Rapper Busta Rhymes has been tapped to perform on the main stage of this summer's Projekt Revolution tour, which also features performances by Linkin Park, Chris Cornell, the Bravery and Ashes Divide, among others.
Rhymes recently drafted Linkin Park to guest on his new single, "We Made It," which was produced by Cool & Dre and Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda. The track will appear on Rhymes' eight studio album, "Blessed," due later this summer via Flipmode/Aftermath/Interscope.
"It made perfect sense for us to be on the tour together, so we could perform ['We Made It'] and bring it to life for people every night," Rhymes tells Billboard.biz.
As previously reported, the fifth installation of the Linkin Park-reared trek is scheduled to visit 24 U.S. cities, beginning July 16 at the Tweeter Center outside Boston and wrap Aug. 24 at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston. Atreyu, 10 Years, Hawthorne Heights, Armor For Sleep and the Street Drum Corps will appear on the smaller Revolution Stage.
Rhymes plans to perform new material from "Blessed" during Projekt Revolution, but doesn't expect his set to get too flashy. "I'm really one that loves the traditional sense of hip-hop," the rapper explains. "I like microphones and turntables."
"Blessed" is the follow-up to 2006's "The Big Bang," which debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 609,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"This album is Busta Rhymes in a mastered way," he says, noting that "The Big Bang" was a collaborative effort with Dr. Dre. "I think [Dre] felt like it was time to allow me to spread my wings and take the best of what I learned from my experience in doing 'The Big Bang' to this new album."
Along with Linkin Park, "Blessed" finds Rhymes collaborating with T-Pain ("Blown"), Ludacris, Lil Wayne ("Throw It Up" ), Akon, T.I. ("Don't Believe 'Em"), Jamie Foxx, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Common ("Decision"), J. Holiday ("Hits For Days") and the Pussycat Dolls' Nicole Scherzinger ("If"), among others.
Lyrically, Rhymes drew from "my own personal experience, like a lot of shit I've been through for the last two years," he says. In April 2006, the rapper was arrested and charged with assault in New York.
"I'm also giving people my perspective on what my experience was, because I never really made time to communicate with the people about my perspective, especially when a lot of the heat was going on with my situation," Rhymes continues. "I'm able to properly control the way everything is addressed on my album."
Music isn't the only thing Rhymes has in the works. The rapper will appear in the upcoming film "Order of Redemption," which also stars actors Armand Assante and Tom Berenger. Rhymes also performed a new song Saturday (May 31) on Mixed Martial Arts' first primetime TV event on the CBS.
"We're strategically moving the chess pieces to make sure we're doing the most incredible things that we can be doing," says Rhymes, noting that he has a "couple of deals we're going to be closing on a corporate level."
Following the Projekt Revolution tour, Rhymes says he will head overseas to headline an arena tour. "We're starting in Europe and then bringing it back to the U.S.," he says. "We're still coordinating the lineup right now."