Busta Rhymes is a name known worldwide. A product of 1990s New York hip hop, the rapper (real name Trevor Smith jr) is known for his tongue-twisting verses, lyrical skill and rapid-fire delivery that leaves his listeners speechless. With rhyme schemes that could blow your mind, Busta is undoubtedly one of hip-hop’s finest lyricists.
With the rapper’s beginnings rooted firmly in the mid-1990s, his mainstream commercial success came during the late-90s and around the turn of the millennium. Born to Jamaican parents, Smith grew up between East Flatbush and Long Island in New York, making his early music with the collective Leaders Of The New School. However, Busta quickly set himself apart from the rest of his crew.
In his career thus far, Busta Rhymes has released ten studio albums, three collaborative albums, and seven mixtapes. His lyrical style is unique and has always been theatrical. His funny rhymes have earned him a BET Lifetime Achievement Award and several Grammy nominations.
However, Smith’s influences are an interesting amalgamation of legendary compositions and in an interview with SPIN magazine, the artist unveiled some of his most cherished rap albums and songs.
When asked about his favourite hip-hop album, the Brooklyn artist responded, “Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. My greatest influence in this shit, from the way I dress and the jewellery down to the pockets in the beats where I choose to rhyme and Big Daddy Kane’s It’s a Big Daddy Thing. Simply put, the best flow of all time.”
He continued, “A Tribe Called Quest’s The Low End Theory. My brothers, all because I took this little gamble and pulled up on Greene St. Studio. DMX’s Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. The most exciting and challenging shit on the planet, and the start of Swiss busting ass for three decades. Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. I fucking cried the first time I heard it.”
All of Smith’s influences were understandably from New York, and he even seemed to admire one of his peers DMX, who arose on the scene at a similar time to Smith himself.
You can listen to Busta’s biggest influence The Great Adventures of Slick Rick below.
Busta Rhymes’ favourite rap albums:
- The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
- Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood – DMX
- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back – Public Enemy
- The Great Adventures of Slick Rick – Slick Rick
- It’s a Big Daddy Thing – Big Daddy Kane