Bonecrusher who created one of the biggest anthems for the South with T.I. & Killa Mike with "I Ain't Neva Scared" sat down with Lomax The Brand and opened up about the blessing and the curse of the success of the record and discusses his latest project with his fiance Storytellah "#Project143".
Bonecrusher is an American rapper based in Atlanta. After working as part of the group Lyrical Giants, he debuted in 2003 with his first solo album, AttenCHUN! , which featured the single “Never Scared,” was used as the theme for the 2003 Atlanta Braves, and also found in the video game, Madden NFL 2004. ”I ain't never scared!" It's an anthem for the little boy facing the school bully or the grown man facing his deepest fears or any one of us facing the everyday things of life. It's an affirmation of courage and fortitude; a thunderous chant that speaks volumes. And for Atlanta born rapper Bonecrusher it's the phrase that has made him an icon in and around his hometown. To say that Bonecrusher has presence is an understatement. From his brawny physique to his untamed, curly hair to his commanding voice that allows him to alternate between street-wise hip hop head to poetic philosopher, Bonecrusher has something about him that makes you want to stop, look, and listen. And he doesn't mind the attention. Since the age of five, Bonecrusher, born Wayne Hardnett, has been accustomed to the spotlight. "I used to perform in front of my family all the time," he recalls. "Most kids do that, but I had to do it all the time...everyday." At that time, his performances were pretty much limited to dancing and doing impersonations and the thought of performing for a living never even crossed his mind. "I didn't know anything about all that, I was just doing what I did. Hip hop wasn't even around like that then." It was somewhere around 1985 when Bonecrusher knew that he wanted to be a rapper. Run-DMC was the spark that started the fire. "At the time I used to try to DJ. I was pretty good at it, but I wasn't as good as everybody else. I could always rap better than all the rappers that rapped. I could always freestyle better." A few years later Bonecrusher would get a chance to really put his skills to the test. "I knew this guy who always talked about how good he was, how he could freestyle, how he could rap and all that. He was rapping outside, and I said, 'Man, you can't rap. I'll beat you'." That challenge led to a series of challenges, all of which ended with Bonecrusher as the victor. In fact, it was during one such challenge that Bonecrusher and his partners in rhyme, Bizar and Baby B caught the eyes and ears of Atlanta entertainment attorney Vince Phillips. Phillips pursued and nailed down a couple of opportunities for Bonecrusher, Bizar, and Baby B --known then as the Lyrical Giants -- at labels like Death Squad, Tommy Boy and J-Cor. When the J-Cor deal fell apart, Bonecrusher decided to put his record out on his own. "I was like, I'll do it myself." Bonecrusher wasn't scared then and he surely isn’t scared now. "I've been performing in front of people for years," he notes. "People are like, 'You nervous?' And I'd be like, 'Nah man. I don't know what that is no more.' I was nervous when I was three or four years old. But, I am not nervous now. I just have a good time, that's what it's all about." Bonecrusher released his album, "Bonecrusher and His Industry Friends" on Atlanta Indie Break 'Em Off Records and before long, the supercharged "Never Scared," featuring fellow Atlantans Killer Mike and T.I., was blazing a path from the airwaves to the clubs and picking up scores of believers along the way. Says Bonecrusher of the song, "It isn't crunk, it isn't nothing, it’s just a song. People like it so much. Even girls like it more than dudes. It’s not a chant record. Neither is it a hip-hop record. It's a song. People don't even hear the words that I'm saying in the song. It's an infectious thing because of the rhythm and the beat, the rhythm of the hook." And as far as the message goes, Bonecrusher says it's about never being afraid of life." Everybody's never scared, and they aren’t thinking about doing bad things. They are talking about their life. People relate to the record because they feel that you have to live without fear. “You have to do what you have to do to get your life right." Bonecrusher's fearless assault on Atlanta and the southeast placed him square in the middle of the music industry radar. In fact, the ink was barely dry on Jermaine Dupri's deal with Arista Records when the renowned producer and So So Def Records owner signed Bonecrusher as the first artist for his new venture. ATTENCHUN!, Bonecrusher's debut album for Break 'Em Off/So So Def/Arista, is a kaleidoscopic journey through a variety of subjects, all profound and, as Bonecrusher asserts, all "dope." "The album is a collaboration of a whole bunch of songs that I took to the studio with my friends and we did some stuff. We just put our spirit on the record. It's more like a revolutionary statement but it is revolutionary in the sense that people need to understand