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Busta Rhymes - The Big Bang

Busta Rhymes, Big Bang

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE seventh studio album from Busta Rhymes is another slickly produced commercial hip-hop effort that does exactly what you’d expect – with a few notable exceptions besides.

Produced by Dr Dre, Timbaland and The Neptunes, it follows the same format of countless Dre-produced releases – thumping beats, high-profile collaborations and hard-hitting lyrics.

But in amongst the generic offerings, there are a few pearls. Primary among these is Been Through The Storm, a truly fresh sounding effort that makes the most of a very special guest appearance from Stevie Wonder. It provides an effortlessly chic mix of Rhymes’ hard vocal style and Wonder’s smooth, soulful happiness – albeit contained within another hard-hitting tale.

The Motown-influenced melodies also arrive like a breath of fresh among some of the more stale hip-hop beats.

I Love My Bitch also contains some bouncy melodies – even though the unflattering depiction of women continues unabashed. The track features vocal collaborations with both Kelis and the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am and takes the form of an ode to a loyal, one of a kind woman. Sadly, the reference to said woman as “my bitch” pretty much highlights everything that’s wrong and corrupted about mainstream hip-hop (a point you’ll find a lot of artists agreeing with).

Mr Porter drops some soulful lyrics on They’re Out To Get Me, an extremely paranoid tale about friends and enemies that spurts cliches such as “keep my friends close, but my enemies closer” – an over-used phrase ever since it first made its appearance in The Godfather.

But then Rhymes, like The Game, 50 Cent and countless other urban hip-hop frontmen, likes to perpetuate the gangsta myth surrounding the musical movement at the moment, preferring to sing about bling, death and violence rather than serving up anything that’s truly entertaining. Why else would he include the sound of a reloading trigger on at least two occasions?

Even opening track, Get You Some opens with a female chant of “money, cars, clothes..” – the all-important calling card of the modern hip-hop performer. It’s a pretty yawn-inducing exercise in mundane, bad-boy attitude that preaches a fairly empty, over-used message.

Not even a smart beat and Eastern flavoured melody on Missy Elliott collaboration, How We Do It Over Here manages to rouse much interest – she’s good but Rhymes’ deadpan delivery feels like an artist on auto-pilot.

There’s simply not enough risk-taking here – and not enough joy. It’s called The Big Bang but once the dust settles and you arrive at the end of the 15th track, it feels more like a whimper.

Track listing:

  1. Get You Some
  2. Touch It
  3. How We Do It Over Here
  4. New York Shit
  5. Been Through The Storm
  6. In The Ghetto
  7. Cocaina
  8. You Can’t Hold The Torch
  9. Goldmine
  10. I Love My Bitch
  11. Don’t Get Carried Away
  12. They’re Out To Get Me
  13. Get Down
  14. I’ll Do It All
  15. Legend Of The Fall Offs

  1. Not a very good reveiw but pretty much what you´d expect from anything indie.. that's like letting vegetarians review steaks!
    And fyi Busta DOESN'T use the cliché about keeping your enemies closest – he flimpmodes it and says “keep my FRIENDS even closer”.

    Gorm    Jun 15    #