Man, this album review shit
ain't as easy as it seems. It is hard to just review the album at hand and not
review the man (or woman as it may be). Quality of the album aside, is The Big Bang really a Busta Rhymes album? But we'll get to
that in a minute. The legacy of Bussa
Bus can't really be called into question, as a young man he was
show-stealing frontman of Native Tongue
little brothers Leaders of the New
School. It was only natural that the high energy emcee would go
solo and he did just that with the ridiculous single "Woo-Hah!
(Got You All In Check)" in 1996. But as it would become the trend
of his career, the album didn't live up to the hype of the single. Year after
year, Busta would steal
the spotlight with blazing guest verses, drop a crazy catchy single and then
disappoint with the LP. One thing that was always consistent was Busta bouncing off the walls,
displaying that charisma that long made him one of Hip Hop's most loved.
Fifteen years since his
debut, Busta isn't
quite packing the energy he used to. Understandable right? He is in his mid
30's now...or is that not the reason? Since Busta signed to Dre's
"keep it gangsta" Aftermath
powerhouse we've witnessed a slow, subtle crafting of a newer, harder Busta Rhymes. Just check the mean mug
on the album cover or listen to when he refers to himself as a "street emperor"
or talks some killer and drug shit on "Cocaina." "The
mo' niggas I murda/the mo' money/the mo' the merrier." Who is that
rapping? Thing is, the song is dope as Busta
growls over Dre's keys.
The funny thing is on the very next song ("You Can't Hold A Torch"),
Busta and Q-Tip chastise bullshitting rappers
for not representing right. You can't help but wonder if he's rapping into the
mirror. The newfound drug interest continues as Busta trades coke-cooking stories with the Chef himself, Raekwon. But again, "Goldmine"
is a real dope song boasting a Doc Dre
and E Double
co-production, so I can't complain. More tough talk abounds on "Don't
Get Carried Away" - the song title, not a suggestion - as Nas steals the show on the sinister Dre track.
The rest of the album is
much easier to digest. You've either got incredible tracks like the
autobiographic Stevie Wonder-assisted
Through The Storm" or the harsh "Legends of the Fall Offs."
Or you've got utter trash like "I Love My Bitch" and "How We
Do It Over Here." The Q-Tip
and Marsha featured "Get You
Some" is dope, "New York Shit" is cool, and Timbaland produced "Get Down"
is eeehhh. It's the typical inconsistency that's always plagued the Dungeon Dragon. The difference here
is that The Big Bang is
put together more cohesively than his other works, but that is no surprise with
the Doctor at the helm.
If I want to hear some
gangsta shit, I can assure you that I'm not gonna skim through my Busta Rhymes collection. He has
always been about the rah rah shit to get the party jumping, not weaving tales
of ki's and burners with the digits scrapped off. After 15 years in the game we
are just finding out Busta Rhymes
has been grinding his axe on the corner? No. This is a fabricated, "this-is-what-the-label-wants"
Busta Rhymes. While I
may have little use personally for this version, I won't deny that The Big Bang is a dope album.