BUSTA RHYMES: The Coming (20 Year Anniversary)

Released: March 26, 1996, Elektra Entertainment Group

Written by Michael Grant (C.E.O. of RePPiN4U)

It is supposed to be a time of celebration, another great album of the golden era which has reached its 20th Anniversary. But 2016 hasn’t been nice to our public figures. Our idols and heroes passing away left right and centre, at this rate, Papoose’s 2016 obituary will end up being an extended 12 minute cut at the end of the year.

Busta Rhymes debut album ‘The Coming’s 20th Anniversary has been overshadowed by the tragic death of Phife Dawg of iconic Hip Hop group A Tribe Called Quest, and instead of Busta celebrating his ‘baby’, he found himself writing a heartfelt felt letter to his lost comrade:

“…DEC.5th 2015, I was able to have a dream come true in a way that it never had and that was to perform What’s the scenario (original and the rmx) for the 1st time ever back to back with all of the original members of Leaders of the New School and A Tribe Called Quest since we recorded these songs in 1991 & 1992. That night was so magical with all of the love that was under one roof that it’s too much to get into the details of but again please take another look at this picture, if u notice @iamthephifer had his hand on my back consoling me as I kneeled down to give thanks crying tears of joy because of how proud of a moment that was for me being able to end a 4 hour set with brothers who put me in a position where I was able to tell my mother she will not have to work for anyone over 20 yrs ago. The belief that they had in me puttin’ me and Leaders on that record, putting me last on the record because back then being last on the record meant EVERYTHING, I had no idea at that time what they were setting me up in life to be but thru out the years it was so consistent their love and concern for my well-being that it was no way I couldn’t see it…” (Excerpt from Busta Rhymes Open heart-felt letter to Phife)

Scenario was the trigger to jump-start Busta’s solo career, unlike Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and GZA’s Liquid Swords, I didn’t buy this album on day of release. It was a decision made after hearing a number of tracks on radio, and how he reminded me of Ol’ Dirty Bastard in terms of energy and delivery. I think it was roughly around May of 1996 when I brought it.

Busta Rhymes The ComingOnce again I take you back to when I was 16. I had quit my paper round after protest, and I was getting ready for my last day of compulsory education. This is Busta Rhymes: The Coming: MY STORY.

  1. THE COMING – Intro

Never before in Hip Hop did we encounter a voice which resembled a preacher… do not play this intro in front of Christians I can say that! Very amusing when Lord Have Mercy would reference Busta’s birthday but not reveal the year…almost comparing Busta to the creator himself. I can’t lie even I trembled when he said “We must bring the ruckus, to all you muthaf***az!” And saying it louder each time!

2. DO MY THING

What I loved about this album was Busta’s choice of wordplay: so feisty, energetic, animated and out of order: “When I step in the place you should keep your mouth closed
Take your fat finger out your nose
You should just pay attention, and watch how I wild on all the records
Make you sing, “The Lord is my shepherd!”

Yes pop pickers, before Eminem made your jaw drop with lyrics, there was Busta. (Sorry Tasker I had to steal your catch phrase!)

3. EVERYTHING REMAINS RAW

We need to bring back the belt… and beat down these wack rappers claiming to represent Hip Hop, they know who they are, I don’t need to state by name.

I officially have a driving license, but I don’t own a car. Everyone has a ‘things to do list’ before they die and in my list there is one where I sing ‘Everything Remains Raw’ with my crew going crazy in a car. It’s actually my theme when new year rolls around, while everyone else sings that other song in which I have no idea what it means or why it’s sung, I’d prefer to sing this hook, stating I will have a great, ‘raw’ year..

4. ABANDON SHIP

The other early aspect of Busta’s flow I missed was his ability to ‘break down the lyrics into syllables’. Rampage followed by example. The result – a synchronised tag team chemistry. It’s a real shame Rampage was next up from Flipmode, at least that’s how he was groomed initially.

5. WOO-HAH! I GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK

Yar-Yar-Yaaaar – Yarr -YAR! My last months at school were sent with me and my people singing just that… and everyone knew where it come from, and it spread like an epidemic.

True story – I first saw the video of this at my cousin’s house… come to think of it, I used to see a lot of hip hop videos at my cousin’s house! We were laughing our heads off all the way through… it wasn’t just Busta acting a fool, it was Q-Tip and Onyx in the video losing their minds. Q-Tip was gone!!! When the video finished, we were there holding our stomach because of the laughter and then I said, “Imagine if Busta did a remix with ODB?” 2 minutes later, the radio played just that – the remix! Gob smacked was not even the word to express that time.

