Whatever your opinion on Busta Rhymes, there’s two things about him that you can’t really deny. One, he’s been one of the most recognizable figures in U.S. urban music for a good couple of decades now; how many people with even a passing interest in that genre could claim never to have heard of him? Secondly, Busta’s never really gone away; you could probably argue that he was one of the first artists to make an art form out of the feature, probably being more notable for his guest spots than his own tracks - recently, too, he’s continued to reinvent himself, working with the likes of Tiesto and Nicki Minaj.
That’s not to play down his impressive solo back catalogue, though; there’s banger after banger in there, from ‘Break Ya Neck’ to ‘Woo Hah! (Got You All in Check)’ to the classic ‘Pass the Courvoisier’.
His live show, perhaps unsurprisingly, is designed around his sheer force of personality, as much as anything else; in front of a huge banner emblazoned with his name, he eschews the traditional hip hop penchant for a hype man sharing vocal duties, although does seem to be frequently backed by an entourage doing nothing in particular.
Despite having consistently recorded and released music over the past fifteen years, he is a far more elusive live performer so therefore whenever he does announce tours the fans flock to hear classics such as 'Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See' in all their glory.
Accompanied by a huge entourage onstage including some rather redundant female dancers, Busta really does obey all the conventions in the hip hop book when it comes to his live performance yet the audience just goes with it and it makes the whole show incredibly fun. The only person really taking it seriously is Trevor himself, everybody else is just enjoying dancing like crazy to the beats of 'What's It Gonna Be?'.
Can we all just agree that Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr. definitely has the best stage name of any musician in the hip hop circuit?