that we as a people -- White, Black, Indian, Chinese, whatever color -- have to get to the next level of life. That's the whole essence of our album. It starts in the gutter, and then it comes out of the gutter into the light. From the dark to the light. That's what my album is." On the 'dark side,' says Bonecrusher, there are songs like "Back Up," "Grippin' the Grain," and "Puttin' In Work." "We go from that plateau, and we got other songs talkin' about the struggle." And then there's the light: "We got songs like "Peaches and Cream" talking about living good, trying to make things good for yourself and you got the "The Wall," which is the end of my album, which is the struggle because it's walls, up hill." He continues, "The Wall. That's where I want to go. That's where I want to take people to, because of the enlightenment of it. "The Wall" is about keeping hope alive, keeping your best foot forward at all times." Bonecrusher says he wants his album to remind people that they can pull their lives out of the gutter; that they can crawl out of the darkness and walk into the light. "Look at me, man. About six or seven months ago I sat outside my house and I said, 'No more. I'm about to be rich. I got an idea, and I'm going to make it happen.' Seven months from then, I signed a deal over seven figures. It's all about what you believe in. If you believe in yourself, you can win." From the light to the dark, ATTENCHUN!, is full of songs that truly depict the many sides of Bonecrusher." All of the songs, every last one of them is about me," he affirms, adding that everyone, everywhere will find something that they can relate to. "That's real. And that's the last word I want people to say. He's real. He represents the real. I walk the walk and talk the talk. That's just who I am.”
Bonecrusher experienced years of success from his hit record, “Never Scared” and still today he travels frequently to perform the hit record that soared the charts 11 years ago. Although he is considered a legend artist from the “Crunk Music” era, today you will find a smoother more finesse Bonecrusher with a new sound and a new image. He now has a grown and mature feel with a new sleek low haircut that shows the attractive features of his face. Yes, the hair is gone, but you won’t miss it! It’s an all-new Bonecrusher that is certainly undeniable. Not to mention he is coming with a new sound he calls, “The Pulse.” Bonecrusher is about to sweep the waves with his upcoming album slated to drop in the fall of 2014, which appeals to the 25 and up listener. “It’s time to get back to the feeling, we need to get back on the dance floor again and get us a lady.” He even got an upgrade to his wardrobe, which will still be his all-time favorite,” Ralph Lauren,” of course, but instead you’ll see him in the button up, suit, tie, and saddle lock department. “I love Polo. My love for Ralph Lauren began at just ten years old.” In his voice, he worked hard to rock the label. “I use to cut grass in the neighborhood and work in my grandma’s garden to make money to buy clothes. I would do anything my grandparents asked for pay.” I’ve always had a special connection to Ralph Lauren and always loved the brand because the product last forever and the clothing is completely timeless. Knowing that I can wear a Ralph Lauren shirt 20 years later, confirms that I have purchased a quality brand. Ralph Lauren Polo exudes regal-ness. Point blank. It was something about the “timeless” look of Polo, he explains. “I don’t know what I saw in the brand at that age, but it was something about Polo that looked so classic! I didn’t even know what classic was, but I knew the brand just looked dope to me. Throughout my career, I strive to influence to the youth that a sense of individuality is important and that they can do it while still being “them.” The goal is to be your best self. I embrace Ralph Lauren and I enjoy exploiting the brand and suggesting it for others because it is a versatile brand that can be worn anywhere. More importantly, it’s a brand that can be worn to a workplace, to a business meeting, to a wedding, to a picnic, to a concert, and to the club. I love when I see our youth supporting the brand; it means they are ready for the world. It means they get it! Your image speaks volumes. My grandfather once told me when I was a little boy that it didn’t matter if I wanted to be a carpenter, a garbage man, a musician, or a doctor, for me to be the best carpenter, the best garbage man, or the best musician I can be. It doesn’t matter what you want to be, just be the best at it! It’s not about following the trends; it’s about being your own individual self. Those memories and stories taught me lessons that I now preach to the youth. Young men need to be elevated and mentored to be better men and to be shown how to make wiser choices. I want to support them and encourage them to do that. Whenever I can uplift the youth or lend my ear to listen to them, I will. You never know when your presence or words can save someone from doing something wrong or pull him and her from a bad space.