6. IT’S A PARTY

I don’t think this is played enough at parties, thank goodness for DJs like Miss L Vibes who knows of the remixes to these tracks. This is the ‘calm’ Busta that we would get to know in his later albums. I’ve always prefered the feisty Busta though. Special mention to the little intermission that follows… it was another ‘go crazy in the the car moment’… I WILL do that with my clansmen before the po-po pulls me over.. after I show them my Hip Hop license they will understand… I saw them dancing with their truncheons to WHOA! at a carnival once for goodnesss sake!

Busta Rhymes The Coming 2

 

7. HOT FUDGE

Hot Fudge comin on in good lord…

I don’t know what I love more… the wordplay in this or the skit that follows! Can we say Busta was ahead of his time when he says this:

“Been in this too long to allow n!&&@$ to try to take mine
23 years deep and I still exist as BUSTA RHYMES!
Aeiyo, I’m in this to win this, gets down to handle my business
While I be Busta Rhymes you still be whoever your name is!!”

Up til now, certain artists out there talking nonsense in records and I don’t know who their name is, like that kid who is in love with the cocoa… (Er Grant – he’s signed with Busta’s Conglomerate label..) FOR REAL???? Er..Oh dear…!!!

8. ILL VIBE

Busta & Q-Tip have teased us with a few mixtapes lately… if Extinction Level Event 2 isn’t gonna surface for now, I’m sure the fans would love a full length LP from these two with Dilla handling most of the production. Yes Busta we are fully aware that Dilla left you a lot of beats like you was a vessel for him!

9. FLIPMODE SQUAD MEETS DEF SQUAD

Such a colossal record that a fan had to take it upon themselves to create a fan-made video. The jury is still out – who smashed the tune the most? For me, I think Keith Murray edged it for Def Squad, and Lord Have Mercy ran away with it for Flipmode. I can say this – if Lord Have was a local pastor, church would be packed to capacity crowd! Even the atheists and 5 percenters would be in attendance! Yeah I said it!

10. STILL SHINING

Personally I thought it was a good chess move to keep the track featuring B.I.G. off the album and had this instead which I feel is the better (and underrated Dilla) track as well. I remember playing this before what was my favourite track from the album…

Busta Rhymes tracklist

11. KEEP IT MOVING

To my knowledge this was the last Leaders Of the New School track before they unexpectedly reunited for ‘We Home’ recently. I remember Busta saying countless times in interviews that the Leaders would never reform. I believe now that Phife Dawg has returned to the essence it has made both the Leaders and the surviving members of A Tribe Called Quest re-assess their thoughts, it’s such a good thing that they all reunited on stage recently.

12. THE FINISH LINE

We all know that one person, who loves to talk all that jazz and we know they lying, and what do they hope to accomplish? Now its evolved to internet keyboard warriors, never left their basement, quick to talk slick, got no profile picture or never show their face. Back in the day, they would get a beatdown. Now? Yeah you could delete & block them, but then they pull a fast one, by making a fake account and proceeding to spy on people. You see those guys? They officially got no lives. Shame really…

13. THE END OF THE WORLD – Outro

Remember that? There’s only 5 years left? Ok be honest, who fell for that ‘Judgement day’ trick as it hit midnight January 1, 2000?!! I remember where I was at that precise moment though… let’s just say I was doing something you wouldn’t do!

This was the beginning of Busta Rhymes manifesting into the megastar hip hop legend he is now, and the best thing about his consistency, is when he performs on stage, he never forgets his roots. That’s why I know people cannot talk slick about Busta Rhymes in a negative. The man has the unique ability to work with anybody and everybody and be adapt. He also has that rare attribute of his sophomore albums (When Disaster Strikes, Extinction Level Event, Genesis etc) being greater than his solo debut.

TAKE A BOW BUSTA RHYMES, CONTINUE TO BRING THE RUCKUS, TO ALL THOSE MUTHAF***AZ!

