It is supposed to be a time of celebration, another great album of the golden era which has reached its 20th Anniversary. But 2016 hasn’t been nice to our public figures. Our idols and heroes passing away left right and centre, at this rate, Papoose’s 2016 obituary will end up being an extended 12 minute cut at the end of the year.
Busta Rhymes debut album ‘The Coming’s 20th Anniversary has been overshadowed by the tragic death of Phife Dawg of iconic Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest, and instead of Busta celebrating his ‘baby’, he found himself writing a heartfelt felt letter to his lost comrade:
“…DEC.5th 2015, I was able to have a dream come true in a way that it never had and that was to perform What’s the scenario (original and the rmx) for the 1st time ever back to back with all of the original members of Leaders of the New School and A Tribe Called Quest since we recorded these songs in 1991 & 1992. That night was so magical with all of the love that was under one roof that it’s too much to get into the details of but again please take another look at this picture, if u notice @iamthephifer had his hand on my back consoling me as I kneeled down to give thanks crying tears of joy because of how proud of a moment that was for me being able to end a 4 hour set with brothers who put me in a position where I was able to tell my mother she will not have to work for anyone over 20 yrs ago. The belief that they had in me puttin’ me and Leaders on that record, putting me last on the record because back then being last on the record meant EVERYTHING, I had no idea at that time what they were setting me up in life to be but thru out the years it was so consistent their love and concern for my well-being that it was no way I couldn’t see it…” (Excerpt from Busta Rhymes Open heart-felt letter to Phife)
Scenario was the trigger to jump-start Busta’s solo career, unlike Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and GZA’s Liquid Swords, I didn’t buy this album on day of release. It was a decision made after hearing a number of tracks on radio, and how he reminded me of Ol’ Dirty Bastard in terms of energy and delivery. I think it was roughly around May of 1996 when I brought it.
Once again I take you back to when I was 16. I had quit my paper round after protest, and I was getting ready for my last day of compulsory education. This is Busta Rhymes: The Coming: MY STORY.
1. THE COMING – Intro
Never before in Hip Hop did we encounter a voice which resembled a preacher… do not play this intro in front of Christians I can say that! Very amusing when Lord Have Mercy would reference Busta’s birthday but not reveal the year…almost comparing Busta to the creator himself. I can’t lie even I trembled when he said “We must bring the ruckus, to all you muthaf***az!” And saying it louder each time!
2. DO MY THING
What I loved about this album was Busta’s choice of wordplay: so feisty, energetic, animated and out of order: “When I step in the place you should keep your mouth closed
Take your fat finger out your nose
You should just pay attention, and watch how I wild on all the records
Make you sing, “The Lord is my shepherd!”
Yes pop pickers, before Eminem made your jaw drop with lyrics, there was Busta. (Sorry Tasker I had to steal your catch phrase!)
3. EVERYTHING REMAINS RAW
We need to bring back the belt… and beat down these wack rappers claiming to represent Hip Hop, they know who they are, I don’t need to state by name.
I officially have a driving license, but I don’t own a car. Everyone has a ‘things to do list’ before they die and in my list there is one where I sing ‘Everything Remains Raw’ with my crew going crazy in a car. It’s actually my theme when new year rolls around, while everyone else sings that other song in which I have no idea what it means or why it’s sung, I’d prefer to sing this hook, stating I will have a great, ‘raw’ year..
4. ABANDON SHIP
The other early aspect of Busta’s flow I missed was his ability to ‘break down the lyrics into syllables’. Rampage followed by example. The result – a synchronised tag team chemistry. It’s a real shame Rampage was next up from Flipmode, at least that’s how he was groomed initially.
5. WOO-HAH! I GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK
Yar-Yar-Yaaaar – Yarr -YAR! My last months at school were sent with me and my people singing just that… and everyone knew where it come from, and it spread like an epidemic.
True story – I first saw the video of this at my cousin’s house… come to think of it, I used to see a lot of hip hop videos at my cousin’s house! We were laughing our heads off all the way through… it wasn’t just Busta acting a fool, it was Q-Tip and Onyx in the video losing their minds. Q-Tip was gone!!! When the video finished, we were there holding our stomach because of the laughter and then I said, “Imagine if Busta did a remix with ODB?” 2 minutes later, the radio played just that – the remix! Gob smacked was not even the word to express that time.
