Busta Rhymes Rise and Fall
Busta Rhymes is one of the most well-known and consistent hip-hop artists of all time. From the beginning of his career with Leaders of the New School he was exciting and stood out from his peers with his vibrance. But lately it seems that Bussa Buss has fallen from grace. This isn't a post designed to knock, mock, or hate on Busta, in fact it's an attempt to examine what the hell actually happened and if it's possible for him to get his mojo back. I root for Busta myself and I miss the old guy.
Back in 1991 L.O.N.S. came on the scene in the same vein as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul. They came to drop knowledge and represented an afro-centric view of the hood. They were funky and brash yet Busta still managed to outshine the members of his clique. Look at the style as you get to the end of this video:
Looking at "The Scenario" you see how Busta burst on the scene "Like a Dungeon Dragon!". Shortly after he and the rest of the members of his group went different ways and Leaders of the New School was over. This seems to be a foreshadowing of events to come surrounding Busta in the future as he switches crews and record labels.
This was probably the best thing for Busta at the time as he veered off in his own direction and began to hit us with a slew of hits and solid if not spectacular albums.
Up until about 2002 he was just about invincible. He had avoided beef with people and basically existed as the remix killer, jumping on any hot relevant track and putting his signature stamp on it.
Ja Rule & Vita- Holla Holla Remix
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About that time Busta had to step out of his zone because one of the people in the video above threw a shot at him. Busta came out and joined Eminem and 50 Cent in their disagreement. ( this is just cool and I wanna be able to always find it so enjoy the video)
Things seemed good but then on the set of the "Touch it" video Busta's bodyguard Izzy Ramirez got shot and the street code of silenced was enforced. The family sued for wrongful death and added to his other cases at the time, it seemed as if there was a huge load on Busta's massive shoulders. The album "The Big Bang" was probably his best lyrically but it didn't solidify Busta as one of the greats though he finally reached the depths of Trevor and not just the character of Busta.
Personally, the downfall began when Busta cut his trademark locks in an attempt to shed his previous image. As Kayslay said, and I paraphrase, 'when Jay-Z called him animated, some dudes in the hood might see that a certain way because they don't understand what animated is. I think that affected Busta'. I agree with the general sentiment of Kayslay which is hard because I don't like the guy but he has a point. If you are basing your image on the hood perspective, especially at Busta's age in life, you might have problems.
This huge change and his desire to be taken more serious put the focus onto Busta's lyrics which had to this point been an afterthought to the Busta Rhymes experience and put them at the forefront. You see Busta has always talked greasy if you actually took the time to pay attention, his lyricism isn't the greatest but his energy and ability to make club bangers are what made Busta so memorable and loved. Some people aren't happy with why they are liked and want us to like them for other reasons. Busta seems to be one of them.
No doubt, I liked that song and The Big Bang might just be Busta's best overall album. There was a variety and songs that actually reflected and told about his real life. At the same time however, Busta seems to have lost that x-factor. Now he has slowed his flow just slightly and attempted to be more like the current hot artists of the day and less like himself. It brings a focus onto lackluster lyrics and the same tired old topics from a guy who has been around for 15 years as a solo artist.
Then there is the business decisions. He moved from Elektra, to J Records, to Aftermath, and now to Jive where he released B.O.M.B. ( Back on my Bullshit) which should have been called Back with some Bullshit. We are left with songs like the lazy "conglomerate" replacing the battle cry of "We Made It" which was scrapped.
Busta Rhymes Ft. Lil Wayne - Respect My Conglomerate
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Busta Rhymes- We Made It (Ft. Linkin Park)
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Another song that didn't make it was this one, which I don't really like however it did show Busta having fun and enjoying himself.
Busta Rhymes - I Got Bass [New] (prod. by Bangladesh)
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But the second thing with the change in Busta's personality has been the change in personnel in his crew. The only constant being Spliff Star as he has run through the likes of Rampage, Baby Sham, Rah Digga, Rock Marciano, Lord Have Mercy, and a management deal with Papoose. This is reminiscent of the fallout with the other members of L.O.N.S. and more recently a falling out with protege Big Truck over doing songs with Uncle Murda. Busta has also switched DJ's and no longer has a strong relationship with Kayslay which all of which say to me that Busta is prone to sudden changes and most people can't hang with it.
Luckily it seems that Busta has made some strides to get back where he was. Looking at two of his videos from the past year they bring the fun and energy back and make you forget to think about the words that are actually coming out of his mouth which is a good thing. Like I said, Im not hating on Busta but he has fallen off from what he was by getting false ideas about himself. Believing the hype of you being a great artist isn't bad unless you have the incorrect idea of why it is we love you. so to Busta get back on your grind, have fun keep the energy and grow the damn locks back man!