Tony Bones: A look back at someone you probably never heard of

A question that pops up fairly often , at least in the “answers for questions” part of this blog, is whether or not I listen to rappers from other countries. The answer is always “not really…” but what I really wanna say is “Definitively no BUT there is one dude who was an exception”. That person is an underground rapper from NY (Not sure if he was from new Rochelle, Yonkers or even an actual borough) by way of the UK named Tony Bones. Tony Bones was a guy who used to pop up on Stretch Armstrong and Bobitto’s radio show now and then during the mid to late 90’s that I was obsessed with. Perhaps it was his minimal output. Perhaps it was that he was indeed a british rapper that “worked” for me. Or maybe it was just that he was straight up good and entertaining as an MC. Who knows? Whatever the case, his random radio appearances, demo leaks and guest spots on Mr. Live songs were something I always looked forward to.
Over 15 years later, I can’t say I’m checking for him much. I mean, shit, he never even put out a proper solo release. Not even a 12” (as far as I know). That said, I still can go back and check his stuff out and enjoy it. That’s saying a lot considering how poorly a lot of underground rap from that era has aged. He was clever, had a smooth flow and he actually made rapping in a british accent sound cool (shout out to SLick Rick though cause , as we all know, he’s the only other dude to pull this off on a large scale level).
Last I heard, he had long quit rapping and was designing clothing for Akademiks or some shit. This was something I heard a long time ago so who knows what he’s actually up to. Wherever he is, I hope he is well cause he made a young me very happy in the 90’s.
I figured it might be cool to compile all the Tony Bones stuff I had and let you guys peep it. This is by no means a complete compilation of the mans work, but it’s all the shit I have. If you own more, feel free to share it in the comments. I’d certainly appreciate it.
Oh and PS, to all the people who will no doubt be outraged at me not liking other UK sounding rap, deal with it. I can’t help what I like and dislike. I’m not saying that stuff is bad, it’s just not for me. I think the reason Tony Bones works for me is cause , while he has the accent, he still rapped like an american. USA USA!!! (just kidding…calm down, european people)
Here’s a run down of the songs and the link:

1)Tony Bones Freestyle from Stretch and Bobbito

This was the first thing I ever heard by him. I was an immediate fan
2)Mr Live and Tony Bones 89.9 Promo
You will notice many of his songs are with his right hand man MR. Live AKA J-Live (not that one…). While Mr. Live is fine and dandy it definitely was always a wish of mine to get more solo joint with just Bones on them…
3)Hold me Back Feat. Mr. Live
An unreleased demo produced by Pharaoh Monch
4)Freestyle from stretch featuring Mr. Live and Breezly Bruin
This is some classic shit right here. Not only do all three of them go in on it but they rap over some never heard before beats off a Pharaoh Monch beat tape
5)Come inside
6)Deep in your bones

Both of those are demos as well. Organized Konfusion has their hands all over these. Both Prince Po and Monch do small cameos on a few of his solo demos.
7)Hunger Strike
Yet another song with Mr. Live.
8)Current Affair
This is the most recent thing I have by him. It popped up in the 2000’s out of nowhere. No clue who leaked it or what it was for but this is Bones absolutely crushing a terrible drum track. I’d kill for a accapella of this cause it would be remix heaven.
9)Splashing over Monica
This was off a Mr. Live 12”. Not the greatest song ever as the topic is pretty played out but , still, Bones’ verse is pretty entertaining.

17 thoughts on “Tony Bones: A look back at someone you probably never heard of

      • For sure man.

