Long-tenured and long-celebrated Brooklyn MC Busta Rhymes just returned for Blockbusta, his 10th studio album. It follows up his The Fuse Is Lit EP from last year and 2020’s Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest entry into the legendary rapper’s catalog.
The Second Leg of Busta Rhymes’ Career
2020 brought fans Busta Rhymes’ first album in over 8 years, the opening salvo to a new of chapter of his music that saw him regaining his footing after making waves on hits like “Look At Me Now” in the early 2010s. If his “living legend” status wasn’t already certified on his own merits, the feature list for Extinction Level Event 2 certainly did—boasting fellow icons like Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and Rakim, as well as other huge notables like Mariah Carey and Chris Rock.
The aforementioned EP, however, showed off a continued commitment to the art of MCing. Rhymes enlisted the likes of Big Daddy Kane and Conway the Machine for the material on that one, bringing venerated wordsmiths into the mix to champion how he regards lyricism over everything else.
Busta Rhymes’ Blockbusta Leans Commercial with Its Collaborators
True to form and its title, Blockbusta delivers another twist and development with its cast. It’s a concerted effort to show his ability to blend in with the current scene. Quavo, Young Thug, Bia, Coi Leray, Yung Bleu and Kodak Black are among the new generation artists that earned featured appearances. In a similar vein, he enlists a who’s who of producers for the same purpose. A triumvirate of Pharrell Williams, Timbaland and Swizz Beats earn executive producer credits here, each having been behind the boards for the Brooklyn rapper in the past.
As you may be able to guess given the wide range of talent that Busta Rhymes brought into the studio for Blockbusta, the results cover a broad sonic spectrum. On “LUXURY LIFE,” the lead single for the project and Coi Leray’s appearance, he throws back to the ’90s for a bouncy, Bonnie and Clyde-esque back and forth. Despite the chart-topping status of who he’s sharing the mic with here, the song is just as off-kilter and quirky as any of his early catalog.
The Industry Vet Tries Out Plenty of Styles
“ROBOSHOTTA,” sliding in towards the end of the project, is another “worlds collide” type moment. The production sounds like 2014 radio, a dead ringer for a Mike Will Made It production from that era, but Burna Boy and Busta Rhymes over top are decidedly dancehall. And of course, there are plenty of trap-focused cuts here as well. “REMIND ‘EM” has a claim to being the best of those, with Quavo delivering a cinematic hook that guides an anthemic atmosphere. “HOMAGE” featuring Kodak Black is far more sleek in the way that approaches the same prompt, but is just as illustrative of Busta Rhymes’ versatility. Even if he’s a bit out of his comfort zone over Tay Keith production, he’s typically nimble and dextrous all the same.
It should be said that Busta Rhymes wearing so many hats up and down the tracklist does take away from the project in terms of cohesion. Jumping from lane to lane the way he does on Blockbusta means that there isn’t a true home base, but the album’s function provides plenty of highlights with the iconic rapper taking to more modern stylings. You can find Blockbusta now on all streaming platforms.