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Busta Rhymes
Posted on: July 6, 2003 10:51 MST
Filed under: Rap

busta rhymes

When Busta Rhymes says "It Ain't Safe No More..." the acclaimed rapper is talking about more than just post 9/11 life in America. The New Yorker uses the title of his sixth album as a warning: his reign as hip-hop's premier entertainer will continue.

With five platinum albums, one platinum single and three gold singles on his lengthy recording resume, Busta Rhymes has been one of rap's most bankable stars. Reviews for "It Ain't Safe No More..." show that Rhymes remains at the top of his game. The collection, which features the hit singles "Make It Clap" and "I Know What You Want," earned an enthusiastic three-star review in USA Today and is an album the Los Angeles Times says is "Rhymes' most consistently solid collection to date."

"I love this album in a way that I haven't loved an album in a long time," Busta told Billboard magazine. "With the comfort of knowing that I'm back in a good place in the market, I feel like this time we can really put the nail in the coffin and kill this shit and in an overwhelming way supercede everything that I've accomplished in my career."

Lead single "Make It Clap" gives long-time Busta Rhymes fans what they've come to expect from the man who has made credible crossover cuts his signature. The selection's memorable chorus, free-flowing lyrics and catchy beat makes it another undeniable smash that has already become a radio favorite across the country. Produced by Rick Rock, the man behind hits from Jay-Z, Fabolous and others, "Make It Clap" marks the first time Busta has worked with the esteemed beatmaker.

"I had already done countless freestyles over his tracks, so I figured I might as well work with him for real," Busta told BRE magazine. "Rick Rock creates the perfect marriage of musical styles, knockin' hip-hop beats with complex musical aspects on top of them."

Busta takes a more straightforward approach on his second single, "I Know What You Want." Backed by lush vocals from Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes and the members of his Flipmode Squad family craft touching rhymes about the significant others in their lives.

"I do have a woman and I love her," Busta told XXL magazine. "Through the song, I wanted to communicate with the shorty: 'I appreciate the tolerance, the understanding, the patience, the support, the love. I know what you want, and if you stick with a nigga, I got you.'"

Busta picks up the pace on the piercing "Call The Ambulance" and revisits the Gilligan's Island theme on the thought-provoking "The Struggle Will Be Lost."

As the lone rapper on the Area 2 tour with Moby and David Bowie, Busta Rhymes saw that the patrons of the genre-bending extravaganza enjoyed listening to music that makes them move. That's why regardless of the tempo or the subject matter, Busta is always able to connect with listeners, whether they are familiar with his music or not.

"Vibe is priceless," Busta told Billboard magazine. "You just have to be able to communicate in a way that can help them relate to what you specifically want them to relate to. If people see you smiling, they're going to smile with you."

Unfortunately, several events in the last few years led Busta Rhymes to give his sixth, and possibly most upbeat album to date, a dramatic title. " 'It Ain't Safe No More...' applies to the current state of the day, "Busta told XXL magazine. "Since Columbine High School, we've just been experiencing the most consistent foul shit, more threatening than at any other time that has existed during our life. Shit has been tragic consistently."

Despite chaos impinging upon our daily lives, Busta has established himself as one of hip-hop's most steady figures. A member of legendary rap group Leaders of the New School, Busta Rhymes in the early 1990s emerged from the Long Island-based rap group as one of hip-hop's hottest new talents thanks to his fiery appearances on songs with A Tribe Called Quest, Craig Mack and others.

With his first album, 1996's "The Coming," Busta Rhymes showed that his unyielding energy, inventive beats and impeccable imagery would set him apart from any other artist. In fact, the vibrant, colorful "Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check" video established Busta as the most creative hip-hop personality, someone who would sport outrageous outfits, contort his face for effect and still rock rhymes of the highest caliber.

"I set standards visually with the videos," Busta told XXL magazine. "From the special effects to the kind of concepts."

Each of Busta's subsequent albums, 1997's "When Disaster Strikes...," 1998's "E.L.E.: Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front," 2000's "Anarchy" and 2001's "Genesis," was certified platinum and demonstrated that the wiry rapper was a pillar of consistency in a genre in which heroes are discarded as quickly as they are crowned.

Busta used his musical success to branch out into film (has appeared in such critically acclaimed movies as "Finding Forrester," "Narc" and "Shaft") and as a pitchman (he's been the face of everything from Mountain Dew to Sprite to Miller Lite). As he amassed acclaim and wealth, the multi-media star made sure to share his good fortune with others.

"I'm good and my family is good," Busta told XXL magazine. "I took care of that first, before of all the floss." With the triumphant "It Ain't Safe No More...," Busta Rhymes shows that his creative drive remains in full-throttle.

"I live for this shit," Busta told XXL. "This is the fun for me. I'm not gonna do nothing that ain't exciting and challenging. I already know what I could do with the music. I wanna know what I could up against the hottest shit. The statement is made the loudest when you are a survivor. I've survived every turning point."
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