Busta Rhymes Hiphops His Way Back On Top 2009: Times Sunday

Busta Rhymes hiphops his way back on top

The Times and Sunday Times for less Daniel Finkelstein Where am I For the first time in a couple of hours of motor-paced good
humour, the fire dims in Busta Rhymes’s eyes and his expressive face begins to show signs of impatience, even irritability. The 36-year-old rap star has spent the afternoon playing his forthcoming, eighth LP, Back on My B. S., to a dozen journalists in a Manhattan recording studio. Even in front of such a tiny crowd he remains the consummate showman: he’s got more bounce than Tigger, and the excitement he has for his new music is infectious. But he seems to slump when asked about the controversies that have swirled around him over the past four years: the string of court appearances on weapons and assault charges, the embarrassing 18 hours he spent in customs at London City airport before he was allowed into Britain to perform a charity gig last year, and the killing of a friend and bodyguard on the set of one of his videos in 2006. When I interviewed him then, he had been a pensive figure, discussing the loss and the sense of responsibility he felt for his friend’s death (“If I didn’t ask him to come to work, he’d have been at home with his family”) in the context of music that crackled with intimations of his own mortality. Now he prefers to focus on the present: “All I try to do is get past the shit, you know And I did.” Is it all passed now “I’m good,” he grins. “I’m in an amazing space in my life. I don’t have none of those issues no more and it feels great. ”
Over the course of a 20-year career, the likeable New Yorker has carved out a niche both as hip-hop’s court jester and as one of the music’s most successful iconoclasts, his gravel-throated baritone constantly sought out to spice up other people’s records, his own LPs bucking every trend by attracting ever-larger audiences.

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