a little something, and I’ll keep that between us. But as [Verzuz] went on, it was a respect on the floor. I was able to ease up a little bit, nod my head to some of [their songs]. Because I understand, as we’re getting to the end, all of this sh*t’s [scheduled to] end with ‘Crossroads’ and us linking up and shaking hands. I knew that before I walked in; I already knew the plan.” Bizzy also told Joe that he believes Bone Thugs-n-Harmony anticipated a win against Three 6 Mafia, and was eyeing up future competition like Wu-Tang Clan. Joe also asks about the crew omitting “1st Of Tha Month” from their set list, and his status among the great MCs. DJ Paul also spoke to Joe, and stated that he has a strong love for Bone Thugs, especially Bizzy. “I would never [hurt them]. That’s what we gotta get away from, bro. We can’t keep Hip-Hop thinkin’ that we [are] enemies against each other, because we’re not. Because at the end of the day, Joe, do you know who won? The fans won, bro.”

On episode #70 of the What’s The Headline podcast (embedded as video and audio below), the Ambrosia For Heads team breaks down what happened and some subtle things that may have escalated tensions. There is a discussion about Fat Joe’s interview with Bizzy, and some things that took place on stage that viewers might have missed. The podcast also examines the song selection, standout performances, and other highlights.

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The time codes for episode #70 of the What’s The Headline podcast:

0:00 Intro
6:50 The expectations going into the Three 6 Mafia and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Verzuz
11:50 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia have had longstanding tension between them
16:40 The similarities between Three 6 Mafia and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
25:10 Other Verzuz battles where there could have been fights
29:00 DJ Paul and Gangsta Boo did something during the Bone performance that might have set Bizzy Bone off
31:20 Recapping the fight between Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia blow by blow
40:30 Was this fight a publicity stunt
47:10 DJ Paul discusses how he feels about Bone Thugs-N-Harmony after the fight
48:00 Bizzy Bone explains the fight and what led up to it
53:30 How this fight will impact the Verzuz brand long term
54:40 The bigger story than the fight is Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia’s ability to get past it
55:50 Highlights from the Three 6 Mafia and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Verzuz
1:00:00 Who won the Verzuz
1:02:50 Remembering Virgil Abloh
1:08:00 Recapping the premiere party for You Are Now Watching Video Music Box, Nas’ directorial debut celebrating Ralph McDaniels
1:12:40 New music of the week from Nick Grant, Reef The Lost Cauze, Wu-Tang Clan affiliate Remedy, Mach-Hommy, and Page Kennedy.

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AFH readers can catch regular discussions about the culture on our What’s The Headline podcast. What’s The Headline has recent interviews with Joell Ortiz, AZ, Blu & Mickey Factz, Kurupt, Evidence, Skyzoo, Pharoahe Monch, Prince Paul & Don Newkirk, Statik Selektah, Lyric Jones, The LOX, MC Eiht, Havoc, Duckwrth, photographer T. Eric Monroe, and Lord Finesse. All episodes of the show are available to view or for listening wherever you stream your pods.

Earlier this year, Bizzy Bone released War Of Roses…, an album that features his son, Lil Bizzy. They appear together on video single “The Bag.”

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#BonusBeat: Bizzy Bone and DJ Paul explain what happened during Verzuz to Fat Joe: