In the beginning, there was Busta Rhymes. Well, not quite, but that's what listeners might expect from Genesis, the veteran rapper's fifth album.

In the beginning, there was Busta Rhymes. Well, not quite, but that's what listeners might expect from Genesis, the veteran rapper's fifth album. Instead, listeners are greeted by a phone conversation between Rhymes and J Records principal Clive Davis, in which Davis instructs the rapper to "keep it grimy." After listening to Genesis, it appears that Rhymes heeded the executive's advice. The album, the rapper's debut for J, remains in the tradition of his previous releases, offering a combination of witty rhymes and unforgettable hooks. The frantic pace of "As I Come Back" and lead single "Break Ya Neck" are already fan favorites at radio. With a little help from Pete Rock, Rhymes admirably covers Public Enemy's "Shut 'Em Down," here titled "Shut 'Em Down 2002." And Mary J. Blige makes an appearance on "There's Only One," a track that recalls the free-spirited roller-skatin' jams of yesteryear. Other guests include Kelis, Rah Digga, P. Diddy, and Jaheim.—RH