Wayward offering from hip hop legend with distinct lack of finesse
Veering from mainstream pop to grimy hip hop, electro to dancehall boogie, Busta Rhymes’ eighth studio outing sees him blunderbuss his way through styles with a distinct lack of finesse. Given that he’s nigh on two decades in the game, we’d expect something a little more assured from our man. Sadly there are tracks here which suggest he’s now more busted flush than Busta Rhymes.
Throughout, he barks like a particularly irate army major, putting a star-studded battalion of contributors through their paces. However, even celebrity glare cannot distract us from this album’s shortcomings. We open with a mock operatic intro and soon Busta’s flaunting that tired old braggadocio, with ‘Give Em What They Askin For’ pressing a sample from the Eurythmics’ ‘Sweet Dreams’ into disservice over some uninspired beats. Then, Lil Wayne and Jadakiss join him in urging us to ‘Respect My Conglomerate’. One major bugbear is the proliferation of Autotune, with tracks such as ‘We Want In’ and ‘We Miss You’ sounding like 2001: A Space Odyssey’s Hal 9000 gone hip-hop.
However, it’s not all bad. Even a blunderbuss can occasionally hit home – note the synth boosted electro frisson of ‘Shoot For The Moon’, the Estelle-piloted, dancefloor bomber ‘World Go Round’ and ‘Decision’, a melancholic piano led track starring Mary J Blige, Common and John Legend. If only Busta were a little more selective in his targeting, Back On My B.S. could have proven absolutely lethal.
Key Track: ‘Decision’