Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes
Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes performing at University of California in 2005
Background information
Birth name Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr.
Born May 20, 1972 (1972-05-20) (age 39)
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, Actor
Years active 1989–present
Labels Conglomerate Records, Cash Money Records
Associated acts Leaders of the New School, Flipmode Squad, Spliff Star, Dr.Dre, The Notorious B.I.G., Pharrell Williams, Lil Wayne, Swizz Beatz, DMX
Website Official website

Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., better known by his stage name Busta Rhymes (born May 20, 1972),[1] is an American rapper, producer and actor. Chuck D of Public Enemy gave him the alias Busta Rhymes after NFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes. Early in his career, he was known for his wild style and fashion, and today is best known for his highly skilled rapping technique, which involves rapping at a much faster rate, and to date has received nine Grammy nominations for his musical work. About.com included him on its list of the 50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987 - 2007),[2] while Steve Huey of Allmusic called him one of the best and most prolific rappers of the '90s.[3]


Early life

Busta was born in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn ,to Jamaican parents Geraldine Green and Trevor Smith in 1972. Smith attended George Westinghouse Information and Technology High School, alongside Jay-Z, DMX and The Notorious B.I.G.[4][5][6][7] He went to Uniondale High School on Long Island, graduating in 1990.

Music career

With Leaders of the New School

Hip-hop crew Leaders of the New School began recording in 1989 and released their debut album A Future Without a Past in 1991 on Elektra Records. In early 1992 the group appeared on A Tribe Called Quest's posse cut "Scenario," in which Busta's climactic verse propelled him into the cultural consciousness.[8] In 1993, they released T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind's Eye). Soon after, however, internal problems arose because of Busta's increasing popularity, and the group broke up on the set of Yo! MTV Raps.

The Coming & When Disaster Strikes (1996-1997)

Busta broke out with a 1996 solo hit single, "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check" from his platinum record album The Coming. His second album, When Disaster Strikes, released in 1997, produced the hit singles "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" and "Fire It Up".

Extinction Level Event (Final World Front) (1998-1999)

In 1998, Busta recorded Extinction Level Event (Final World Front). Its lead single, "Gimme Some More" — which sampled Bernard Herrmann's theme from Psycho — reached number 6 in the UK singles chart in January 1999. Busta enjoyed further transatlantic success in April when the single "What's It Gonna Be?!", featuring Janet Jackson, reached the US and UK Top 11. The album received prominent notice for featuring the fastest rapping Busta has ever performed, particularly on a song called "Iz They Wildin Wit Us?", featuring a guest appearance by Mystikal.[9]


Busta Rhymes performing in 2006

Anarchy & Genesis (2000-2001)

In 2000, Busta recorded his final album for Elektra, entitled Anarchy. After Busta signed to J Records, a label started by the then recently ousted Arista Records chief and founder Clive Davis, he released a greatest hits collection[citation needed] alongside a new album of original work. Continuing the Biblical theme of his previous albums, he titled his record Genesis. The album featured collaborations with Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, Kelis, and others. Genesis was powered by the hit single with Kelis, "What It Is," and his solo single released in November 2001, "Break Ya Neck." The final single was the summer smash "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II", which featured Pharrell and P. Diddy. Despite the success of the two singles, this album did not sell as well as previous releases.

It Aint Safe No More (2002-2004)

In 2002, Busta released his seventh studio album It Ain't Safe No More. The album was moderately successful, with a hit song featuring Mariah Carey and the Flipmode Squad called "I Know What You Want". Another hit song was "Make It Clap", featuring Spliff Starr. The remix of "Make It Clap" featured Sean Paul. After its release, he left J Records. In 2004, he signed with Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment.


The Big Bang (2006)

His eighth studio album, The Big Bang, became the first #1 album of his career. The CD sold over 209,000 copies in its first week to earn the top spot on The Billboard Top 200.[10] The album also became his highest charting album in the UK, peaking at #19. Some of the album was leaked on the Internet, and as a result several songs were left off the album and new ones added. The Big Bang featured more production by Dr. Dre than Busta's previous releases, as well as appearances by Raekwon and Nas. The singles that have been released from the album are, "Touch It", "I Love My Chick", featuring Kelis and Will.I.Am, "New York Shit",featuring Swizz Beatz and "In The Ghetto". Busta also had a stint opening for Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi Tour. Also, Busta performed with Eminem on "Touch It Remix Part 5" and performed a verse on the aforementioned rapper's song, "I'll Hurt You". On July 17, 2008, Busta left Interscope/Aftermath due to a creative clash with Interscope head Jimmy Iovine.

