Explaining the making of his recently released Extinction Level Event 2 single with Eminem, Busta Rhymes spoke with Complex about the back-and-forth competition that yielded the song.  

Speaking on the initial inclination to secure an Eminem feature for “Calm Down,” Busta explained waiting months before hearing the Detroit rapper’s initial verse.

Scoop Deville gave me the beat and I loved it,” he said. “I immediately made a song to it called ‘Calm Down.’ It was just two 16-bar verses. After marinating on the record for some time, I felt like this would be an incredible record for Eminem to get on. I called my manager, Chris Lighty, and I asked him to set up a meeting with Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager. This was actually one of the last meetings I had with Chris before he passed away. We left the song with Paul Rosenberg but we didn’t actually get any feedback about whether [Eminem] was going to jump on it.

“About six weeks passed by, my partner Shaheem Reid reached out to Riggs Morales, who was an A&R at Shady Records at the time,” he went on. “He came by the studio to hear the song, and two weeks later, we finally got a confirmation from Paul that Em had got the beat and that he’s fucking with it. A few months passed by, and I got a call from Paul. He wanted to meet me in the studio. He came and played Em’s verse, and I was blown away. What was interesting to me though was that Em did a 42 bar verse. Because we’re known for pretty much fucking everybody up when we get on records with other artists, it became a competitive process…I went back and I wrote 50 bars. We then scheduled a mix session for the song and when I got to Detroit, he listened to my verse, heard that it was 50 bars, he went back and turned his 42 bars into a 60 bar verse. At that point I went back and turned my 50 bar verse into a 62 bar verse. And then Em made his verse a 64 bar verse. It started off from just doing a dope, high energy hip-hop record into us respectfully competing and damn near battling each other.”

During the interview, Busta also said the single took “about seven months” and revealed hopes to release E.L.E. 2 this fall.

“In an ideal world, I would want it to come out around November,” he said of the album’s release date. “But I’m dealing with some sample clearance legal issues. Until that process is resolved, I can’t actually lock in the way I want to on my date. But so far the sailing has been smooth. Regardless, it’s definitely coming this year.”

The former Leaders of the New School emcee also shrugged off social media criticism for his BET Awards outfit.

“I love to do the things that other people can’t,” he said. “I love to do the things that other people won’t. That’s what makes Busta Rhymes Busta Rhymes. If I started to change that, I think a lot of people would no longer feel the same way about the Busta Rhymes that they came to grow to love. I don’t do what I do to satisfy everybody. I do what I do to make the people that love Busta Rhymes happy, and that’s it.”

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