“In my music, I intend to accomplish worldwide mayhem, if you will” Then just suddenly, he drops the act and turn serious. I feel the public needs something fresh right now; a lot of the substantial artists are lacking as far as a lot of the music they are producing. I just want the people to feel me and relate to my music. “When people see me, they understand that what I bring to the table is what I am, he says. Still, he has a certain sense of duality. He can be street, and tell anyone, outside of the club or whatever else that he “ain’t never scared.” But can flip and be as articulate as a white-collar businessman at the blink of an eye. Needless to say, such ability is beneficial. In fact, as he would say, it’s VAINGLORIOUS!
Originally from Chicago, Illinois this upcoming songwriter artist knew her destiny at just 11. As a young girl in the city of Chicago, she enjoyed performing and singing and would often perform at her cousin’s beauty salon. Time after time, she was cheered on by other customers in the salon and on one occurrence a customer sitting under the hair dryer took notice of her singing and called a local producer to hear her. That relationship led to her working with Steve "Silk" Hurley of Silk Productions/Inda Soul Records, in Chicago in 1993 where she recorded "Raindrops" and "If You Play Your Cards Right," written by Aron Pettigrew of the singing group Denair. Her song Raindrops was aired on 107.5 WGCI's Chicago Home Jams at just 14. She also performed at the Harold Washington Library and at the Boulevard Arts Center in Chicago, hosted by Chicago's own Carte’ of WGCI's Radio. Her act won 1st Place in the talent Showcase. Later that year, she was offered a production deal with 5 A.M. Productions represented by Vernon Slaughter of Katz, Smith, & Cohen of Atlanta. Her father, a Chicago attorney, saved her from a bad contract that would bind her for 7 years. She declined the production offer but was adamant that music was her heart and kept going forward. In 1996, Silk Productions began a partnership with two brothers, Steve and Kevin Turner who produced her 2nd demo project. She recorded frequently while maintaining a 3.9 GPA in high school. The following year, Dr. Luv, a radio personality of WGCI Radio, expressed his desire to manage her. He assisted her career for 2 years and brought her to multiple teams to record and write. He also allowed her to showcase her writing talent by writing and recording the intro for the Radio Show called, “Bed Check Curfew.” The intro interlude, which was aired daily gained notice around the city and Jennay begun opening up for acts. Producers around the city started taking notice and one producer in particular, Hula Malone of Clubhouse Entertainment wanted her single, “I’m Ready” to be a part of a collaboration album named, “Hitz From Da Go.” The compilation album included other local artists from Chicago along with Kandi Burress and Tameka ‘Tiny’ Cottle of Xscape, and producer Shek’spere that was distributed online. On a quest to be successful in the music industry she relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in the summer of 1998. She brought her Barbizon modeling experience, diverse marketing fundamentals and songwriting talent. During her first year in Atlanta, she landed guide vocalist jobs for major productions and sung backgrounds for major projects. Some of the artists and executives she has worked with are TLC, Tamar Braxton, Shek’spere, Red Zone Entertainment, Nealante of N3G Productions, Steve “Silk” Hurley, L-ROC, Rhythm D, and Bonecrusher. In 1998, she severed ties with her management and begun working as a writer and guide vocalist in Atlanta. The Atlanta scene was inspiring and evolving as the “Dirty South” to the rest of the world. But Jennay’s life was starting to turn dim. Her vibrant career was taking off, and at the same, her love life was taking it over. She was beginning to lose her way in a bad relationship that had her trapped for 15 years. The struggle to turn herself free damaged her spirit, and throughout the years she used music as therapy. “I would go in a corner and stare out the window and funnel my feelings, trying to understand what I was going through. I was in a state of confusion for years and I felt trapped. I was isolated from my family, my friends, and I had always been a people person. One thing I couldn’t abandon was my passion for writing. When things got bad, it was pen and paper that got me through. If I experienced a good moment, I would sing, because it allowed me to sustain that happy feeling.” Years had passed and Jennay had stopped pursuing her career, almost completely. Her relationship drove people away and she was being isolated more and more