Universal Motown

Back on My B.S. (2007-2009)

He also made a song featuring Linkin Park called "We Made It". It was later revealed that Busta inked a deal with Universal Motown, who released his ninth studio album, Back on My B.S., on May 19, 2009.[11] He also appeared on Asher Roth's debut album, Asleep in the Bread Aisle. The album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200, selling 56,000 copies, and was his first album to not receive an RIAA certification, selling 122,000 copies to date. The singles that have been released from the album are, "Arab Money", featuring Ron Browz, "Hustler's Anthem '09", featuring T-Pain and "Respect My Conglomerate". The song "World Go Round", featuring British singer Estelle, was released in France on April 6, 2009 due to the heavy rotation of a leaked version. The single was released in the UK on July 13, 2009. Due to controversial content, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has banned the album. Back on My B.S. was released internationally, but because of one song, "Arab Money", it is not available to buy as a CD there (however, the album can still be purchased via iTunes). According to the National Media Council, the lyrics were considered to be offensive to Arabs and to Islam, and permission for distribution was therefore denied. Some DJs, artists and fans have lambasted the track, saying it portrayed Arabs in a stereotypical way. The first part out of three of the remix by Rhymes contains verses from the Quran. In November, when "Arab Money" was released as a single, DJ Dany Neville and the Iraqi rapper The Narcicyst responded by recorded a reply. Busta later apologized. DJs in the country said they had not received an order banning the record from being spun in nightclubs, and they had mixed feelings on whether the record was offensive or not.[12] DJ Saif of Dubai said:

I don't play 'Arab Money' because it's disrespectful on Arabs. I don't think there is a ban on playing it in clubs, but many here don't play it anyway.[12]

The Emirati DJ Bliss, who has his own show on Radio 1 in Dubai, also says he no longer plays "Arab Money". He added:

I used to play the original version in the club, but out of respect for the laws here in my country, I haven’t played it since.[12]

Conglomerate Records & E.L.E. 2 (2010-present)

Busta announced that he was working on his tenth studio album, alongside Canadian producer Boi-1da, entitled The Chemo. He says that his next project is 80 percent finished.[13] Busta has reportedly changed the title of his forthcoming Chemo album to Extinction.Level.Event.2 (E.L.E. 2).[14] Some new songs are being considered for the album, including "C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise) by Tiësto and Diplo and "Look at Me Now" alongside Chris Brown and Lil Wayne. The trend of album sequels continues with Busta adding another chapter to his 1998 opus E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front. Busta's manager Chris Lighty sent out the message via Twitter. He said; "Extinction.Level.Event 2 ......prepare yourself." Like the first, E.L.E. 2 is inspired by movies of impending destruction on planet Earth, Lighty said; "From the Intro of the new Busta Album you're going to know you're in trouble and you just turned on 2012 the movie on warp speed,".

DJ Premier, in an August 6, 2010 interview on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio said Busta Rhymes has received over eight beats which he didn't want to use but Premier hoped his next beat would be chosen for inclusion on the album.[15] On DJ Premier's Live From Headqcourterz radio show Premier confirmed that one of his beats were to be included in E.L.E. 2. In 2010, Busta Rhymes formed his new label Conglomerate Records (With later on having rosters such as N.O.R.E., and Spliff Star). He was featured on C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise) by Tiësto and Diplo.

In 2011, Rhymes recorded "Look at Me Now" with Chris Brown and Lil Wayne on Brown's fourth album, F.A.M.E., the song has received favorable reviews regarding Rhymes guest verse on the song, and is his highest chart entry on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number six, while reaching number one on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, becoming his first #1 on that chart. On September 7, 2011, Rhymes received six nominations for the BET Hip Hop Awards, held on October 11, 2011.

On May 1, 2011 Rhymes appeared on the launch show for MNET's Big Brother Africa 6: Amplified and performed some of his songs.

