NOTE: THIS INTERVIEW WAS CONDUCTED BEFORE THE TRAGIC DEATH OF ISRAEL RAMIREZ,
BUSTA RHYMES' BODYGUARD.
you feel about the way "The Big Bang" came out?
pleased with the way it came out. The shit is crazy.
you want to give people with the album?
thorough, substantial, quality Hip Hop music.
feel like the time off has helped you?
is definitely one of my greatest weapons with this album. I was real patient
and took my time. You're under high scrutiny with Dr. Dre overseeing the
situation. I definitely think taking some time off and kicking back has
allowed me to make the best Hip Hop album people have heard in the last
couple of years.
a long process recording this album?
take us long to record songs. It depends on the concept of the record
and how much is going into the record. For the most part, I recorded so
many records for this album because I had so much time to work and be
creative that I think the time that it took to make the album, even though
it was about three years, it went by quick.
you decide what made the album and what wouldn't?
decision-making process was to see what songs would survive the test of
time. There are songs that I made three years ago and songs that I made
now that I had to choose from. Some songs that I loved survived the cut,
and a lot that I made back then didn't. It's really about what songs feel
the most powerful. When we listen to everything, we do a scaling-down
process every couple of months. You have to keep the hottest 20 songs,
and we might change that up. We try to keep it at 20 because I don't think
I'll put more than 15 songs on the record. The process of scaling-down
lets you see what songs have that uncompromising, dominant, powerful effect
that will set a new standard in terms of quality of music.
was Dr. Dre in this process?
was involved throughout the whole process in a major way. He let me do
me because he respects my creative point of view on things. That's why,
after all of these years, we decided to come together. He has his legacy
and I have mine. We respect each other's legacy and we respect each other's
work. We came together to not compromise each other's work, but to add
to it. Dre let me do my thing, but he was part of the decision-making
process on every song. When I felt a song was done, he would listen to
it and give me his input. When we got towards the end of the album, Dre
came to the table and lent his contributions production-wise, lyrically,
and sonically with the way he hears things. He'd have me go spit verses
over and different lines. We would try a few different things to make
you feel that you have the latest, greatest Busta Rhymes shit. Dr. Dre
definitely lent his genius to the album in every way, from production
to spitting on a record with me, and he mixed the album. The quality of
the sound is crazy because when Dre mixes an album, it's has a crystal-clear,
bass-heavy bang to it.
"The Big Bang" relates to the beginning of time. Do you see
this as being a new beginning for you?
absolutely. Everything is new. New money, new cars, new cribs, new record
label, new people to promote my shit. It's a whole new transformation
and rebirth. It feels so fucking great to be in a position like this.
Everything feels like all of the dots are connected and I couldn't be
more excited with how things are going with this project.
always been able to keep your name out there on remixes and features,
but you've been quiet on those lately. How come?
to be quiet when I was working on my album. I only did the Pussycat Dolls'
song and the Ying Yang Twins' "Whisper" remix. I do the remixes
when it's time so that people can have choices in how they want to hear
me, and I have to constantly remind motherfuckers how hot I am. You have
to slap motherfuckers around a little bit that you're one of the best
that ever did it and continues to do it.
important to me. I can never be boxed into one particular area. I rep
the game the way I feel it should be repped. That's the most important
thing. I'm not going to do shit that sounds like what everybody else is
doing. Then you're bunched up with everyone else and they can't tell you
apart. It's always been a beneficial factor for me and I've always used
it to my advantage. Being versatile and freaking many different styles
makes it more difficult for the motherfuckers trying to compete to keep
up with you. I have fun with that shit.
see you doing more reggae joints soon?
I have joints with Elephant Man sitting in the stash box and I got a joint
with Sizzla in the street right now. We just want everything to hit the
streets at the right time.
you get down with Raekwon for his "Only Built for Cuban Linx 2"?
I am a major
fan of him and Wu-Tang. I'm a major supporter of the whole Wu-Tang movement.
Rae and I have a great friendship and it was a collaboration of the minds
coming together and helping each other establish what quality Hip Hop
is. New York has to represent in a certain way. We have to change the
way it's being represented. I'm trying to lead by example. I hope that
if people think I'm doing something right, they would come to the table.
Motherfuckers are usually so much on their own dick that nobody's trying
to help each other get it popping. Raekwon doesn't need my help to get
it popping. His skills are so fucking sharp. Look at what he has in the
streets sizzling right now. Raekwon is my peoples and everyone in the
Wu-Tang is my peoples. It was good to be able to rep with him. It's good
to collaborate with another artist. I'm supporting his project from the
sideline. I'm making myself accessible to what he needs because I'm such
a fan. We're working together to create a masterpiece.
up with Flipmode today?
with me, but we have different members. If I'm going to be new in every
aspect that I'm moving, then Flipmode has to step up and be new as well.
We have Chauncey Black from Blackstreet, and we have a new artist, Labba,
from Brooklyn. We still have Spliff Star and Rah Digga. M.Dollaz is in
the clique too, but he's doing some time right now. He'll be home before
the end of the year. Look forward to hearing everyone on a new Flipmode
the ladies reacted to your new haircut?
getting a great response from everybody. Motherfuckers are finally getting
to see the kid. The hair was always a trademark of Busta Rhymes, but right
now, I'm trying to give the world me in my rawest form. I need people
to really get a clear and thorough understanding of who Busta Rhymes is
as a man and an artist, and as a major contributor to the game.
have any plans to grow the dreads back?
this. I'm going to keep this for a while.
you're a big car guy, what's your favorite car right now?
I would have
to say the Phantom.
you compare "The Big Bang" to your other albums?
I don't compare
it because it's not like anything I've released in the past. It supersedes
everything that I've ever released.
you want to say to everyone out there?
Big Bang" is an album that is going to give you a substantial and
thorough representation of what quality Hip Hop is supposed to sound and
feel like. You're going to get a clear understanding of what made Busta
Rhymes the person you've come to know and love. I've gotten real personal
on this project to let people connect with me. For the record, I have
Stevie Wonder on the album, the late, great Rick James on the album, the
late, great ODB on the album, the late, great Notorious B.I.G., Raekwon,
Q-Tip, Eminem, and Dr. Dre. Production is from Dr. Dre, Timbaland, The
Neptunes, Mr. Porter, Jay Dee, Green Lantern, Swizz Beats, and Just Blaze.
It's a real serious project. Ain't nobody fucking with "The Big Bang."
When I drop this shit, I'm going to bang the streets real big. Be real
clear on what it is. Busta Rhymes is going to reestablish who's the throne-holder
of this rap shit.