On this day in Hip Hop history, Cleveland legends Bone Thugs-N-Harmony released their second and most popular album, E. 1999 Eternal.
Serving as the full-length follow up to the successful debut EP Creepin on ah Come Up, Bone Thugs took the world by storm with this project, selling over 10 million copies worldwide. The project sat at the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 chart for two consecutive weeks and was nominated for the first ever Best Rap Album Award at the 1996 Grammys.
The release of this project put out any notion that Bone Thugs were to go down in history as one hit wonders. The way the group soulfully harmonized their grizzly tales of the ghetto over DJ Uneek‘s melancholic G-Funk production brought a new flare to Hip Hop and helped to mold the hardcore movement that was soon to come. The Gothic tone set by their music was one of the first of its kind and is among some of the first rap music that could be considered “horrorcore.” The three singles from this project have all been considered Hip Hop classics.
The album’s first single “1st of the Month” was the commercial follow-up to the group’s very successful “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” that came from their debut EP. This welfare ballad touches on a subject that the popular braggadocio rap of the time would never speak on. One of rap’s main focuses since its conception had been boasting about the vast material possessions that come with the lifestyle, making the music fairly unrelatable. “1st of the Month”‘s glorious description of government assistance is a tone that can be felt by a large part of their fan base. Selling 500,000 copies, the single was certified gold by RIAA. The single was also the group’s first Top 20 hit peaking at #14 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single was even nominated for Best Rap Performance by Duo or group at the 1996 Grammy Awards.
The album’s second single “East. 1999” is one of five songs on the project to feature the fifth unsigned member of the group Flesh-N-Bone, who never penned the deal with Ruthless Records. The single peaked at #62 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and charted weekly on the Top R&B/Hip Hop chart from December 9th, 1995 to March 23, 1996. The website East1999.com was even created in the songs honor during the early days of the internet to showcase any and all music put out by Bone Thugs.
The third and final single from the album, “Tha Crossroads” is the group’s most popular single to date. This song was released in dedication to the group’s manager and mentor Eric “Eazy-E’ Wright who died shortly before the albums release of the deadly AIDS virus. The single peaked at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and made appearances on the music charts of eleven different countries across the globe. The single sold 2 million copies in the United States alone making it their top selling track. The song also won the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 1997 Grammy Awards.
For every great moment, there’s a song that goes with it. We believe this is the SOUNDTRACK OF YOUR LIFE – SOL REPUBLIC.