Busta Rhymes - The Coming tray

 

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ONYX LIVE @2FUNKY MUSIC CAFE, LEICESTER March 4, 2016

REVIEW BY MICHAEL GRANT (RePPiN4U CEO)

The saying goes… you never forget your ‘first time’… the first time you had a date, the first time you had a fight, the first time you had sex, whether good or bad. In the case of me, if you know my story, you heard the first time I clocked Street Fighter 2. The first time I purchased an album (Only Built 4 Cuban Linx). The first time I was a part of a stag (bachelor) party (I was the best man). I can add another ‘first’ to that illustrious list: The first time I OFFICIALLY filmed an event. I’m not talking about being in the crowd as a fan filming, I’m talking about ON STAGE with the main attraction of the night. In the year nineteen hundred and ninety-two/three, I hit my puberty, I fully transitioned from pop music (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Whitney Houston etc), and became a fan of my FIRST favourite Hip Hop group. I used to draw ‘madfaces’ on my school exercise books, but the one thing I couldn’t do (and my moms forbade it) was shave my hair bald. Never did I think at that time I would be sharing the stage with that exact same group.

ONYX LIVE

Fast forward to 2016, admittedly I never really had Onyx as a ‘must see live’ on my list… maybe because I never thought I would get such an opportunity… but I went and said ‘Never’ didn’t I!

The great thing about the 2Funky Music Cafe was that the fans in attendance knew they were in for something special, as this was Onyx’ only UK appearance. Not even the main cities like London, Manchester, Bristol etc got to see the Atak of the Bal-Headz. Not only was Leicester treated to a unique show, but their opening act was none other than Dark A Brown from the Ghetto Government Official (GGO), Hell Razah’s Music Label. Dark A Brown may rep the ‘H’, but he knew that fans saluted him with the ‘W’ as he performed his EP – Poetic Hustle.

Big shout out to Dead Eye Knights, who knew they had a hard act to follow after Dark A Brown, but they pulled it off with their vicious flows and switched up the classic House of Pain ‘Jump Around’ track. When you are fed up of hearing the original track for 20+ years in your local Yates’ or Revolution bars it feels good for Dead Eye Knights to give it a fresh lick of paint.

The promoters made a bit of a slip up here, because after the Dead Eye Knights, the crowd were pumped and ready for the Mad Face Invasion. But they were not ready for the third warm up act, who hailed from Canada, and the crowd just was not feeling him. His name was not acknowledged, and what made matters worse, this is a crowd of predominately old school heads… so coming with that ‘trap’ music was stage career suicide. Luckily for him, I have seen worse acts get more hostile responses.

Big Shout out to DJ Illegal & Jon1st alternating on the Ones & Twos keeping the crowd hype before, during and AFTER the show! It was the first time I had ever been to a show where the main act left the stage but the party kept on going hitting the masses with tune after tune, but lets rewind back about 45 minutes in the night when ONYX stormed the stage!

Knowing the energy and ruckus Onyx bring, I was a bit concerned as I was the one filming the event that the stage wasn’t big enough for Onyx, much less Onyx and myself! But somehow, it worked wonders.

But it was at this point I realised I was in the best place possible in the 2Funky Music Cafe establishment: The stage itself! I bear witnessed probably the most violent mosh pit but in good harmony. Sticky Fingaz & Fredro Starr testing the stamina of the fans by delivering a barrage of Bacdafucup cuts, Throw Your Gunz, Slam, and Shiftee – where they instructed the crowd to get low and then raise it up fo the hook.

The pair steadily performed all their hits in chronological order, but dropping notable highlights in between.

“Ain’t no livin person can test him
Only two restin’ in heaven can be mentioned in the same breath as him…” (Jay-Z, Hovi Baby, 2002)

Jay-Z was right… until November 13, 2004… Like all other artists who perform live, Onyx showed their respects to 2Pac and the Notorious B.I.G… but also added Ol’ Dirty Bastard in that same breath, to which the Leicester crowd erupted with the biggest response. It was at this moment where PC the Producer from FATP (From Across The Pond UK Hip Hop Show) tried to hand over his Wu-Wear scarf to Onyx to wear on stage, but their hype man refused, which seemed rude at first glance, but what followed was totally unexpected. He bows down to the scarf! symbolically speaking, he’s not worthy of the W! Another guy tried to find himself on stage while celebrating his stag/bachelor party, but the hype man put an abrupt stop to that.

The short tribute set led to Onyx ordering the lights to go out as the 2Funky Music Cafe prepared for its ‘Last Dayz’, and perhaps the only ‘chill and zone out’ track that was performed on the night, giving fans time to breathe before they re-entered the mosh pit.

