Busta Rhymes details his long journey being part of hip-hop culture inside RESPECT. Magazine.
Busta touches on the ego problem which manifested inside Leaders Of The New School — Charlie Brown competing with him for shine. Busta goes into being forced to move his baby mom into his mother’s place, handling the responsibility of writing a full song, and the jump-start of his solo career.
Busta on tackling the obstacle of making a solo album:
I was confused about how to approach the solo album. And at the time, I think Low End Theory was screaming in the streets. Q-Tip came to L.A. and was whippin’ around in a 300 CE coupe, white with tan ragtop, convertible. He was like, “Book a studio, get the SP12 and a keyboard, and I’m-a come in there and make some beats, and we gonna create something.” And I’m telling him, “I don’t know what the fuck we gonna create. I ain’t got shit written.” He was like, “Don’t worry about it. Just go in the booth and whatever come off your head, we’ll try to figure it out.”
I get in the booth and I’m like, “Yo, yo, yo, yo, Busta Rhymes flipping, ni*gas must be tripping, people do not understand, yo, yo, yo, craps in the ground, more and more sound, oh, oh, sh-sh-sh*t natural disasters, yes, I got too old with my masters.” That was the freestyle randomly. The reason I kept it as a skit on The Coming was because that was my defining moment. It gave me confidence—knowing I was going into a situation for the first time in total control.
The “Woo Hah!!” record came out and that was it. The tax bracket changed. Living conditions changed. The kids were good. It was the happiest thing in the world. The first thing I did with my bread was tell my mother she ain’t gotta work for nobody anymore.
Busta Rhymes on what hip-hop has done for his life:
If I don’t get another thing from this business—I don’t lose no sleep. Because my family is so comfortable financially, stability wise, spiritually, emotionally—everybody’s good. That ain’t never been compromised in my 20-year run. I may not put a record out for a year, and I still generate four, five, six million dollars just touring with no current records out.
I’ve never lost, and I don’t think I’ll ever lose, that fire and that passion and that drive to wanna hear myself dismantle a beat. It’s as simple as that. It’s the biggest feeling in the world. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten the kind of money that could really explain how priceless that feeling is. I’m cut from the cloth of that competitive sh*t, which was primarily the greatest reward you could get as an MC. Before money became the thing nig*as was really able to capitalize on, the respect of the bars and the punchline and the metaphor was what gave you your rank in the street. And that competitive nature is what warranted and commanded whatever you could receive in return.