Busta Rhymes lightly salt and peppered a plate of baked tilapia at Platinum Sound Recording Studios on Monday night (August 20).

In a strange way, watching the veteran rapper season the fish with care drew parallels to how he made Year Of The Dragon, his free album available today (August 21) via Google Play. For the project, Busta carefully sprinkled in big-name features such as Rick Ross, Cam’ron, Lil Wayne and Gucci Mane, while making sure to include his own Conglomerate MCs Reek Da Villain and J Doe, who make two guest appearances apiece.

“I just wanted to give the people some shit that feels like it’s supposed to feel, like the hip-hop I grew up on and the hip-hop I love, with a little bit of that now on it,” Busta told XXL about Year Of The Dragon. “This is my ninth studio album and my thank-you-to-the- fans album. I want people to walk away with it, saying this shit is stupid.”

Busta put out this album via Google Play.

“What makes it so dope to me is it’s new, smart and refreshing," said Busta about the digital platform. "They never sold no musical shit, no content and it’s the most powerful search engine in existence. The two primary ways of getting music out was independent and major labels, but nobody knew how to start monetizing intellectual property digitally. This just made sense to me."

In addition to this album, Busta told XXL that he hopes to hit fans with his Cash Money Records debut LP in November.—Mark Lelinwalla