As the duo performed hits from their later albums such as ‘Slam Harder’ and ‘Wakedafucup’, they also paid homage to Pharoahe Monch. Renaming it ‘Onyx Says Throw Your Guns Up’, their rendition had fans in fever pitch, by this time the steel guard rails had actually bent from the ruckus crowd, and Sticky Fingaz soared over the rail crowd surfing. I’ve seen Redman & Method Man do this a lot, but not while actually rhyming and taking selfies at the same time. Multi-skillz at it’s best.

Tasker & Grant

RePPiN4FATP! Left: Tasker (FATP) Right: Grant Body-P (RePPin4U)

Onyx ended their set with ‘Turndafucup’ produced by Snowgoons, and left the set leaving fans buzzing but unknowingly exhausted at the same time as the party just kept on going til 4am. Admittedly I would have wanted Fredro and Sticky to perform one or two of their solo hits but I wasn’t entitled to complain about such minor things when one, this was their only UK appearance which was an honor and privilege in itself but to have the best ‘seat’ in the house too.

This is a show that Leicester will be proud of, as if such as show was held in say Birmingham, chances are the law enforcement would have stepped in and ended the night due to irrational behaviour, and this shows how much good spirits the people of Leicester were that night. Not a single cop car in sight. Other UK cities take note. Onyx, Dark A brown and Dead Eye Knights just showed you how to do it. SALUTE.

TORAE – Entitled

FAT BEATS DISTRIBUTION/INTERNAL AFFAIRS ENTERTAINMENT

RELEASED: January 15, 2016

PHYSICAL COPY RELEASE: March 11, 2016

REVIEW BY Michael Grant (C.E.O. Of RePPiN4U)

“Boom, bad enough they biting lines like n!&&@$ killed me when they came with some Na-
N!&&@$ bit offa Nas sh!t! You know what I’m saying?
*chuckling*
Word n!&&@$ n!&&@$ n!&&@$ n!&&@$ caught his little album cover, boom
Then done did a Nas for that sh!t…” Ghostface Killah, Shark N!&&@$ (Biters), 1995

It’s a good thing Torae decided to release this album 21 years later right?

Torae EntitledIt may seem a co-incidence, but if your album cover is you as a young child, your album becomes a masterpiece and talked about for years to come. It happened with Nas (Illmatic), Notorious B.I.G. (Ready To Die) and now it could happen to Torae’s new album ‘Entitled’. The kickstarter fund for the album has completed, the Admission of Guilt mixtapes have had people anticipating the sophomore effort, and For The Record, this could well be Torae’s finest work to date. 14 tracks plus 2 bonus cuts, Torae is Entitled to enter himself in the 2016 Album Of The Year race. Not convinced? Here’s the breakdown.

The way this ‘Introview’ starts is so geniusly done because we have all been there. We have all been to job interviews where no matter how much research you have done prior, the interviewer comes off with some nonsense of what the job entails. Let’s be real, all we are interested in is getting the job so we can decorate the kitchen table. Torae’s Barrel Brother knows all about that.

The Imperial Sound is just that. IMPERIAL. The live trumpets from Sean Taylor gives the album such a positive vibe and feel good sound to set off the album. Now we gonna ‘Get Down’ over the trademark infectious Pete Rock sound. It’s great that Torae points out that he wasn’t endorsed by Jay-Z or Dr.Dre to make it big, proving that it is still possible to make it off your own strength.

Funny how he mentions Jay in Get Down, he uses his line in ‘Clap Sh!t Up’… assaulting the Nottz beat, and putting fans on blast at the same time…
“Want to hear my old sh!t, buy my old album
If you really love it, why I only sold thousands?” We claim to support and love real hip hop yet album sales doesn’t reflect that. Just as the listener is on the ropes with that verse, Torae tags in Phonte, assaulting commercial rap…“Scrimmaging against you effeminate n!&&@$ in boy shorts/Kitten, your raps scratching up the floor board/In a top hat, you rap n!&&@$ is Boy George/I attack tracks with more force/And more anger than a gangster in a Russian divorce court…”

When heads hear the trademark sample at the start of a track ‘Jahlil Beats, Holla At Me’… heads usually get nervous as it’s usually a track that we are not accustomed to. But Torae has it all under control in ‘Let Em Know’. This is the closest to a club/party track as you gonna get and it’s a real sham it may get overlooked by DJs.

