Guest verses have always been a part of hip-hop, but they’ve grown in popularity over the years for a number of reasons: they put new talent in people’s ears, they keep established rappers sharp, and they keep the slightly gladiatorial element of competition between performers alive in an era when freestyle battle raps are seen as slightly antiquated. The right featured guest can turn a single into a smash—but it can also backfire if that rapper outshines the song’s main artist. But when that does happen, the results can be pretty magical. Here are 10 notable examples of guest rappers appearing on other rappers’ songs—and completely blowing them away. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Busta Rhymes (1-10 of 10)
Earlier today, Busta Rhymes dropped a new single, “Calm Down,” which finds the head-banging hip-hop iconoclast facing off against fellow veteran MC Eminem over the span of nearly six minutes atop a clangorous beat by Scoop DeVille that’s based around a sample of Bob & Earl’s “Harlem Shuffle,” better known as the horn part from House of Pain’s “Jump Around.” As you might expect from two of the most verbose rappers in the game, the song is a relentlessly dense torrent of lyric-spitting that reaffirms some of the classic battle-rap values that have fallen out of fashion in recent years while avoiding getting bogged down in any “get off my lawn” old-man attitude.
Busa Bus talked to EW today in an exclusive interview about “Calm Down.” Below, hear the track and read what he has to say about the song and about the first time he heard Eminem rap.
This summer, the only ticket that may be hotter than Dave Chappelle’s sold-out stand-up run at Radio City Music Hall is the reclusive comedian co-headlining the venue with some of his favorite musicians.
In a string of just-announced shows, Chappelle will share the Radio City stage with musical guests including the Roots, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, Busta Rhymes, and DJ Premier, with more to be announced. Each night of the June 24-26 stand will feature a different artist with a full orchestra accompaniment. Chappelle’s sold-out, stand-up-only dates are June 18-22. READ FULL STORY
Foo Fighters, The Roots, and Imagine Dragons will perform on a cruise ship ahead of the Super Bowl.
The bands will hit the stage on the Bud Light Hotel New York, which will be docked at Pier 88 in Manhattan on the Hudson River. The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 2 at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Roots will perform with Run-DMC and Busta Rhymes on Jan. 30, while Grammy-nominated Imagine Dragons will perform a day later.
Foo Fighters will headline the main event on Feb. 1, where Zac Brown Band will also perform.
Fall Out Boy and country singer Jake Owen will play a concert before the Super Bowl.
The cruise ship will offer lodging for 4,000 guests in 1,900 staterooms.
Just last week, one of the topics on EW Radio was the number of genre-defining hip-hop albums hitting their twentieth anniversaries this year.
Snoop Doggy Dogg’s Doggystyle, Wu-Tang Clan’s Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders, and Salt-N-Pepa’s Very Necessary all just wrapped their second decade. Those all represent different corners of the rap universe, and they all point to a crucial moment when hip-hop became such an overwhelming presence that mainstream culture had no choice but to move in its direction, rather than the other way around. The success of Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, which dropped in late ’92, started the trend, and it reached its apotheosis with the one-two punch of Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 debut Ready to Die and Tupac’s 1995 crossover smash Me Against the World.
Plenty of rap records had found their way to the upper echelon of the charts, though they were primarily pandering or novelty tracks (in ’92, both Kriss Kross’ “Jump” and Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Baby Got Back” became Hot 100 chart toppers). The albums from ’93 were purer hip-hop, and they were crafted by fantastically charismatic characters who were singular in their delivery and presentation. The success of Doggystyle was particularly jaw-dropping—listening to that album 20 years on, it still packs an incredible impact both as a unique piece of pop music and as a remarkably dirty statement of purpose.
Those albums are unimpeachable classics, and by design there’s not a whole lot more to add to that conversation. So let’s fast-forward five years to the albums from late ’98 that are now turning 15 years old. They represent a strange middle age for hip-hop, as its dominance on the pop chart began to be taken for granted and just about everybody began to lose their way.