from people she loved and things she enjoyed. “Then one day, I believe around 2009, I was watching Keith Sweat’s Platinum House Reality show where he housed Dru Hill in efforts to end the turmoil between the R & B Group, and I saw the episode where the group was put in a counseling session by a psychologist from the Behavioral Institute of Atlanta. I’d never seen the power of therapy and the psychologist had me intrigued. I immediately wrote the doctors name and put it in a safe place.” A year later Jennay grew tired of the mental roller coaster and was inclined to understand her relationship, future, and state of being, so she researched the psychologist and contacted him. It was her second session with him where she was told, “Run, Leave, Get Out!” Stunned by the quick analysis from the psychologist regarding her current situation, she began reading and following his instructions. Before long, the fear rolled off. The intervention intercepted her downward fall and she moved on, alone. In the midst of her ‘new’ beginning, she began surrounding herself with music. “Anywhere I could record my songs, sing, listen to bands play live, or be supportive of other friends in the business, I was there. I had to get back in the swing of things and surround myself with what always made me happy, music! I felt like I lost everything, but I never lost my passion.” Her past left her broken, but at the end of it she walked away with a catalog of 40 songs. She kept writing and secretly recording in her own home studio that she built to stay close to her passion. It was at this moment where she became “Storytellah.” She had so much to say, so many experiences and an impressive catalog to back it up. Her dream changed course and was aimed to “tell-her-stories.” One night while out supporting close musician singer friend, Phillippia Williams, she was invited to attend a show at MJQ with Platinum selling artist Bonecrusher the next day. “The night was fun. I was with a few good friends and just trying to enjoy myself, something I never got a chance to do in recent years. We arrived before show time and got comfortable. When Bonecrusher arrived, his entourage led him to the area, leaving him to be the last one to sit. There was one seat left and it was next to me. We spoke, respectively, and kept our silence.” As an artist, Jennay understood the “quiet time” rule before performing and let Bonecrusher get in his headspace. Bonecrusher got up to perform and he looked back and called her and her friends to go on stage with him. The performance got the crowd on their feet and as everyone returned to VIP they began talking. “I told him that I was a songwriter, if he knew anyone looking. The next day, I got a call from singer friend Phillippia Williams saying that Bonecrusher had an artist that was flying back to New York and they needed a writer to do a hook. I went to the studio and after we did the song, Bonecrusher said, “what you doing tomorrow?” At that point I realized I passed the test. The next day we wrote another song, and we began the working, non-stop.” Bonecrusher noticed Jennay’s talent and began introducing her to producers in his circle. One thing led to another and before long she begin doing backgrounds and writing for his album, The Pulse. “She has the star factor written all over her,” says Bonecrusher, and I don’t know any other female artist who loves music like I do. She will sit in the studio with 2 hours of sleep and never complain, full of energy and ready to vibe. She knows what it takes to win and you can’t take that away from her.” Bonecrusher realized she had been holding her 40-song catalog hostage and begin working to get her material placed. He submitted one of her songs to Neo Soul artist
Raheem DeVaughn and others. His upcoming album, slated to drop this fall, has Storytellah spread from left to right. She is also featured on his 2nd single, “Zoom,” where she is rapping. “She is the total package, very talented. Plus she’s beautiful,” says Bonecrusher. The new Bonecrusher single, “Get Nasty,” features Storytellah, along with platinum artist Musiq Soulchild. Her solo project is in the works, and she is ready to make her mark. “I want people to know that nothing can keep you from your passion. Absolutely nothing. This dream started when I was 7 years old and I wrote my first song at 11.” Not only is she making her rounds in effort to “tell-ah-story,” Jennay Frazier, also known as “Storytellah,” is making some pretty impressive moves. Her upcoming agenda also includes a launch of exotic style wooden handbags and accessories derived from her family heirloom founded by her late grandfather, Millard P. Frazier Sr. and perfected by her uncle Herbert Frazier.