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Busta Rhymes Talks New Album; Eyes Nicki Minaj Collaboration

Bryan Bedder, Getty Images

When it comes to hip-hop, Busta Rhymes has literally seen and done it all. The Brooklyn-born MC, who made his musical introduction in 1991 with the influential underground rhyme group Leaders of the New School, has witnessed (and at times collaborated in) the rise of the influential Native Tongues crew; experienced Death Row Records’ rule over the rap industry; saw New York’s return to glory with landmark releases by Nas, the Wu-Tang Clan, and the Notorious B.I.G.; weathered the violent murders of Biggie and Tupac; studied the dominance of Master P‘s south; and became a platinum superstar in his own right.

Which is why Busta laughs at the mention of the R-word: retirement. The animated showman says he’s currently finishing up his ninth studio album, adding that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. “I’m really taking my time with this one,” Busta says of his new, untitled release. “I’m going into this one different than the last album. I don’t want to start talking about producers and album titles just yet because I don’t want to spoil anything. But you know I’m going to come out with that good s—. I promise you that. I’ve been in the business for a minute and I still have a hunger for it. I’m not going to stop until the people tell me to.”

One of the biggest reasons why Busta Rhymes has been able to stay relevant within hip-hop, despite a slide in record sales, is his flurry of guest appearances and unofficial remixes. Chief among the current remixes are his song-stealing verses on Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s ‘H.A.M’ and Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Roman’s Revenge.’ On the former track, which many rap fans have cited as lyrically superior to the original, Busta says he’s humbled but not surprised at the positive reaction his version has received.

Listen to Busta Rhymes’ ‘H.A.M’ Remix

“That’s what people are supposed to be saying,” Busta muses of the buzz. “I take pride in still being able to be amongst the best MCs. This is what I do. I respect both [Jay-Z and Kanye West]. I just wanted to put my stamp on the song.”

As for the latter Nicki Minaj track, he is hopeful that he will appear in the future video for ‘Roman’s Revenge,’ a track that utilized Busta’s now iconic “Rah-rah, like a dungeon dragon” line first heard on A Tribe Called Quest‘s indelible 1991 posse cut ‘Scenario.’


Listen to Busta Rhymes’ ‘Roman’s Revenge’ Remix

“It would be only right,” Busta says of a future collaboration with the platinum Barbie. “I would definitely be down to appear in the video. I really like what Nicki did with the whole dungeon dragon thing. I’ve been doing a lot of remixes lately and I’ve gotten nothing but positive responses. This is bigger than hit records. I love what I do.”

No word yet on when Busta Rhymes’ next release will drop, but the rapper says fans can expect new music later this year.

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