There are plenty of notable big-ticket rap records from 1998’s fourth quarter, and none of them are classics. It could even be argued that not a single one of them is any good. But they do represent a culture in transition, and it’s a fascinating look at where hip-hop was and how it managed to get to the place it is now. So on the 15th anniversary of Busta Rhymes’ E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front, Method Man’s Tical 2000: Judgment Day, Mystikal’s Ghetto Fabulous, Ice Cube’s War & Peace Volume 1: The War Disc, RZA’s Bobby Digital In Stereo, DMX’s Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, Juvenile’s 400 Degreez, and Redman’s Doc’s Da Name 2000, here are 15 thoughts on the 15th anniversary of a weird time for hip-hop.
1. Everybody totally thought Y2K was going to be a real thing
For anybody too young or too unborn to remember Y2K, it seems utterly ridiculous. READ FULL STORY
What do we do with Busta Rhymes in 2013? It’s been more than a minute since his peak years of mainstream relevance — his first big break came on A Tribe Called Quest’s immortal 1992 single “Scenario” — but 2012’s Year of the Dragon was surprisingly strong, and there are more hits than misses on his Catastrophic mixtape from last year.
The internet has also been fairly excited about his new tag-team tape with Q-Tip, thanks to the single “Thank You,” which lets Busta do his lightning-tongue thing over some groovy old school new soul funk. It features the best Q-Tip verse in years, plus drop-ins from Kanye West and Lil Wayne — both of whom also appear in the spartan but satisfying video that just dropped this morning.
Give the clip a spin below and marvel at Kanye’s unwavering stare during one of Q-Tip’s verses at the 2:37 mark. It’s freaky: READ FULL STORY
Oh you know, just a bunch of bros hanging out and being legendary, lending a hand to other bros.
Kanye West, Q-Tip, and Lil Wayne join Busta Rhymes — and a fat-bottomed sample from Alicia Meyer’s 1981 disco treasure “I Want to Thank You” — on a new track from Busta’s upcoming Extinction Level Event 2, due next year.
And it’s pretty awesome; listen below: READ FULL STORY
Drake may be the greatest rapper alive. And now we might want to crown him the hardest working man in showbiz, too. On the New York stop of his “Would You Like a Tour?” at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last night (Oct. 28), the Toronto rapper emerged in workout-appropriate sneakers and a baby blue outfit that could’ve been a high-end take on the classic Canadian tuxedo, issued a formal introduction (“I go by the name of Aubrey Drake Graham”) and proceeded to pull out every last stop in romancing “one of the best audiences I have ever played for in my life.”
About three quarters of the way through the show, that included mounting a huge circular platform that dropped down from the ceiling and allowed him to call out section numbers in the nosebleeds, note women’s features that he liked (long legs, red hair) and chat up individuals in the crowd: “Hey, I see you in that Commes des Garçon hoodie … You! You’re clapping like you at a Miley Cyrus show …” If that soon seemed like a Borscht Belt routine (and it especially did when he described two men wearing suits as “Bernstein and Feldman over here”), the larger effort drew from the long tradition of soulmen wooing females from the stage. READ FULL STORY
There are many ways Busta Rhymes tries to get our attention in the new “Twerk It” video — wearing his best leather-daddy get-up, randomly morphing into Spider-Man baddy Venom, bringing in Pharrell Williams and DJ Khaled — but it’s all for naught, because the show clearly belongs to Nicki Minaj.
The song is called “Twerk It,” after all. Check it out below:
Chris Lighty, the hip-hop impresario and manager of the likes of Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent, and Diddy, has died. He was 44 years old.
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Lighty took his own life in his Bronx apartment this morning following an argument with his ex-wife. Though details remain scarce, authorities do know that he and his wife divorced last year, and that he may have owed as much as $5 million to the IRS in unpaid taxes.
At the turn of the century, being managed by Lighty and his Violator Entertainment shingle was a prestigious get — some of the biggest names in the music industry came under his guidance, including Mariah Carey, Missy Elliott, LL Cool J, Nas, and Ja Rule.
He began his career under the tutelage of Lyor Cohen and Russell Simmons as Rush Management in the late ’80s, later setting up Violator as one of the early multi-pronged management companies. They produced two compilations (Violator: The Album, and Violator: The Album, V2.0), which featured the likes of Q-Tip (performing his breakout solo single “Vivrant Thing”), Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, Cam’Ron, Cee-Lo, and Mase.
There was rarely a rap star from that era who didn’t come in contact with Lighty, who was known as a fair and savvy navigator of the ever-tumultuous waters of the hip-hop world, and he will undoubtedly be missed.
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