bustablack1.jpgLet’s face it, hip-hop fans aren’t very loyal. With the hottest artists becoming punchlines overnight, it’s no wonder that only a handful of MCs make it past the decade mark with their career still intact. Busta Rhymes, who is arguably hip-hop’s most consistent presence ever, is one of the few artists who has managed to stay relevant throughout the last 16 years. But it’s been no small feat. Busta has remained popular to old and young alike by adapting the wild, boisterous essence of his style into a number of different faces. And with his latest, The Big Bang, hitting the pop charts at #1, he doesn’t seem to be showing any signs of stopping. XXLMAG.COM examines the unique sounds and styles of Bussa-Bus with some of his videos and songs that have had the most powerful impact. Boom!

Strong Island Busta

BUSTALONS.jpgWhen he wasn’t rocking florescent tracksuits or whipping his cherry Pathfinder through the streets of Uniondale, a teenaged Busta got his start as a studio rat for Public Enemy. He scrapped his original name, Chill-O-Ski, when Chuck D gave him his more appropriate moniker. His booming voice stood out so much among the Leaders of the New School’s light, sing-songy hits that he eventually had to break away from Charlie Brown and Dinco D. An argument between the group live on Yo! MTV Raps is largely credited as the moment that finally precipitated the group’s breakup.

Leaders of the New School “Mt. Airy Groove” (1990)

Leaders of The New School “P.T.A.” (1991)
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Leaders of the New School “Sobb Story” (1991)
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Leaders of the New School “International Zone Coaster” (1991) (Click Here For Video)
Leaders of the New School “Classic Material” (1993)
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Leaders of the New School “What’s Next” (1993)
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Native Son Busta

bustanative.jpgAfter breaking up with LONS, Busta started developing his own identity as an honorary member of the Native Tongues crew, who helped him develop his early solo material. Through it all, Busta has managed to retain his socially aware side, working with longtime collaborators like Jay Dee and Q-Tip on almost all of his albums.

A Tribe Called Quest feat. Busta “Oh My God” (1993)
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Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Buckshot, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, Ill Al Skratch, Mike, Notorious B.I.G. & Redman “The Points” (1995)
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Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip “Ill Vibe” (1996)

Busta Rhymes feat. Erykah Badu “One” (1997)

The Fugees feat. A Tribe Called Quest, John Forte & Busta Rhymes “Rumble In The Jungle” (1997)
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Busta Rhymes “Turn Me Up Some” (Produced by Jay Dee) (2002)

Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip “You Can’t Hold The Torch” (2006)

Cameo King Busta

flava2.jpgBeginning with his roaring, star-turning spot on “Scenario,” Busta quickly became the most in-demand guest artist in hip-hop. While Ludacris gave him a run for his title in the early ’00s, the always-reliable Mr. Rhyme’s rapid-fire growl still stands out on any style of posse cut or an R&B remix.

A Tribe Called Quest feat. Leaders of the New School “Scenario” (1991)
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Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., LL Cool J, Rampage & Busta Rhymes “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)” (1994)
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Boyz II Men feat. Treach, Craig Mack, Method Man & Busta “Vibin’ (Remix)” (1995)
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B-Real feat. Coolio, Busta Rhymes & Method Man “Hit Em High” (1996)
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Pharoahe Monch feat. Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method Man, Lady Luck & Shabaam Sahdeeq “Simon Says (Remix)” (1999)

Violator feat. Mystikal, Dirtbag & Busta Rhymes, “Keep Doin’ It” (2003)
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Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz feat. Busta Rhymes & Elephant Man, “Get Low (Remix)” (2003)
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Bone Crusher feat. Cam’ron, Jadakiss & Busta Rhymes “Never Scared (Remix)” (2003)
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Jiggy Busta

jiggybusta2.jpg With oversized hats, bright shiny leather Bushi outfits and an increasingly large bankroll, Busta became the court jester of the party-obsessed jiggy era. During the increasingly segregated late ’90s, Busta was one of the few artists versatile enough to work with backpacker favorites like Mos Def and Pharoahe Monch while still being on Bad Boy’s speed dial.

