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Music / Busta Rhymes

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Busta Rhymes (real name: Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr., born May 20, 1972) is an American rapper. He is known for his distinctive style that combines rapid-fire delivery with a Reggae-influenced flow, gonzo humour and Large Ham tendencies.

Named after Vikings wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes by Chuck D, Busta was born in the Red Hook area of New York to Jamaican parents. He was part of rap crew Leaders of the New School while still in high school; he first entered the hip-hop mainstream by appearing on A Tribe Called Quest's posse track "Scenario" from The Low End Theory (known these days as the verse that inspired Nicki Minaj's "dungeon dragon" hook).


Woo-Hah!! Got these tropes in check:

  • Attention Whore: Was considered this by fellow Leaders of the New School member, Charlie Brown.
  • Bears Are Bad News: The skit at the end of "Do The Bus A Bus" on the Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front features a scout master who refuses to play Busta Rhymes for the scouts. He doesn't notice the grizzly bear sneaking up behind him until it's too late, despite warnings from the scouts.
  • Boastful Rap: A lot.
  • Concept Video: "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" is based on the first part of Coming to America, while "Dangerous" is based off Lethal Weapon(and a bit from The Last Dragon). Part of "Pass the Courvosier" takes a scene from Rush Hour 2.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: His albums When Disaster Strikes and Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front (and its upcoming sequel) deal with apocalyptic themes.
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  • Freestyle Version: He does freestyle versions a lot, for instance over such songs as Kendrick Lamar's "Backseat Freestyle" and "Poetic Justice" and Drake's "Best You Ever Had".
  • Glam Rap: Busta's later albums (usually starting after Anarchy) have sometimes been criticised for abandoning his apocalyptic themes and surreal humour and moving more towards this direction. (Compare "Arab Money" to "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See", for instance.)
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: TMZ covered this aspect of him twice, once with him in a rage against a gym owner, then one where he nearly got into a fight with a fan.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: With producer Swizz Beatz.
  • Large Ham: Busta Rhymes is one of rap's shining beacons of ham-ness.
  • Motor Mouth: For a recent example with radio airplay, check his verse on Chris Brown's "Look at Me Now". His fastest rhyming is on E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event), specifically his collaboration with Mystikal, "Iz They Wildin Wit Us & Gettin' Rowdy Wit Us?"
  • Overly Long Gag: The intro to Extinction Level Event, "There's Only One Year Left!!! (Intro)", has a long monologue wherein Busta recounts what will happen after The End of the World as We Know It in increasingly comical detail (and in a voice that gradually becomes an evil growl).
  • Rap Rock: "This Means War!!!"—which samples Black Sabbath's "Iron Man"—and "We Made It" with Linkin Park.
  • Sampling: "Touch It" famously sampled "Technologic" by Daft Punk.
    • The chorus of "Dangerous" samples the first four lyrics from "We're Not Candy", a 1983 Long Island Regional Poison Control Council Public Service Announcement warning children that pills are not candy.
    • "Gimme Some More" samples part of the soundtrack from the original 1960 version of Psycho.
    • "Woo-Hah! Got You all in Check" samples Galt MacDermot's "Space". And you know this because the album precedes the track with nearly half the piece.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Him stepping into the spotlight and gaining more exposure than his bandmates are the primary reasons why his group Leaders Of the New School broke up in the 90s.
  • Vocal Dissonance: At least back then, where his gruff vocals were an anomaly to his rail-thin physique. Nowadays, he's got the body to match his vocals.


Example of: