Busta Rhymes is an artist who has stood the test of time. He was there in 1991 with Leaders of the New School, and in that same year for his break out appearance on A Tribe Called Quest’s “Scenario”. He dropped his unmistakable classic The Coming in 1996 and so the story goes. Busta has switched labels at least 4 times and still in 2009 is signed to a major and has the potential to put out solid music.
Back on My B.S. can mean one of two things, either Busta is back to the “Woo Haa” or he is back to “I Know What You Want”. After digesting, the album it’s a little bit of both. The album starts very strong with the DJ Scratch produced “Wheel of Fortune” where the old Busta shines brightly as one of the most charismatic emcees in the game. In typical major label fashion, the A&R missed the obvious single with “Give Em What They Asking For”. Ron Browz laces Busta with a banging track minus the overused auto tuned “Ether Boy” nonsense. This is the “Ebonics” Browz we are all hoping for with club busting lyrics by Busta. Danja synth drenched “Shoot for the Moon” is another club banger along with the Ty Fyffe single “Hustler’s Anthem ’09″., where Busta makes even T-Pain sound good. Obviously DJ Scratch hasn’t lost it on the boards which are apparent on the aforementioned “Wheel of Fortune” and “I’m A Go and Get My…” featuring comedian Mike Epps. Up to this point the album are all Busta Rhymes bangers. This critic wasn’t a fan of “Arab Money”, but it did have a large amount of commercial success, so we’ll let it go.
With “We Want In”, the album takes a turn for the worse. Ron Browz goes back to his auto tune nonsense while Busta shows how little talent Flipmode has left. Where is Rah Digga? “We Miss You” produced by Needlez misses the mark badly and Akon and T.I. seem just more filler than stars on “Don’t Believe Em”. “Sugar” is a pseudo club track produced and featuring Jelly Roll and the Eurhythmics inspired “World Go Round” featuring Estelle is outdated and overdone. Mr. Porters “Decision” featuring an R&B who’s who alongside Common is the only saving grace of the latter half of the album. The I-Tunes exclusive bonus track, “If You Don’t Know Now you Know” featuring the always entertaining Big Tigger is sorely missed as one of the albums stand out tracks not on the retail version.
Back on My B.S. had potential, but once again falls short of a solid LP. Busta has a knack for killing his guest appearances and jumping on unofficial remixes but can’t seem to find the formula to make a stellar album. Perhaps if labels stopped trying to mimic what other artists are doing and let charismatic artists like Busta Rhymes do what they want to do we might see another classic. Instead you have an album with some stand out tracks, but in the end very forgettable. Thank goodness we have the DJ Scratch and Busta mixtape I Bullshit You Not to fill the gaps. Combine the better moments from “B.S.” and the majority of I Bullshit You Not and you just might have the classic that hip-hop fans so rightfully deserve. – DG
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