Published On: Wed, Nov 15th, 2023
Music | By MDN

Post your questions for Busta Rhymes | Rap

Blessed with one of the most plastic and fantastic flows in all hip-hop, capable of explosive streams of high-speed syllables, gently crooned choruses and everything in between, Busta Rhymes is one of the genre’s great icons – and will be joining us to answer your questions as he releases new album Blockbusta.

Born Trevor Smith Jr in Brooklyn to Jamaican parents in 1972, he parlayed his family background into his rap career, adding a ragga energy to the city’s rapidly efflorescing hip-hop scene in the late 1980s. His rep was first minted in his group Leaders of the New School, including a notable verse on A Tribe Called Quest’s hit Scenario, before going solo in considerable style with startling debut single Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check, a Top 10 hit in the US and UK in 1996.

It kicked off a run of astonishing rap hits, drawing on post-apocalyptic imagery and often paired with eye-popping videos by Hype Williams – the Psycho-sampling Gimme Some More, the Knight Rider-sampling Turn It Up/Fire It Up, the Seals and Crofts-sampling Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See. Janet Jackson collaboration What’s It Gonna Be?! successfully branched into pop-R&B (and had one of the most expensive music videos of all time), while I Know What You Want repeated the trick with Mariah Carey. Both reached the US Top 3, while rowdier cuts Pass the Courvoisier and Break Ya Neck also endure today.

In between his own music he appeared on dozens of other tracks with other artists – his headspinning contribution to Chris Brown’s Look at Me Now remains a high-water mark for lyrical technicality – including a string of reggae and dancehall tracks that reconnected with his heritage. He also cultivated a cadre of other rappers in the collective Flipmode Squad, co-produced his tracks as well as rapping on them, and had a parallel acting career in films such as the Samuel L Jackson remake of Shaft, Narc and Halloween: Resurrection.

After all-star 2020 comeback album Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, there’s now Blockbusta, made with a triumvirate of blue-chip exec producers: Pharrell, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. Ahead of its release on 24 November, Busta will answer your questions about his rich creative life – post them in the comments below by 3pm GMT on Monday 20 November.

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