Lil’ Wayne’s got Drake, Kanye West has Kid Cudi and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony have Ta Smallz. Smallz dropped a few singles in 2006 but has never released a full-length album and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s last memorable release was their "Art of War" drop in 1997. Yet, in 2009 Bizzy Bone and Ta Smallz formed a new record label LIFE ENTERTAINMENT in hopes of bringing justice, unity and therapy to a music scene where violence has been consistently encouraged. Ta Smallz suspected Feb. 23 debut and release of "Who Killed my Mama,” is dedicated to the resolution of his mother’s murder from 1984.
Smallz was twelve when his mother was murdered in their Richmond, CA, home, he recalls, “She was going to the University of Berkley. She was a single mother and still singing in the group Kanye with my father (they had been divorced) and a buyer for Anderson Products. Someone came in our house, locked me in the closet, me and my three brothers and my half brother he was only 11 months, he couldn’t talk, she tried to throw him under the bed. So in front of him, they stabbed her 24 times in the face, cut her jugular vein, cut off her fingers, put her in the trunk of the car in Richmond,CA, and then took her to Sacramento, CA, on December 6th and we didn’t find her until December 19th.”
Since that day he has found courage through his music and now believes, “There is power in what you say, you may see something that I am too bold to see.” While Smallz takes a break from the heartfelt conversation, Layzie Bone informs us, “He got that strong love, bringin’ up them old memories… talk him through it.” When Ta returned to the conversation he told us of the difficulties he has always experienced when talking about this experience, which has been the inspiration for Thug Therapy; a blog that LIFE ENTERTAINMENT plans to launch along with Ta Smallz “Who Killed my Mama,” release.
Thug Therapy will be a site where kids of the neighborhood can write all the artists of LIFE ENTERTAINMENT and receive responses to overcome the post traumatic stresses of the streets’ Layzie says, “they do it for the Vietnams’, the Gulf War’s and the people who go through that sort of trauma but they don’t do it for the kids in the neighborhood… it’s to bring awareness and knowledge to the kids and it starts with Ta’s story and 50’s story but it will be available so that people can be educated that they have been traumatized by the hood.” Smallz agrees, “It’s about getting people involved and friends, family and fans just to get the therapy side of it out there. Something can happen and trigger things and then you change your motives, so we wanna work with and reach out to the kids.”
When asked, “What would you like the kids of the streets to be left with today?” Smallz stated, “The main goal is to wake up positive in the morning and even say, you love your enemies. Be positive even in negative situations. If you can, if you can find someone you can trust, this can be hard but when you hold things in – pressure bust pipes – you gotta talk to somebody. Be determined, be strong willed, you gotta have serenity, acceptance, acceptance that some things you cannot change but you do have courage and the strength as long as you have power you get up and have the strength, you can change yourself. Acceptance.”
And Layzie kept it simple stating, “Keep God first. Keep it simple stupid... Life is not rocket science, man, people make things harder than they have to be. Keep God first and if that’s your main focus, then seeing things that’s bad won’t seems so bad and seeing things that’s good you’ll never be cocky about and you’ll know how to accept the best. ”
During the short therapy session over milkshakes and french fries with Smallz I could truly feel his dedication and drive to this project and his strength in the LIFE ENTERTAINMENT movement. Layzie says, “It’s spotlighting the trauma of the little things that can help somebody’s soul,” while Ta intends to reach out and do just that with his “Who Killed my Mama,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Project Uni5” will call to unify the people in recognition of the trauma we all go through.
Smallz has been in and out of prison like other members of the LIFE ENTERTAINMENT and has accepted that when his mother’s killer is discovered that he/she will face time in prison. He feels that it will be a lesson in humility that will inevitably lead the killer to an eternal life with God that may not be accomplished elsewhere.
And the movie…. Oh yes, there is a movie…. Layzie Bone states, “Straight to Silver Screen.” So get ready for a fresh new movement from not-so-lonely Bone Thug-N-Harmony and their fresh and powerful partner Ta Smalllz.