The party setting left by ‘Let Em Know’ may just lead into what might be one of the album’s many highlights… ‘Override’ Is Torae’s way of telling the guys to go back to basics to win a woman’s heart without having to resort to usual player shenanigans. The dreamy sonics provided by E. Jones of the Soul Council gives it a 2016 ‘LL Cool J – Hey Lover, Around The Way Girl’ sure fire visual waiting to happen, but the spoken word by Roni Marsallis is such an epic touch as it shows the woman’s perspective in Torae’s approach. AMAZING.

After the listener is blown away by that ‘Queen with a Crown that is down for whateva’ music, Mr Porter and DJ Boogie Blind scratch the hell out of RUN DMC’s Down With The3D Na-tee King for the next track over an oriental backdrop. Don’t let the sultry visual of 3D Na’tee (pictured right) fool you. This rapper/songwriter/video director can assault a track with the best of them.

Within the first 20 seconds you will find yourself reaching for the rewind button as Torae hits you with the R.E.A.L. sh!t, warning up and coming artists how it really goes down in the music industry if they don’t keep their third eye open. Another amazing highlight on the album. Torae RePPiN Real Music 4U… and seemingly does it with ease.

You hear the needle hit the vinyl, that only means one thing, an Apollo Brown track! We are dealing with Coney Island’s Finest. Album sounding so good that even Apollo asked Torae how his beat style is going to flow with the album.. in the !llmind produced ‘Troubled Times’, Torae tells different scenarios, but most notably a story of a perfect example the Wu-Tang stated in their ‘A Better Tomorrow’ track on Wu-Tang Forever where a young girl partied her life away, only to see her seed go the same way later in life.

‘Together’ featuring Kil Ripkin & Shaquawana Shawnte is a soul drenching, heart touching track which sounded like something producer Praise found in the Roc-A-Fella archives during the early 2000s… Torae, Ripkin and Shawnte call for our people to come together, as Ripkin explains: “Time to coalesce in to our own valiant victory/Know your fam’s history, not falling for the trickery/Or marching in them streets while police give civil injury
Nah, we need love, truth, peace, freedom, and justice/I told you, it’s nobles, there’s nothing more illustrious/Nothing more regal, we know lawful from legal/You can’t gun our youth down, use the system to free you/Without being shown how divine deals with the evil
Bear witness for yourself the most powerful people…”

The soulful flow continues on into the title track..assisted by the smooth vocals of Teedra Moses, Torae realises that some rappers are misusing their talent and looks at the game shaking his head… “I do it for the fam, some people do it for fame/Is you making a difference or you just making it rain?/I’m for making a change, let’s build generational wealth/So we will never be impoverished again/Went from how many mics to how many likes/Your prince want to be a Barb, your princess a dyke…”

As the album reaches it’s close, we see the maturity within Torae by putting The eNd to the usage of the N-word. He brings the quote from the Richard Pryor live performance back in the 70s of the signifigance of the word. True story – when I said hello to 36 earlier this year, everybody showed me Facebook love (as we do). One guy wished me bday love but used the N word far too many times. I had to pull him up and say yo, I don’t address my best friends like that, so he turns round and had the nerve to say I don’t know the history behind the N word… the life of social media hey people?

torae2

Instead of writing a shout outs in the inlay, Torae decides to drop a Shoutro, and delivers a mini behind the scenes of the making of this album. Shout out to Khrysis for the beat on this, it’s not as soulful as the 9th Wonder Shoutro from the Justus League singles files, but that’s only a minor overlook.

Big up to Torae for including ‘Saturday Night’ as a bonus track, A premo banger which sees Torae do comical and delivers a funny story of him ordering a chinese, gets delivered by a delivery girl, gets busy with the girl before confronted by a kung fu expert. Very entertaining track, and almost if it was by popular demand, What’s Love featuring Pharoahe Monch created so much buzz from the Admission of Guilt mixtape, Torae had no choice biut to include it here. Praise flips the beat/sample Kanye West once used for Beanie Sigel’s ‘Nothing Like It’ and Torae & Pharoahe do it justice massively.

Since Torae mentions today’s rappers begging for likes instead of mics, If I was to award this album, I would be so tempted to award it the full five. This is flawless. But when I think of the classic albums that has gone before, I’d give it a realistic 4.5 mics. On the flipside, where exactly would he lose that half a mic? The physical copy only came out over here in the UK, otherwise I would have brought this review to you sooner. Torae has done something here that’s hardly seen in this era of hip hop: Bring a body of work with no filler, no tracks hitting the skip button. I am Entitled to my opinion right?