Busta Works BET Awards 'Memory' Into New Album
Although he won't reveal the details, Busta Rhymes says that his forthcoming album weaves in a snippet from the 2004 edition of the BET Awards. "You'll just have to listen to the record when it comesAlthough he won't reveal the details, Busta Rhymes says that his forthcoming album weaves in a snippet from the 2004 edition of the BET Awards. "You'll just have to listen to the record when it comes out," he said yesterday (May 16) when the nominees for this year's sixth annual event were announced.
Originally expected in May, Rhymes' "The Big Bang" will arrive June 13 via Aftermath/Interscope. The album includes appearances by Stevie Wonder, the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am and Kelis, as well as late funk legend Rick James.
It's possible that James could be the source of the BET Awards soundbite, as James was among those who performed during the 2004 show, when he infamously told the crowd, "I'm Rick James, bitch!" -- an oft-repeated phrase stemming from comedian Dave Chappelle's parody/homage of James on his Comedy Central series.
Rhymes' new disc was produced by Swizz Beats, will.i.am and Aftermath founder Dr. Dre over the last three years. "It was a fun but difficult process," Rhymes said of working with Dre. "It's hard to make a man move to your time when he’s [already] sitting on $50 million," he added with a laugh.
"But patience ended up becoming my best weapon on this album," he continued. "Guests I couldn’t get the first year or second year, were there the third year."
The experience also provided the launching pad for other projects. "I ran into Chaka [Khan] at Stevie Wonder's studio and now we're going to get together and do something," said Rhymes, who is among the artists with four BET nominations.
"The Big Bang" marks a major career shift for Rhymes, who released four albums through Elektra and two on J Records before jumping to Aftermath/Interscope. "It's 15 years later and it's great to have been a franchise player traded to the No. 1 team," he said.
Also changed is his appearance, as he has cut off his trademark dreadlocks as part of a personal renewal.
"Eight years of court appearances later and I was awarded custody of my children," he explained. "My hair was remindful of the unnecessary rocks in my career and life. So it was time to shed the locks... I've got my career and family right."