Murder To XXLence: Busta Rhymes
The party doesn’t stop for Busta Rhymes. Over 20 years in the game, he’s making new hits and getting new money. Cash Money. Bussa Bus just inked a deal with Cash Money as well as Google music to put out new material such as the recently released Chris Brown featured track, “Why Stop Now.” Here, Bus talks to XXLMag.com about why he’s never wanted to stop, and why he’s ready for all competition. —Shaheem Reid
2011 was a monumental year for you. “Look At Me Now” was a number one blockbuster, you made it onto Tha Carter IV, and had various bangers of your own. What is your assessment of the last year?
I actually haven’t assessed it. Outside of the obvious, it’s definitely been a blessed year. An amazing year. I can definitely see a different awareness level a different momentum, a different excitement. This is like another one of my highlighted moments of my career run. I’ve had these runs several times. It started off really in a whole other dynamic as of New Years Eve night. As of 12 midnight when Flex posted that “Look At Me Now” on www.inflexwetrust.com, since midnight of the New Year. I was the Cosmopolitan hotel looking at the Jay-Z/Cold Play concert. We was all suited up. We go into every New Year feelin like we got our plans for greatness and goals. And I went into this year knowing that we ain’t taking any prisoners this time and we gonna have fun. It’s a great thing seeing that its been successfully executed and the people are embracing it. They’re seeing it, they’re supportive of it. Niggas love it. I haven’t had a chance to assess until now that I’m speaking to you. I just love doing what I love. I’m a rapper’s rapper. I’m a MC. I’m a fan of the music. I’m a fan of just hearing… I like hearing myself on shit. I like to her myself on beats that I love, that I feel that’s gonna fuck the building up. Songs that will fuck the situation in whatever settings it’s in. the club, the car, somebody cleaning up their crib, on a one on one level I like to make sure the effect is on the same dynamic. I like that niggas is respecting it as it should be respected as.
As popular as “Look At Me Now” is, I don’t think anyone has asked you how you got on the song to begin with?
The Chris Brown record, it was weird because it was right place at the right time situation. We were all in the studio in New York. I had my older son in the studio with me. My oldest son is like 6’7”, plays ball. This is the three year old from the “Woo-Ha” video. He’s 18 now. He’s on his college shit. You know Chris Brown played ball that weekend, DJ Clue, Fabulous and a couple of them brothers played ball in Chelsea Piers. So Chris Brown was in the studio, my son was in the studio with me and they were talking about playing ball. We worked it out so they could play ball with Clue and Chris Brown and Fabulous and them. While that was happening, we were mixing “The Mechanic (Remix)” for Reek The Villain. Nelly is on the remix and he had a session in the studio next door. He came into our session to approve how he sounded on the mix. In terms of how his vocals were leveled. When he came in the room, he came into the room with Chris Brown.
We all chopped it up and Nelly and Chris Brown went into Nelly’s session. We was like fuck it, Nelly came into our session, we gonna go into Nelly’s session to show love. Chris Brown was playing the “Look At Me Now” joint for Nelly. At that time, it only had Chris Brown’s voice on it. I don’t know if Chris Brown had in mind who he wanted to use or not. I came over to him like, “This shit is stupid. You doing that speed rap shit, let me show you how to keep the dice rolling while you doing that thing homie.” The niggas stopped me and said, “Yo Bus, stop me in the middle of my shit on the speed rap. And say the same thing and go into your shit and black out.” With that little direction, I blacked out, sent in to him and he loved it. I didn’t hear the song again until the night before it got to Flex and it had Tunechi on it. At that point, I knew niggas was in trouble. It was a definitely a great situation that came about. I big up Wayne and Chris Brown for letting us come together and making some historical shit come about.
What is it like for you, a veteran in the game, to gain new, young fans that may not even have been alive when a record like “Woo Ha” was out?
That shit is always a great thing because it’s a testament of how timeless we’re capable of being as artists. It puts us at a whole level of respect as far as our peers in other genres of music and from an executive standpoint. Defining timeless is something you can’t put a price tag on. As long as you keep yourself fresh and current and open and the one to set the standards, the opportunity on every level that’s created is limitless. As far as inspiring people all the way down to be a lucrative cash cow and generating revenue for Fortune 500 corporate America.