The song that made Busta Rhymes become a rapper
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The song that made Busta Rhymes become a rapper

Busta Rhymes is a name known worldwide. A product of the 1990s hip-hop scene in New York City, 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-’90s, his mainstream commercial success came during the back end of the decade and around the turn of the millennium. Born to Jamaican parents, Smith grew up between East Flatbush and Long Island in New York, before 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, to date, Busta Rhymes has released ten studio albums, three collaborative records, 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.

That said, Smith had to begin somewhere, and before he decided to take up rapping himself, he drew inspiration from various artists in New York. In a 2020 interview with GQ, the ‘Touch It’ legend revealed that the Sugar Hill gang as a trio and solo artists were his most significant source of inspiration growing up in the early 1980s.

Reflecting on his favourite MCs, Smith told the publication“It was really Master Gee and Big Bank Hank. Those two over Wonder Mike were the ones for me. Master Gee, to me, was the best emcee outta all three of them.”

The ‘I Know What You Want’ musician admitted he was disappointed when he found out some of the Sugar Hill Gang didn’t write their own rhymes, sharing, “Until I later found out that ain’t none of them write their verses. It was all written by Grand Master Caz from the Cold Crush. But I just loved the way Master Gee sounded.”

Busta Rhymes admitted, although he was disappointed by the writing revelation, when asked about the song that made him become a rapper, he responded, “I would have to say it was ‘Rapper’s Delight.’ When I heard that song, man, I just knew. That was the defining moment for me when I said, ‘This is what I wanna do for the rest of my life. And I’m gonna learn how to do it, and Imma be nice as a motherfucker.'”

In his conclusion, Busta insisted that rappers from his era couldn’t just declare they were MCs like artists today and spoke about how they had to graft at their craft. From battle rapping to cyphers and creating a local buzz, Smith asserted that before he came out as a rapper, he honed his skills until he believed he was just as good or better than his favourite lyricists. 

You can listen to Sugar Hill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ in the video below.