Bone Thugs-N-Harmony vs. Three 6 Mafia: Ahead of Live Battle, Here's the Chart Battle

Ahead of Thursday night’s (April 30) Instagram Live battle between two of rap’s best-known groups — Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Three 6 Mafia — Billboard revisits the two groups’ chart successes to pinpoint the most likely candidates to make the set list during the showdown.

Seniority first: Cleveland’s Bone Thugs-N-Harmony burst onto Billboard’s charts in 1994 with their debut EP, Creepin on Ah Come Up. Its breakout single, “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” was the first of their 14 entries on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and climbed to No. 17 that October. The five-piece, comprised of Bizzy Bone, Flesh-n-Bone, Krayzie Bone, Layzie Bone and Wish Bone, is probably best known for the 1996 crossover hit “Tha Crossroads,” which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts for eight and seven weeks, respectively. The smash was a tribute to late mentor Eazy-E (of N.W.A) and the head of the act’s Ruthless Records label.

With “Crossroads” leading the pack, here’s a look at the Cleveland collective’s biggest hits on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, combining their group and each member’s solo hits in lead roles:

Song, Artist, Peak Position, Peak Date
1. “Tha Crossroads,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 1 (seven weeks), May 11, 1996
2. “Ridin’,” Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone, No. 7, June 17, 2006
3. “Look Into My Eyes,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 4, June 21, 1997
4. “Ghetto Cowboy,” Mo Thugs Family featuring Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 14, Jan. 2, 1999
5. “Thuggish Ruggish Bone,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 17, Oct. 29, 1994
6. “1st of Tha Month,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 12, Sept. 2, 1995
7. “If I Could Teach The World,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 20, Nov. 15, 1997
8. “Foe Tha Love of $,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony featuring Eazy-E, No. 33, Feb. 25, 1995
9. “East 1999,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, No. 39, Jan. 13, 1996
10. “I Tried,” Bone Thugs-N-Harmony featuring Akon, No. 45, June 2, 2007

Now, for the challengers, Memphis’ own Three 6 Mafia. The crew, with Crunchy Black, DJ Paul, Gangsta Boo, Juicy J, Koopsta Knicca and Lord Infamous among its ranks at times, arrived on Billboard‘s charts in 1995 with the Mystic Stylez album. Single success took a few years, with the group’s first stint on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs coming with 1998’s “Tear Da Club Up ’97,” the first of 18 chart entries to date. Among the highlights, two top 10s: “Stay Fly,” featuring Young Buck, Eightball and MJG (No. 9), and “Poppin My Collar” (No. 10).

Let’s dive into the top performers of the Memphis’ clique’s catalog — again, combining work done as a group or by individuals in lead roles:

Song, Artist, Peak Position, Peak Date
1. “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” Juicy J featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz, No. 6, Nov. 24, 2012
2. “Stay Fly,” Three 6 Mafia featuring Young Buck, Eightball & MJG, No. 9, Nov. 26, 2005
3. “Poppin’ My Collar,” Three 6 Mafia, No. 10, April 8, 2006
4. “Powerglide,” Rae Sremmurd & Juicy J, No. 17, April 7, 2018
5. “Bounce It,” Juicy J featuring Wale & Trey Songz, No. 25, Nov. 2, 2013
6. “Shell Shocked,” Juicy J, Wiz Khalifa & Ty Dolla $ign featuring Kill The Noise & Madsonik, No. 26, Aug. 30, 2014
7. “Show Out,” Juicy J featuring Big Sean & Young Jeezy, No. 23, March 30, 2013
8. “Sippin’ on Da Syrup,” Three 6 Mafia featuring UGK, No. 30, Aug. 5, 2000
9. “Low,” Juicy J featuring Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby & Young Thug, No. 44, Nov. 1, 2014
10. “Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body),” Three 6 Mafia featuring Project Pat, Young D & Superpower, No. 48, Aug. 16, 2008

And though it had no chart presence, don’t forget a potential trump card: The Academy Award-winning “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” The release, from the soundtrack to Hustle & Flow, won best original song for Juicy J, DJ Paul and labelmate Frayser Boy at the 2006 Oscars. “Pimp” was the second hip-hop track to take the honor, after Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” three years earlier.