February 04, 2023



Busta Rhymes To Be Honored as a BMI Icon

An influential, lyrical master, and pioneer of hip-hop, Busta Rhymes is an instantly recognizable star across the hip-hop sphere. With an extensive, renowned discography, his work has touched many communities and across many generations. His far-reaching impact on the hip-hop world led him to be honored as a BMI Icon at the 2022 BMI (Broadcast Music Inc.) R&B/Hip-Hop Awards on September 7th. 

Busta Rhymes BMI Icon

Master of Flow

Busta Rhymes, or Trevor George Smith, initially started off in a hip-hop group called “Leaders of the New School.” While performing the opening act for the hip-hop group “Public Enemy,” the lead singer, Chuck D would give Smith his stage name “Busta Rhymes.” Afterward, Busta would quickly gain popularity for his unique fashion sense and rapping style. Busta’s raps are intricate and fast, utilizing internal rhyme and half rhyme schemes.


After “Leaders of the New School” broke up in 1993, Busta had already started going solo, making numerous guest appearances on other rappers’ songs. By 1996, he would release his solo debut album “The Coming.” This album would launch Busta to stardom, reaching number 6 on Billboards 200, and earning him a Grammy nomination. 


Following “The Coming,” Busta would release 10 more albums and nearly 100 more singles.  Additionally, he’s been nominated 12 times for a Grammy and won numerous BET Hip-Hop Awards such as the Best Live Performance in 2006 and Best Featured Verse in 2011. Among his most popular songs include hits such as “Touch It”, “I Know What You Want”, and “Break Ya Neck.”   


A BMI Icon

A BMI Icon is, “awarded to songwriters to honor their ‘unique and indelible influence on generations of music makers’”. And evidently, with credentials as stacked as Busta, it’s no wonder he was nominated. 


“As one of the pioneers of hip-hop, we are excited to honor Busta Rhymes as a BMI Icon,” said BMI vice-president Catherine Brewton. “Through his award-winning solo work, countless collaborations and acting, Busta is a true innovator in every sense of the word and has made a dynamic impact on legions of fans and music creators worldwide. His quick wit and intricate rapping style have made him legendary, inspiring many young performers to follow in his footsteps.” 


Busta will join Snoop Dog, Janet Jackson, The Jacksons, and other previous recipients of the BMI Icon award. 

You can access more information about the BMI Awards by clicking here!

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