Busta Rhymes has a unique way of saying “please.” The 36-year-old MC has a cigarette-stained baritone that gives weight to even the most polite requests. “Please, you can’t leave,” he told me in the midst of what would become a six-hour celebration/listening session for his newest project, Blessed. “It’s important that you hear it from beginning to end,” he says. “Let me talk to your boss.”
It’s not that I wanted to leave. Track after track Busta was busy making a case for album of the year. From the chilling confessional “Decisions” to the hilariously inventive “I’mma Go Get Mine,” he had the audience enthralled. It was just taking a really, really long time.
“I’ve never felt this happy,” Busta said, clearly proud of the finished product.
The session at NY’s Platinum Sound recording studios was slated to begin at 4pm and some eager listeners had even shown up an hour early. Bussa Bus finally showed up close to 5pm, and after having everyone remove their cell phones from the room he began playing each track. Though the captive audience was plied with vodka, cognac and a full spread of food, two hours became three, and three became four as he gave personal and hilarious anecdotes about each of the dozen or so songs he played.
“There were six or seven Spanish chicks walking down Collins Ave and Pharrell asks her to come say something on the record,” he says of “G-Stroke,” a pulsating rump shaker tailor made for its South Beach birthplace. “She was from Columbia and could barely speak English. I had to let Pharrell work out the translation.”
Blessed contains all of the energy and attitude of vintage Busta Rhmyes but is balanced by a more personal perspective lacking from his previous work.
“My Mother asked, ‘Can you give me an album before it’s all said and done where you’re not talking so reckless?’” he shared. “I love my mom so much that I owed her that. [Plus] minimizing the cursing was important to me. That Don Imus shit bothered me.”
So in exchange for my undivided attention Busta granted The Urban Daily an impromptu on-camera exclusive. Of course we were only allowed time for “one question” since he had to leave for a European tour in the morning. Listen to Busta talk about the struggles that fueled the making of this album.