6. IT’S A PARTY
I don’t think this is played enough at parties, thank goodness for DJs like Miss L Vibes who knows of the remixes to these tracks. This is the ‘calm’ Busta that we would get to know in his later albums. I’ve always prefered the feisty Busta though. Special mention to the little intermission that follows… it was another ‘go crazy in the the car moment’… I WILL do that with my clansmen before the po-po pulls me over.. after I show them my Hip Hop license they will understand… I saw them dancing with their truncheons to WHOA! at a carnival once for goodnesss sake!
7. HOT FUDGE
Hot Fudge comin on in good lord…
I don’t know what I love more… the wordplay in this or the skit that follows! Can we say Busta was ahead of his time when he says this:
“Been in this too long to allow n!&&@$ to try to take mine
23 years deep and I still exist as BUSTA RHYMES!
Aeiyo, I’m in this to win this, gets down to handle my business
While I be Busta Rhymes you still be whoever your name is!!”
Up til now, certain artists out there talking nonsense in records and I don’t know who their name is, like that kid who is in love with the cocoa… (Er Grant – he’s signed with Busta’s Conglomerate label..) FOR REAL???? Er..Oh dear…!!!
8. ILL VIBE
Busta & Q-Tip have teased us with a few mixtapes lately… if Extinction Level Event 2 isn’t gonna surface for now, I’m sure the fans would love a full length LP from these two with Dilla handling most of the production. Yes Busta we are fully aware that Dilla left you a lot of beats like you was a vessel for him!
9. FLIPMODE SQUAD MEETS DEF SQUAD
Such a colossal record that a fan had to take it upon themselves to create a fan-made video. The jury is still out – who smashed the tune the most? For me, I think Keith Murray edged it for Def Squad, and Lord Have Mercy ran away with it for Flipmode. I can say this – if Lord Have was a local pastor, church would be packed to capacity crowd! Even the atheists and 5 percenters would be in attendance! Yeah I said it!
10. STILL SHINING
Personally I thought it was a good chess move to keep the track featuring B.I.G. off the album and had this instead which I feel is the better (and underrated Dilla) track as well. I remember playing this before what was my favourite track from the album…
11. KEEP IT MOVING
To my knowledge this was the last Leaders Of the New School track before they unexpectedly reunited for ‘We Home’ recently. I remember Busta saying countless times in interviews that the Leaders would never reform. I believe now that Phife Dawg has returned to the essence it has made both the Leaders and the surviving members of A Tribe Called Quest re-assess their thoughts, it’s such a good thing that they all reunited on stage recently.
12. THE FINISH LINE
We all know that one person, who loves to talk all that jazz and we know they lying, and what do they hope to accomplish? Now its evolved to internet keyboard warriors, never left their basement, quick to talk slick, got no profile picture or never show their face. Back in the day, they would get a beatdown. Now? Yeah you could delete & block them, but then they pull a fast one, by making a fake account and proceeding to spy on people. You see those guys? They officially got no lives. Shame really…
13. THE END OF THE WORLD – Outro
Remember that? There’s only 5 years left? Ok be honest, who fell for that ‘Judgement day’ trick as it hit midnight January 1, 2000?!! I remember where I was at that precise moment though… let’s just say I was doing something you wouldn’t do!
This was the beginning of Busta Rhymes manifesting into the megastar hip hop legend he is now, and the best thing about his consistency, is when he performs on stage, he never forgets his roots. That’s why I know people cannot talk slick about Busta Rhymes in a negative. The man has the unique ability to work with anybody and everybody and be adapt. He also has that rare attribute of his sophomore albums (When Disaster Strikes, Extinction Level Event, Genesis etc) being greater than his solo debut.
TAKE A BOW BUSTA RHYMES, CONTINUE TO BRING THE RUCKUS, TO ALL THOSE MUTHAF***AZ!
Written by Michael Grant (C.E.O. of RePPiN4U)