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FEATURE ARTICLE

 
BUSTA RHYMES: The Big Bang

 

This past year has been one of a gift and curse for veteran rapper Busta Rhymes.  While he put the finishing touches on his latest album with super producer Dr. Dre, he also experienced one of the more stressful times of his personal life when his friend and security member Isreal Ramirez was gunned down on the video set of “Touch It.”  While dealing with the messy fallout of being attacked by the media for failing to cooperate with police in the shooting, can The Big Bang overshadow the drama?

 

The Big Bang starts out nasty with the Dr. Dre produced “Get You Some.”  Featuring Marsha from Floetry and Q-Tip, the track gives you classic animated, braggadocios Busta (“A lot of n*ggas sh*t sound dated/ I’m like Shaq, the franchised player just got traded/ To the number one team in the league/ See I ain’t on J Records, I’m on Dre Records – Aftermath b*th…”) accompanied by airy, plucked strings.  While artists like 50 and Snoop have both openly complained about the time it takes Dre to come up with tracks, it’s well worth it when the track is this sick.  Following suit is the lead single, “Touch It,” produced by Swizz Beatz.  “New York Sh*t” proves to be a solid northern anthem.  Produced by DJ Scratch and featuring Swizz Beatz, this is catchy enough for western and southern natives to nod along.  “Been Through the Storm” featuring Stevie Wonder finds an introspective Busta illustrating his story-telling skills about his own life. Other standouts include “Cocaina” and “You Can’t Hold The Torch” featuring Q-Tip which chastises today’s emcees: “Dupont registry, talkin’ ‘bout somebody else’s cars/ Motherf*ckas better step up your bars/ Instead of frontin’ in the game like n*ggas really are stars/ Like we ain’t seeing through the bullsh*t we know who you are.”  “They’re Out To Get Me” exposes Busta’s true feelings about former friends: “I’m tired of these n*ggas that owe me so much sh*t/ That they can’t pay me back for/ F*ck all the dumb sh*t.”   Finally, “Legend of the Fall Offs” finds Busta hypothesizing the downfall of an emcee's career:  “N*ggas ain’t giving a f*ck about your flows no more/ You ain’t the star you was f*cking the same hoes no more/ Promoters ain’t paying and booking you for shows no more/ You ain’t whipping the Range you ain’t whipping the Rolls no more.”

 

While there are no glaring missteps, there are some less than desirous moments.  “How We Do It Over Here” featuring Missy following “Touch It” just sounds too similar to Swizz Beatz’ baby.  Also among the less than par is Timbaland’s “Get Down.” This track is just pointless – especially among the remaining tracks that really stretch Busta's creative loins.   Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise.  As with most highly creative producers, Timbaland can create a hit just as quickly as a dud. 

 

Overall, The Big Bang is a big hit.  The album clearly showcases the many facets of Busta and really pushes off the bubble of someone constantly on the bubble of success.  Now, could he be one of the greats?  Not quite.  There are still some awkward lyrical moments and at times the beat becomes the main attraction.  Still, even those can’t outweigh the growth this album easily showcases. 



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