Busta Rhymes feat. Zhane “It's A Party (Remix)” (1996)

Busta Rhymes feat. Puff Daddy and Ma$e, “Body Rock” (1997)

Rampage feat. Busta Rhymes, “Wild For Da Night” (1998)
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Tracey Lee feat. Busta Rhymes & Pirate “The After Party” (1997)
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Ma$e feat. Busta Rhymes, “Niggaz Wanna Act” (1997)

Doomsday Busta

doomsday.jpg Since going solo, Busta has always made time to show his goth side. With apocalyptic predictions for album titles and music videos featuring paranoid, action-filled visions of the future, Busta must have been just a little disappointed when the world didn’t end in Y2K.

Puff Daddy feat. Notorious B.I.G. & Busta Rhymes “Victory” (1997)
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Busta Rhymes, “Turn It Up (Remix)” (1998)
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Busta Rhymes feat. Ozzy Ozborne, “This Means War” (1998)

Busta Rhymes “Fire” (2000)
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Cartoon Busta

toon.jpg Considering Busta’s animated personality and schizophrenic flow, the potential was always there for outrageous visuals. But when Busta teamed up with director Hype Williams, they started making videos that were increasingly cartoon-like. Their frightening masterpiece, “Gimme Some More,” was one half old school Warner Bros. cartoon and one half nightmarish acid trip.

Busta Rhymes “Whoo-Ha!!” (1996)
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Busta Rhymes feat. ODB “Whoo-Ha!! (Remix)" (1996)
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Busta Rhymes “Dangerous” (1997)
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Busta Rhymes “Gimme Some More" (1998)
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Busta Rhymes feat. Pharrell “Light Your Ass On Fire” (2003)
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Pop Star Busta

popbusta.jpg Long before he was (allegedly) twisting out Nicole Richie, Bussa-Bus became a hit with the ladies by crossing over with big-budget videos, gimmicky club bangers and sensual R&B duets. Yep, yep, he loves his chicks.

Busta Rhymes “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” (1997)
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Busta Rhymes feat Janet Jackson “What’s It Gonna Be?” (1998)
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Busta Rhymes feat. Mariah Carey and Flipmode "I Know What You Want” (2002)
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P. Diddy feat. Busta Rhymes and Pharrell “Pass The Courvoisier (Part II)” (2002)
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Nick Cannon feat. Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and Chingy “Shorty (Put It on The Floor)” (2003)
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The Pussycat Dolls feat. Busta Rhymes “Don’t Cha” (2005)
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Smack-You-With-The-Burner Busta

burner.jpg In the early ’00s, Busta stayed relevant by hitting the mixtapes heavy and channeling his gun-toting, street-wise persona. With a penchant for ratchets, cocaine and diss records, this is the gritty extreme of Busta’s personality.

M.O.P. feat. Busta Rhymes and Remy Ma “Ante Up (Remix)” (2000)
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Lumidee feat. Busta Rhymes and Fabolous “Never Leave You (Remix)” (2003)
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Eminem, 50 Cent and Busta Rhymes “Hail Mary” (2004)

Fabolous feat. Busta Rhymes “Just Grind” (2006)

Busta Rhymes and T.I. “Cannon” (2006)

Rick Ross feat. Busta Rhymes “Hustlin’ (Remix)” (2006)

Elder Statesman Busta

bustafur.jpg With New York hip-hop in critical condition, Busta decided to use his unique position to help New Yorkers with their self-esteem. Whether he’s bringing out golden era legends at Summer Jam, revitalizing ’90s vets like Raekwon or singing newbies like Papoose, Busta has been working towards closing New York’s generation gap.

Raekwon feat. Busta Rhymes “State of Grace (Remix)” (2005)

Busta Rhymes feat. Papoose, DMX, Mary J Blige, Lloyd Banks, Missy Elliott and Rah Digga “Touch It (Remix)” (2006)
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Papoose feat. Busta Rhymes, “Get Right” (2006)

Busta Rhymes “New York Shit (Live At Webster Hall in NYC)” (2006)
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