Last night at Rock the Bells, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were reunited with late mentor Eazy-E, who died nearly two decades ago. More than a year after Dr. Dre and Snoop brought 2Pac back at Coachella via hologram, Bone Thugs performed with an incredibly realistic avatar of Eazy.
The night before the performance, Bone Thugs rehearsed with the avatar and Wish Bone admitted it was strange. "It was kind of really crazy in rehearsals because I couldn’t really focus that much looking back at Eazy-E," he told Rolling Stone, laughing. "Man, it was crazy. It ain’t no flat on the wall screen, it was for real, it was real freaky.”
While the rehearsals were "freaky," performing in front of tens of thousands of fans – who busted out their cameras as soon as Bone Thugs mentioned from the stage that they were about to pay tribute to Eazy, as everyone knew this was coming – stirred up a lot of feelings, especially given that September 7th would have been Eazy’s fiftieth birthday.
"We bringing out the avatar Eazy-E back with Bone Thugs, it’s obviously his birthday today, it’s a very emotional night for us," Wish said.
"It’s all the emotions you can think of – it’s the love, it’s happy, it’s sad, you wish he was really here, you go through all those emotions because you haven’t seen him or been close to him in a real physical appearance in a long time," Bizzy Bone added. "So it’s like any emotion you can think of when you’re losing someone, let alone someone who gave you your whole career and the opportunity to become who we are. So it’s emotions all through the building."
Last night’s performance was the culmination of a long-time wish for Bone Thugs. "Every night we pay a tribute to the fallen soldiers of rap – 2Pac, Biggie, Eazy. This is a dream come true, it’s something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time. Even before it was done with 2Pac, it was an idea that we had, if we could bring them back to life, because we’re the only group that could incorporate all three of those souls into our show," Bizzy said.