Since his first solo studio album The Coming, Busta Rhymes has proven himself as a lyricist that not many can keep up with.
The Brooklyn-bred musician is known for not only rapid-fire rhymes, but also intricate wordplay and charismatic delivery when approaching the microphone. Born Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr. to Jamaican parents, he emerged from the rap group Leaders Of The New School in the early 1990s. Holding his own alongside artists including Big Daddy Kane and KRS-One, he made an impression in Hip-Hop music and culture and forged a pathway to stardom.
When speaking of the rapper’s legacy, many elements of his lauded career hold weight. Through creative music videos, daring style, and his animated personality exhibited through art and performance, the Genesis artist proved eccentricity to be a superpower. Through 10 albums, eight mixtapes, and countless feature verses, Busta stands as one of the most technically skilled and influential musicians in Hip-Hop history.
Still in the game, the “Woo-Ha!!” rapper is currently working on a new album with Swizz Beatz, Timbaland, and Pharrell Williams, as his classics remain fan favorites.
Factoring in breath control, beat complexity, and overall speed, here are five Busta Rhymes verses that may be challenging for anyone who is not Bus-a-bus to deliver without missing a beat.
DJ Kay Slay - "60 Second Assassins" Feat. Busta Rhymes, Layzie Bone, Twista, Jaz-O
Released in 2011 by the late DJ Kay Slay, “60 Second Assasins” features Layzie Bone, Twista, and Jaz-O alongside Busta Rhymes, all coming through to “spit some real thug sh*t.” While each rapper brought something different to the table, everybody ate.
With the first verse on this speedy posse cut, Busta Rhymes sets the tone for a showdown between some of Hip-Hop’s most notable and proficient fast rappers. The agile delivery flaunts a rapid-fire delivery from Busta that is enhanced by amusing wordplay, expressive onomatopoeias, and a keen awareness of when to take those minute pauses to not interrupt a flawless flow.
Tech N9ne - "Worldwide Choppers" Feat. Busta Rhymes, Yelawolf, Twisted Insane, Ceza, JL, Twista, U$O & D-Loc
Released in 2011, the multilingual song finds Busta Rhymes alongside a handful of rappers all spitting at top speed. Among the global group, Rhymes’ verse stands out in the boastful collaboration. Elevating his voice as an instrument, listeners are put on notice by deep, menacing threats to the perfectly on-beat stutters, highlighting the creative talent behind the agile bars.
As the seventh rapper on the song, he represents New York on “Worldwide Choppas,” extended from Tech N9ne’s midwestern series.
Busta Rhymes - "Break Ya Neck"
On “Break Your Neck,” the Flipmode representative showcases a range in style and delivery. Released in 2001 as the second single from Genesis, the high-energy song dares fans to “keep on bouncing.” The vigorous lyrics, however, hint at the consequences for those who listen close.
Produced by Dr. Dre and Scott Storch, “Break Your Neck” was amplified by a colorful yet sweaty, Hype Williams-directed video with cameos from Spliff Star, Diddy, Ludacris, Fabolous, Ice Cube, and more.
Busta Rhymes - "Gimme Some More"
Released in 1998, “Gimme Some More” is Busta Rhymes’ second single from his third album Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front. While the song may not be the New York native’s fastest rap verse, the Psycho-sampled violin riffs create a trippy, haunting effect that the rapper flows over easily.
“Gimme Some More” earned Busta Rhymes a Grammy nomination for Best Solo Rap Performance in the year 2000. While the song peaked at only no. 29 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, it remains a staple in Busta’s music catalog.
Chris Brown - "Look at Me Now" Feat. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes
The standout feature might be one of the most fun verses to deliver from the Brooklyn rapper. While Chris Brown and Lil Wayne hold their own on the club anthem, Busta Rhymes holds the crown for best of the three.
Released in 2011, the chart-topping song is the second single from the Virginia native’s F.A.M.E. album. Following the R&B singer’s effort, Busta Rhymes prefaced his portion of the song with a message — “A yo Breezy, Let me show you how to keep the dice rolling when you’re doing that thing over there homie,” and the rest is history.
While the all-star feature makes the song, it may not have started out that way. In a 2022 interview, Breezy recalled asking the veteran rapper to record another verse during the recording session, calling the initial submission “just cool.”