Bone Thugs N Harmony – Tha Crossroads

First Hit #1: May 18, 1996

Mourning is messy, it’s a confluence of emotions, many of which don’t make sense, many more of which are difficult to process. Tha Crossroads, about Bone Thugs N Harmony trying to understand death in general, but more specifically the death of Eazy-E, captures the messiness of mourning, whether intentionally or unintentionally. The vocals overlap over each other, often making it difficult to make out, and the sweetly sung chorus works as a tribute and as a kind of grounding force. The concept of the crossroads is a bit of a coping mechanism, but it calms down the rest of the song, which is otherwise jumbled up, competing with itself, and has the sound of a group unsure of what to make of what they’re doing. It’s confused young men, dealing with loss in the only way they know how, and even if I’m outright saying the song is difficult, it should be. Death is going to hang heavy over the charts – especially in 1997, though 1996 certainly isn’t without loss – but Bone Thugs N Harmony have made a song that manages to capture the actual feeling of losing someone, by compromising the Harmony part of their name.

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One Response to Bone Thugs N Harmony – Tha Crossroads

  1. RBerman says:

    Individually, each of these guys is a pretty lousy singer. But the interplay between their different vocal rhythms creates a mesmerizing weave, especially over such a two-chord slow jam drone. The lyrics emphasize the afterlife as a place of joyous reunion with loved ones who precede you. The sing-song playground melody undercuts some of the darker lyrics (e.g. “Living in a hateful world/ Sending me straight to Hell”)

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