On Sunday night (6.25,) Busta Rhymeswas honored with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
Now 51-years of age, the iconic rap star, born Trevor George Smith Jr., “never wanted” to be a solo artist. As a member of Leaders of the New School (alongside Charlie Brown, Cut Monitor Milo, and Dinco D) from the late 1980s until the early 1990s, Busta found himself suddenly out of work when they split and did not initially want to be a solo artist because he was “scared” but ended up getting his foot back in the door by taking weed into the studios.
During his BET Award acceptance speech Rhymes said:
“I was scared when Leaders of the New School broke up because I ain’t’ never wanted to be a solo MC. I didn’t like the responsibility of making a full song. I’m good with getting to the 16 bars, busting everbody’s a** and getting up out of there. So I got kicked out the group and I was scared, this was 1993 and I didn’t put out a solo album until 1996 and I was trying to figure out what I had to do to feed my oldest child.”
“So, the scenario had me hot in the street at the time and I thought I would use that to my advantage. I knew all of the receptionists that worked at the studios, and I would call them — ‘Who’s working in there tonight?’ And they would tell me, and I would go to this little weed spot. So I would go to this location that I will not disclose and I would get this slow burning cigar called White Owl Cigars and I would call these studios to find out who was in them. I would just pop up because I knew they were gonna be happy to see me anyway. So, I’d pull up to the studio and act like I had been working in the studios the night before and had left something. So this was my way of finding out how to feed my son. When they kicked me out, I couldn’t do these shows and get the show money no more.”
Stating that everything that his on-stage persona reflects comes from his heritage and having the chutzpah to “whip up a 16-bar verse” whilst his weed was being passed around the studio, he added:
“Everything that Busta Rhymes embodies as far as going to get it and not taking no for an answer comes from being a Caribbean raised in a Jamaican home and the same determination as the group when we wanted to go on. We wanted it so bad, we did everything to get on.”
“But with that point being said, when my weed was going round that studio, I would quickly whip up a 16 bar verse before that weed came back to me.”