Busta Rhymes is a lyrical master and has been a hugely impactful figure in hip-hop. With a knack for formulating creative rhyme schemes and undeniable charisma, the emcee has influenced many contemporary artists with his work.
As a New York native, Busta (real name Trevor Smith) got to see the birth, cultivation and evolution of hip-hop, and earlier this year, as the genre celebrated its 50th birthday, in an interview with SPIN magazine, the lyricist spoke about some of his favourite rappers and who he considers to be underrated.
Many rhymers reeled off a long list of MCs. However, Smith had a quick and concise answer as he is a fan of one particular rhymer who he believes is untouchable and highly underappreciated.
Revealing his choice, Smith unveiled that the most underrated rapper is “Roc Marciano. A lot of people are scared to rhyme with him.” The artist was a member of Busta Rhyme’s former crew, Flipmode Squad comprised of himself, Rah Digga, Spliff Star, Rampage and Roc Marciano.
The rapper (real name Rakheim Meyer) even appeared on Smith’s 2000 album, Anarchy. He also featured on the 2005 Wu-Tang Clan compilation album Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture. Although Meyer may not be at the forefront of rap music, he is known to critics for his exceptional self-produced debut album, Marcberg, which showcases his true versatility.
Busta Rhymes has praised Marciano before and during a 2018 performance at Manhattan’s Highline Ballroom, told the crowd, “When I say Roc Marci is my Top 5 MC ever, there’s a whole lot of science behind that! The God Roc Marciano is a godsend.”
He continued, “The precision, his ability to be an incredible architect with words. The man is a craftsman with the pen.” Marciano has worked extensively with New York icon Pete Rock in the past and even appeared on the Consequence track ‘Up Against The Wall’ alongside Kendrick Lamar. You can listen to Roc Marciano on Smith’s Anarchy album below.