Despite trials and tribulations and times in and out of the public eye, the pioneering West Coast rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony technically has never broken up. This year marked its 20th as an intact quintet — until some unexpected turmoil hit. Late last year, Bone Thugs successfully toured the country on a nostalgia run, performing its landmark 1995 album E 1999 Eternal in its entirety. That, plus a new disc, Uni5: The World's Enemy, was part of a calculated return to rap fans' consciousness.
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In early April, though, group members Krayzie Bone and Wish Bone announced their departure. Both had been with the group continuously since its 1991 formation. Krayzie cited murky "uncontrollable circumstances" on the website HipHopDX, and Wish's reasons were even less clear. Both have announced forthcoming solo material, and the remaining members, Layzie Bone, Flesh-N-Bone, and Bizzy Bone, continue to soldier on without them. The tour stop in Fort Lauderdale promises, again, all of the E 1999 Eternal material backed by a live band. Without two-fifths of the group's distinct harmonizers, however, Bone Thugs could be at the crossroads.