Busta Rhymes' solo debut Coming on strong

by Jai Henry

Contributing Writer

Remember when Yo! MTV Raps used to come on every day? Remember when it used to come on at a decent time?

Rap videos are no longer a major part of the video rotation at MTV, and the ones that do get regular play have usually been edited so much that by the time they are aired, they look more like old news footage than music videos.

One video that has become a regular on MTV is Busta Rhymes' "Woo Hah! Got you all in check!" The lyrical gymnastics and hyperactive energy from the video can also be found in his first solo album, The Coming.

As a member of Leaders of the New School, Busta patented the fire-breathing, hoarse-voiced rap style that has since been duplicated by artists such as Ol' Dirty Bastard and any member of Onyx.

Within the last year, he has been prepping the industry for his return with cameos in various songs such as Craig Mack's "Flava In Ya Ear" remix and Boyz II Men's "Vibin" remix. He also made his big-screen debut two years ago in John Singleton's "Higher Learning."

The Coming is the album that re-establishes Busta as one of the East Coast's best. Too many times, an artist sees an opportunity and rushes to put out an album, only to realize that the bottom line is the music; rap fans can distinguish hard work from trash. Busta definitely put in some work on this album, as he expands on his "many and various styles of all sorts."

The Coming is unrelentless in its versatility. For those who listen to rap music for its statements on society, listen closely and his message will become apparent. For those who want "phat," head-bobbing jams, check out the impeccable production of Easy Mo Bee, JD of the Pharcyde and DJ Scratch.

The album begins strongly with the title track, on which Busta prepares his audience for the onslaught. The next cut, "Do My Thing," is a lyrical masterpiece. The second verse of this song has been featured in The Source's "Hip hop quotable" section.

Also check out "Everything Remains Raw," Busta's tribute to the true heads of hip hop; "It's A Party," which features the silky smooth baritone of R&B group Zhane; and "Flipmode Squad Meets Def Squad," which showcases the verbal talents of Jamal, Redman, Keith Murray, Rampage The Last Boy Scout and the unmistakable newcomer Lord Have Mercy, whose buddhist-preacher style is sure to become another strong voice of hip hop.

"Keep It Movin," on which Busta reunites with his old partners -- Dinco D, Charlie Brown and Milo -- will have everybody searching for those old LONS tapes.

On The Coming, Busta Rhymes roars his way back onto the scene with all the animosity of that dungeon dragon we remember from back in the day. With plans in the works for a new LONS album, along with albums for his proteges, Rampage The Last Boy Scout and Lord Have Mercy, he no doubt will be staying busy. Just don't call it a comeback. Hah!

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