Busta Rhymes - Back on My B.S.

Posted 7 years ago
Tags: Busta Rhymes,

If only Busta Rhymes was an athlete, his decline would be much easier to explain. Athlete’s...

Back on My B.S. Album Review

If only Busta Rhymes was an athlete, his decline would be much easier to explain. Athlete’s inevitably get old: ligaments tear, knees get weak, the body gives out. But hip-hop is more mental than physical: as long as the mind stays sharp, a rapper could spit until his nursing home days (though at that age he’d probably be spitting pudding). So how do we explain Busta’s slow and gradual disintegration from hurricane-force microphone destroyer to “that guy who did that Arab song with the T-Pain sounding dude”?

Don’t forget, there was a time when Busta Rhymes was arguably the most creative man in hip-hop, a time when he held the entire rap game in check – woo ha! – while America begged him to give us some more. Then, and it seems like Pass the Courvoisier was a turning point, Busta took a decidedly more commercial turn. The former leader of the new school began to water his music down, a trend that’s unfortunately continued on his new album, Back On My B.S.. Fans who only know Busta from the Touch It era should rightfully enjoy Back On My B.S., but for those of us who grew up listening to the mad rapper’s schizophrenic flows, Busta’s latest effort will be just another opportunity to pull out that old Scenario tape and ask nostalgically, remember when...?

Now I’ve got nothing against making money, especially in this economy, but did it have to be Arab Money? I’ve got so many problems with this track it’s hard to know where to start. First, Busta’s flow is anemic by his standards, plus the lyrics only occasionally make sense: he apparently doesn’t read the news because Arafat’s been dead for five years and taking “trips to Baghdad” isn’t exactly a good idea. Second, can some Arabic speaking member of the DJBooth family tell me if the hook’s actually sung in Arabic, or is it just gibberish? My money’s on gibberish. As long as we’re on the subject, it’s good to see Ron Browz again, but he’s too good a producer to resort to knockoff auto-tune tricks. Speaking of which, the real T-Pain shows up for the slowly pounding Husler’s Anthem ’09. If this was almost any other rappers' track I could shut up and enjoy it, but for the great Busta Rhymes, Hustler’s Anthem is nothing short of lazy.

Thankfully, at times Busta does indeed get back on his bulls**t, starting with the guttural Wheel of Fortune, a cut featuring Busta returning to his constantly shifting rhyme style, with more than a couple references to his classic verse on the aforementioned Scenario. As amusing as it is, Wheel of Fortune was intended as more of an intro than a full-fledged banger. That’s why I’m a bigger fan of the offbeat I’m a Go and Get My..., a track that transforms a street quote into a hook and recaptures some of the Busta’s boundary-breaking magic. Hell, I’ll even take the island-themed Kill Dem, a Neptunes-produced track that allows Busta to slip into his Jamaican patois, or the concrete-hard Respect My Conglomerate, even though Busta is arguably only the third-best rapper on his own track (well done Weezy and Jada). Ultimately, tracks like Go and Get My and Kill Dem are easily Back On My B.S.’s high points, and honestly, they’re not all that high.

Let’s get back to the original question; what happened to Busta? Why is Back on My B.S. so disappointingly average? We may never know for sure, but my guess is that about five years ago Busta made a conscious decision to change his focus from making great music to making successful music. That’s the only way to explain how a track like the quasi-house World Go Round gets on the same album as the formulaic Don’t Believe Em and the undeniably dope Decision. Busta tried to make an album everyone would like – and buy – and in the process only made an album no one will love. If Busta Rhymes was once the Michael Jordan of rap, we may now be witnessing the Washington Wizards portion of his career. When Busta’s deservingly inaugurated into my imaginary Hip-Hop Hall of Fame and the montage video of his career is playing, I seriously doubt it will feature any Back on My B.S. highlights.

DJBooth Rating - 3 Spins

Comments
Written by
Posted 7 years ago
Get The PLUG app by DJBooth and get the best hip-hop writing and news delivered daily.

Sample Text - Sample Link
0:00
3:00
Shrink
Hide

More from Busta Rhymes

Featured Video

Hip Hop News

Mick Jenkins “The Healing Component” Album Review

The Chicago emcee does a stellar job of reminding us that love is the key to life. Read More
Posted 10 hours ago by Tara Mahadevan

What Indie Artists Can Learn From Joyner Lucas Signing With Atlantic Records

There are a lot of illusions in hip-hop, but there's no replacing skill and determination. Read More
Posted 15 hours ago by DJ Z

A$AP Rocky Is Working on Third Studio Album, You Should Be Excited

The Mob leader is in the studio with producer Jim Jonsin and the legendary Lenny Kravitz. Read More
Posted 19 hours ago by DJ Z

Ralo Made $12 Million By Selling Drugs, But Rap Pays Him Freedom

“Whatever God got for me. Rich, broke, I just wanna be happy.” Read More
Posted 20 hours ago by Anna Dorn

Kevin Abstract Proves His Prowess as a Director With Fearless “Empty” Video

Kevin Abstract continues to display his talents as a musician and as video director in his last visual masterpiece. Read More
Posted 21 hours ago by Yoh

Terrace Martin Explains Why Kendrick Lamar Feels “No Pressure” to Follow-Up “TPAB”

K. Dot's close collaborator speaks on meeting high expectations post-"TPAB." Read More
Posted 21 hours ago by Marcus Blackwell

TRENDING NOW



Flame

TOP 20 MUSIC CHARTS


Discover the best new songs, videos, and albums added to the Booth.