By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Veterans of two of the best-selling hip-hop groups of all time, Cypress Hill's B-Real and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony's Bizzy Bone, are touring together this summer and stopping by for a show on Saturday night at The Max.
And while each brings to the table his own brand of talents, eccentricities and ability to negotiate drug paraphernalia larger than himself, which is the bigger star? Who's the real headliner? Lock up your good kush and check out this tale of the tape...
Worldwide Career Album Sales
Cypress Hill: 18 million
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: 25 million
Edge: Bizzy Bone
Cypress Hill: Black Sunday
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: E. 1999 Eternal
Recent Solo Album
B-Real: Smoke N Mirrors, released earlier this year on acclaimed New York indie label Duck Down Records, is Real's much-heralded solo debut. Playing down the weed references and forsaking big-name producers, Real delivers the goods.
Bizzy Bone: Bone has oodles and oodles of solo albums already under his belt, and Back With the Thugz is his only recent work available on Rhapsody. (No sign of Thug Pound.) It alternates Prince-aping, crooned seduction tracks with auto-tuned, alcohol-fueled throwbacks. Call it a charming mess.
Bizzy Bone: Became homeless by choice for a while, has been booted from and subsequently re-joined Bone Thugs numerous times, and spoke in tongues on a Houston radio show in 2005.
Edge: Bizzy Bone
Ability to Hold Drugs
B Real: The cannabis club card-bearing Southern Californian is famous for smoking an 8-foot-tall, glow-in-the-dark bong onstage, and also reportedly smokes up critics with something called a "Birthday Cake," which features, according to participant and sometime Observer contributor Jeff Weiss, "Five industrial, O.G. Kush candles, threaded in circular array through holes poked into an Arrowhead bottle."
Bizzy Bone: The Columbus, Ohio, native once told reporter Jason Bracelin that "it's just like you don't even expect much in life, when you're in love with birds and you're in love with trees and you're in love with bees and you're in love with beautiful stuff."
B-Real: Member of the best-selling Hispanic rap group of all time. One bonus point.
Bizzy Bone: Partly responsible for assembling the best three-word combination in the history of the English language: "Thuggish Ruggish Bone." Three bonus points.
The Winner, by split decision: Bizzy Bone. Don't call it a comeback—he's been here for years.