In 2011, Busta Rhymes performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos.[16]

Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber will feature Busta on a song called "Drummer Boy" off Bieber's sophomore studio album, Under the Mistletoe, released on 1 November, 2011.[17]

On November 11th 2011, a Heavy D tribute song titled "You Ain’t Gotta Wait Till I’m Gone" was leaked.[18]

On November 16, 2011, it was announced that Busta Rhymes signed to Cash Money Records[19]

Personal life

Busta has three kids with his ex-girlfriend, Joanne Wood, T'Ziah (born 1993), T'Khi (born 1999), and Trillian (born 2000).


Busta had been a member of The Nation of Gods and Earths[20] since the age of 15.[21] On Sep-2-2007, a video was uploaded on Liveleak.com about Busta Rhymes having converted to Islam.[22]He himself has said that he lives his life by Islam, stating he is Muslim & loves Allah.

Legal issues

On August 20, 2006, he was arraigned for charges of third-degree assault after attacking a man who reportedly spat on his car in New York City on August 12 after the AmsterJam Music Festival on Randall's Island.[23]

On October 24, 2006, he appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court as the district attorney's office attempted to amend previous charges against him to include weapons possession for a machete found in his car. The judge, ShawnDya Simpson, refused to add the charge and adjourned the case.[24][25]

On February 20, 2007, Busta refused a plea deal offered by the prosecutors office for the assault of his former driver, Edward Hatchett. The deal would have entailed six months in jail and pleading guilty to two assaults, the attack on Hatchett, and the attack on the former fan. The dispute with Hatchett is believed to have originated over back pay Hatchett felt he was owed. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Becki Rowe offered Busta another option, pleading guilty to third-degree assault. The conditions of the proposed sentence would include five days of community service, two weeks of youth lectures and six months of anger management classes, as well as three years of probation. On March 18, 2008 a judge in New York City sentenced Busta to three years' probation, 10 days' community service, $1250 in fines (plus court costs), and to enroll in a drunken driving program.[25][26][27][28]

On September 25, 2008, he was temporarily refused entry to the United Kingdom due to "unresolved convictions".[29]

On October 14, 2009, a Brooklyn judge ordered Busta to pay a concert goer $75,000 in compensation for an assault which occurred in 2003.[30]


Awards and Nominations

Busta Rhymes has been nominated for 9 Grammy Awards during his 15 year solo career, but has yet to win one.

Grammy Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1997 "Woo-Hah! Got You All in Check" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
1998 "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
1999 "Dangerous" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
2000 "Gimme Some More" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated
2000 "What's It Gonna Be?" Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group Nominated
2000 E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front Best Rap Album Nominated
2001 "Fire" Best Music Video, Short Form Nominated
2003 "Pass the Courvoisier Pt. 2" Best Performance By a Duo or Group Nominated
2007 "Touch It" Best Rap Solo Performance Nominated

Busta Rhymes has been nominated for 10 MTV Video Music Awards during his 15 year solo career, but has yet to win one.

MTV Video Music Awards

Year Nominated work Award Result
1996 "Woo-Hah! Got You All in Check" Best Breakthrough Video Nominated
1998 "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" Best Rap Video Nominated
1998 "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" Best Male Video Nominated
1998 "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" Best Breakthrough Video Nominated
1999 "What's It Gonna Be?" Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
1999 "Gimme Some More" Best Breakthrough Video Nominated
2002 "Pass the Courvoisier Pt. 2" Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
2003 "I Know What You Want" Best Hip-Hop Video Nominated
2006 "Touch It" Best Rap Video Nominated
2006 "Touch It" Best Male Video Nominated

