Busta Rhymes is a rapper and producer hailing from Brooklyn, New York, United States who was born on the 20th of May 1972. He is one of the most respected rappers of his generation and has released nine studio albums since his debut in 1996.
Born Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr to Jamaican parents in Brooklyn, New York, Busta Rhymes came from the same fertile breeding ground as many of the biggest rappers of all time. While he might not have achieved their commercial success, very few other rappers around command the kind of respect that Busta gets from everyone who knows anything about Hip-Hop. Moving to Long Island, New York with his family at the age of 12, Busta would attend George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School alongside Jay-Z, DMX and The Notorious B.I.G before graduating High School in 1991 from Uniondale High School. School, however, was already in the back of Busta’s mind by then.
In 1989, he’d formed his first rap group with fellow New Yorkers Charlie Brown (Bryan Higgins), Dinco D (James Jackson) and Cut Monitor Milo (Sheldon Scott) while still at Uniondale High School. They called themselves Leaders Of The New School and generated such a buzz that before Busta had graduated high school, his group had opened for the mighty Public Enemy and landed a record deal with Elektra Records at the tender age of 17. His first record with Leaders Of The New School was released in the same year he graduated high school, 1991, and while “A Future Without A Past…” wasn’t an enormous commercial success, it was critically adored, and gave the group three top ten singles on the Billboard Hot Rap singles charts.
However, as the group grew in popularity, Busta started grabbing the lion’s share of the public’s attention, stealing the spotlight from the other members of the band. This began in 1992 after he stole the show on a guest spot on A Tribe Called Quest’s track “Scenario”, and despite releasing their second record in 1993, the band split up on the set of MTV’s hip-hop show Yo! MTV Raps. This left the stage set for a solo career, and in 1996 he released his debut solo single “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check”. The track was a smash hit, peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and proving beyond reasonable doubt that Busta gone solo was a force to be reckoned with.
Busta’s name got even bigger in 1998 with the release of his third record “Extinction Level Event (Final World Front)”, which made him a star in the U.K and Europe and continued his imperial phase in his home country with the best reviews of his career and hit single “What’s It Gonna Be?!” which featured Janet Jackson. Since then, it would be easier to compile a list of the artists that Busta hasn’t worked with, with Nas, Eminem, Pharrell and Nicki Minaj naming but a few. His flow is impeccable, his style unmistakeable, and over twenty-five years into his career, he still has the power to take a track and make it a hit. For that, Busta comes highly recommended.