Despite Internal Beef, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony Is Going Boneless for Buffalo Wild Wings

'90s rap legends change their name (for the time being)

A close-up of Krayzie Bone
It's Boneless Thugs-n-Harmony now. Buffalo Wild Wings
Headshot of Doug Zanger

It’s likely the seminal moment for Bone Thugs-n-Harmony came in 1997. Though the rap crew had several hits under their belts (1st of Tha Month from 1995 is still the stuff of legend), it was that year when Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone and Flesh-n-Bone came up big winning a Grammy for Tha Crossroads.

It seems a pertinent analogy—a crossroads—because that’s what we find ourselves at as the Cleveland-born artists change their names for the first time in three decades, to Boneless Thugs-n-Harmony, all courtesy of Buffalo Wild Wings and The Martin Agency.

This seems to be a very obvious take on boneless wings. And the “Behind the Music” veneer of a video announcing the change has been done before, but several things make this foray into the familiar so enjoyable.

The nostalgia, though a common advertising theme as of late (see: Domino’s use of Cheers, Risky Business and scads of Super Bowl ads), is a warm, comforting creative blanket. There is a catchy hook at the end of the video and the acting is pretty good, too. Of course, just letting it rip and riffing off of a theme can yield some positive results.

But it’s the internal beef that steals the show. Krayzie Boneless, Flesh-N-Boneless and Wish Boneless (those are their names now) got on board quickly. But Layzie Bone is holding out even though according to the group’s manager, Stevel Lobel, “Bone Thugs is a group where majority rules. So, for now, the name change will stick.”

So not only do we have some enjoyable Buffalo Wild Wings/Boneless Thugs-n-Harmony content to watch, but we are also treated to a cliffhanger! In the meantime, people can enjoy some limited-edition swag from the newly-minted rap legends.

Let’s see how long it takes for this name to stick. There is some precedent here by a particular pancake place that wanted to sell burgers.

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@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.