Saturday, December 5, 2015

All-Time Rap Artists #21: Busta Rhymes


1989 saw the creation of hip-hop group, Leaders of the New School, with Busta Rhymes as a pioneering member.  He was named after former NFL wide receiver, George "Buster" Rhymes, by Chuck D, while on tour with Public Enemy.

Busta first got national attention as a unique personality in the music industry when he stole the show when A Tribe Called Quest and Leaders of the New School performed, Scenario, on the Arsenio Hall Show back in 1992.  After his breakout performance on the song, as well as gaining national attention, there was turmoil within the group dealing with Busta's popularity, and the group broke up.

While starting to get his footing as a solo artist, Busta Rhymes appeared as a feature on a slew of classic hip-hop tracks by classic hip-hop artists such as, The Notorious B.I.G., Mary J. Blige, Craig Mack, KRS-One, and Brand Nubian.  As he continued to rip verses and making a name for himself, his animated persona landed him several minor movie roles.

By 1996, he released his solo debut, The Coming, which saw the single Woo Hah! (Got You All In Check) blow up the charts and was Grammy nominated.  In 1997, Busta released his second album, When Disaster Strikes, which saw the single Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See, get a Grammy nod as well.  Busta even has a duet with Janet Jackson, What's It Gonna Be?, which is one of the bigger budget videos in hip-hop history, costing upwards of $2 million to create.  The song is most likely Busta's most commercially successful song and had won awards almost each time it was nominated for either the song or video.  Through the years, Busta has been nominated 10 times for either an album, single, or performance by a solo, duo or group.

All through the 2000s, Busta continued to create hit songs such as I Know What You Want, Touch It, and Pass the Courvoisier, all Grammy nominated.

Busta has evolved his flow over the years and has become one of the fastest rhymers in the game.  In 2012 he was featured in the Chris Brown song entitled, Look At Me Now, where he displayed his rapid fire lyrical ability, where afterwards, almost every feature he was asked to be on, he displayed that style of rap.

Many artists these days will only dream of having the longevity, style, creativity, and success that Busta Rhymes has had over the last 26 years, and still counting.  His ability to stay true to himself with all of the commercial success and not change who he is as an artist lands him in the #21 position.

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