See also


  1. ^ "The Week". The Washington Post: p. C14. May 20, 2002. 
  2. ^ http://rap.about.com/od/toppicks/ss/Top50Emcees_3.htm
  3. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/anarchy-r486345/review
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ "Busta Rhymes Biography (May 20, 1973-)". Filmreference.com. http://www.filmreference.com/film/61/Busta-Rhymes.html. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  6. ^ Century, Douglas (January 26, 2002). "Rhymes and reason". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2002/jan/26/weekend7.weekend2. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mom of star rapper Busta Rhymes loses 145 pounds, shows there's hope for others fighting obesity". Jet. 2004. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1355/is_21_106/ai_n7580052/. 
  8. ^ Young, Kevin. Unwrapping the Message. Bookforum. Accessed November 16, 2010.
  9. ^ Bush, John (1972-05-20). "allmusic Biography". Allmusic.com. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/p61282/biography. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  10. ^ "All Music - The Big Bang". http://www.allmusic.com/album/r834513/charts-awards. 
  11. ^ Exclusive: Busta Rhymes Signs with Universal Motown. Rap-up.com.'.' Retrieved September 17, 2008.
  12. ^ a b c "Busta Rhymes album banned over track that quotes Quran - The National Newspaper". Thenational.ae. 2009-05-28. http://www.thenational.ae/article/20090529/NATIONAL/705289848/1010. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Busta Rhymes Brings Chemo To Hip Hop | Busta Rhymes". Rap Basement. 2009-09-02. http://www.rapbasement.com/busta-rhymes/090209-busta-rhymes-says-hes-80-percent-done-with-new-the-chemo-album.html. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  14. ^ "Busta Rhymes Changes Title Of New Album | Busta Rhymes". Rap Basement. 2010-05-10. http://www.rapbasement.com/busta-rhymes/051010-busta-rhymes-changes-title-of-new-album-from-chemo-to-extinction-level-event-2-watch-here.html. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  15. ^ "DJ Premier talks of Busta Rhymes on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio Aug 6th 2010". Conspiracyworldwide.podomatic.com. 2010-08-07. http://conspiracyworldwide.podomatic.com/entry/index/2010-08-07T11_24_08-07_00. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Video: 2011 Gathering Of The Juggalos Infomercial". Ilpvideo.com. 2011-06-18. http://ilpvideo.com/video.php?v=MjQ5NjA. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  17. ^ "Justin Bieber Unwraps ‘Mistletoe’ Tracklisting with Mariah Carey, Usher, & Busta Rhymes". Rap-Up.com. http://www.rap-up.com/2011/10/05/justin-bieber-unwraps-mistletoe-tracklisting-with-mariah-carey-usher-busta-rhymes/. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  18. ^ ""You Ain't Gotta Wait Til I'm Gone (Heavy D Tribute)"". HipHopDX.com. 2011-11-11. http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/singles/id.17612/title.busta-rhymes-you-aint-gotta-wait-til-im-gone-heavy-d-tribute. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  19. ^ ""New Music: Busta Rhymes x Chris Brown 'Why Stop Now'"". RapRadar.com. 2011-11-16. http://rapradar.com/2011/11/16/new-music-busta-rhymes-x-chris-brown-why-stop-now/. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  20. ^ "Nation of Gods and Earths/Five Percent FAQ (frequently asked questions)". Blackapologetics.com. http://www.blackapologetics.com/fivepercentfaq.html. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  21. ^ "Busta Rhymes on 5 Percenter & Nation of Islam". Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zjHRXeM8g4. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
  22. ^ "Busta Rhymes Converts to Islam". liveleak.com. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=c68_1188723453&c=1. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  23. ^ P-I staff, news services (2006-08-21). "People in the News: Busta Rhymes busted". Seattle Post-Intelligencer (Hearst Corporation). http://www.seattlepi.com/people/281942_people21.html. Retrieved 2007-05-11. 
  24. ^ Hartocollis, Anemona (October 25, 2006). "Rappers Come and Go, Serving Justice and Their Fans". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/nyregion/25rap.html?_r=1&ref=nyregion&oref=slogin. Retrieved April 27, 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Rapper Busta Rhymes considers judge’s plea offer". Boston Herald. February 20, 2007. http://thetrack.bostonherald.com/moreTrack/view.bg?articleid=183987. [dead link]
  26. ^ "Rapper Busta Rhymes considers plea deal for misdemeanor assault with no jail time". Court TV. February 21, 2007. http://www.courttv.com/people/2007/0220/busta_rhymes_ap.html. 
  27. ^ Gregorian, Dareh (February 21, 2007). "Rhymes Could 'Beat' The Rap". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/02212007/news/regionalnews/rhymes_could_beat_the_rap_regionalnews_dareh_gregorian.htm. 
  28. ^ Woo Hah! Judge's Got Busta All in Check! - TMZ.com - Entertainment News, Celebrity Gossip and Hollywood Rumors
  29. ^ "Rapper Rhymes detained at airport". BBC. September 25, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7635992.stm. Retrieved 2008-09-25. 
  30. ^ Demarche, Edmund; Sanderson, Bill (December 4, 2009). "Busta fined 75G for fan assault". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/busta_fined_for_fan_assault_hzaq1jj4lxauqfulTytkuI. 

External links

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