        Tony Bones Discography:

        199? 89.9 Promo ft. Mr. Live
        199? (Bring Da) Noise [Demo] ft. Mr. Live
        199? Dirty Soap ft. The MHQ
        1994 Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle
        1995 Come Upstairs [Demo] ft. Prince Po
        1995 Pure Marrow (Deep In Ya Bones) [Demo] ft. Pharoahe Monch
        1995 Hold Me Back [Demo] ft. Mr. Live & Prince Po
        1995 Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle ft. Mr. Live & Breezly Brewin
        1996 Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle ft. Mr. Live
        1996 Hunger Strike ft. Mr. Live
        1997 Placebo ft. Mr. Live
        1997 Splashin’ Over Monica ft. Mr. Live
        1997 Throw Ya Mitts ft. Mr. Live
        1997 Underground Railroad Freestyle ft. Mr. Live, I.G. Off, Hazadus, Kwest, Poison Pen, A.L. Skills, Skam2?, Shadowman Boogie & Doxxmen
        1998 Stretch & Bobbito Freestyle ft. Mr. Live
        1998 Tetsuo’s Revenge ft. GE-OLOGY & Ocean Aquanaut
        200? Current Affairs / Current Events / The Return
        2007 Make It Rowdy ft. Mr. Live & Hanifah Walidah

        I believe that Current Affair(s) track is also known as Current Events and / or The Return, not sure of the official title.

        My list isn’t complete either, pretty sure I remember a couple other radio freestyles as well, so feel free to add on.

        In the Unkut interview he brings up a couple tracks: Rhythm & Ism [Unreleased] ft. Mr. Live (Produced by Prince Po) and Wide Open [Unreleased] (Produced by GE-OLOGY), as well as an unreleased untitled track or two by Buckwild and EZ Elpee, not to mention whatever he recorded for MCA. He’s talked about recording more new tracks, some with Mr. Live and / or Breezly Brewin, but nothing’s come of it yet that I know about.

        (And as far as British MCs known in America go, Slick Rick and Tony Bones are easily the best. I think Big Kwam is from NY and moved to the UK, so that doesn’t count. Neither does Dana Dane’s fake accent obviously. Technically DOOM and Young MC are both originally from England, though they grew up here and lack accents. Same with Monie Love, I guess she has a slight accent at times, but it’s mostly hidden.)

      • Nice! So do you have any of the ones I didn’t have?
        Also, I could be wrong but I have a feeling “rhythm and ism” might be the real title to “hold me back” as i just made that name up when I originally recorded it off the radio.

      • Ah yes, “…Tony Bones with the rhythm, Jay Live with the ism…”, makes sense.

        I did have most of these (some from you from before) but they’re all on an external drive who knows where. Everything is on YouTube except maybe some of the Stretch & Bob freestyles and the newest track, Make It Rowdy, which is on Amazon / iTunes. Think I’m gonna make a T.R.O.Y. thread about it to see what we can dig up MP3-wise.

  1. You’re a hero for this.
    Not many people know his stuff in the UK, he’s probably better known in the US!
    Those Mr Live 12″s are great, don’t know much of the rest so cheers.

  2. thank you for this. i remember you posting hold me back with some other songs awhile ago. i had a hard time digging up more tony bones shit on my own. respect.

  3. Pingback: Urban Honking | We Enjoy: Thursday, January 10, 2013

  4. Wow…It’s amazing how I found your site. I was Randomly just listening to “4). Freestyle from stretch featuring Mr. Live and Breezly Bruin”..And I was trying to figure out where that First Instrumental, on their Freestyle, is from. So I googled the title and came across your page. THANK YOU for sharing this link. I’m also happy to see other people commenting positively on this Blog. I SALUTE you Blockhead. Fine Work.
    By the way, if you know what song that First instrument comes from, please let me know.

  5. I definitely remember Tony Bones! I was just thinking about him and wondering why he never put out more material – thanks Google. Great site – thanks for all of this.

  6. Crazy..Anthony Harrison AKA Tony currently head of design, NFL dept for Nike. And he would be so pissed for you not being more open-minded about UK mcees seeing as he’s a UK Mcee.
    He will be very delighted to see that his name is spoken with such reverence. It reminds me of why mcee’s ARE Mcee..for the love.

    • Hey man, I can’t help it if I generally don’t enjoy most mc’s with accents. Tony Bones somehow made it work for me but a personal preference is a personal preference. Not much i can do about that.

  7. Is this Tony Bones?

    Judging by the tape I found it on, it’s from a Bobbito radio mix from 1997 or 1998. I asked Bobbito and he said “that was either Funky DL or Tony Bonz, both from London.” It sounds like Tony Bones to me, but I can’t track the song down.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s