Busta Rhymes, is an American rapper, singer, musician, record producer, record executive, and actor. In 1989, alongside fellow Long Island natives Charlie Brown (born Bryan Higgins), Dinco D (born James Jackson) and Cut Monitor Milo (born Sheldon Scott), formed the East Coast hip hop group Leaders of the New School. The group's big break was when they became an opening act for hip hop group Public Enemy. Leaders of the New School began recording in late 1989 and released their debut album A Future Without a Past... in 1991 on Elektra Records. In 1993, they released their second and final album, T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind's Eye). Busta gained popularity from his advanced rhymes as well as his unique style that was not common of many New York rap artists at the time. Raised by two Jamaican parents, he embraced his heritage in his music and image as an artist. Busta was the only member of the group to wear dreads and use Jamaican slang, or Jamaican Patois, in his raps. His unique style added an element to the group that allowed for rapid success. Soon after, however, internal problems arose because of Busta Rhymes's increasing popularity, and the group broke up on the set of Yo! MTV Raps.
In the summer of 1995, Busta Rhymes began working on his solo debut album The Coming, and a month after recording was completed, he released it in March 1996. A month before the album was released, he broke out with a hit single, "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check". Later, he started work on his second album, When Disaster Strikes, which would not be released until September 1997. It produced the hit singles "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" and "Fire It Up".
In 1998, Busta Rhymes recorded Extinction Level Event (Final World Front). Its lead single "Gimme Some More" reached No. 6 in the UK singles chart in January 1999. Busta Rhymes enjoyed further transatlantic success in April, when the single "What's It Gonna Be?!", featuring Janet Jackson, reached the US and UK Top 11. The album received prominent notice for featuring the fastest rapping Busta Rhymes has performed, particularly on a song called "Iz They Wildin Wit Us?", featuring a guest appearance by Mystikal. That same year, the crew that Busta founded called the Flipmode Squad released their group album.
In 2000, Busta Rhymes recorded his final album for Elektra, entitled Anarchy. After Busta signed to J Records, a label started by the then recently ousted Arista Records chief and founder Clive Davis, he released a greatest hits collection Total Devastation: The Best of Busta Rhymes, alongside a new album of original work. Continuing the Biblical theme of his previous albums, he titled his record Genesis. The album featured collaborations with Mary J. Blige, P. Diddy, Kelis, and others. Genesis was powered by the hit single with Kelis, "What It Is", and his solo single released in November 2001, "Break Ya Neck". The final single was the summer smash "Pass the Courvoisier, Part II", which featured Pharrell and P. Diddy. Despite the success of the two singles, this album did not sell as well as previous releases. Fellow Flipmode members were featured, but minor changes in the roster were noted.
In 2002, Busta Rhymes released his sixth studio album It Ain't Safe No More. The album was moderately successful, with a hit song featuring Mariah Carey and the Flipmode Squad titled "I Know What You Want". Another hit single was "Make It Clap", featuring Spliff Star. The remix of "Make It Clap", features Sean Paul. After its release, Busta Rhymes left J Records. In 2004, he signed with American record producer and record executive Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, through Interscope Records. Consequently, upon changing label, a new Flipmode album was cancelled and shelved. As a side note, Busta was also featured as a playable fighter in the 2004 fighting game Def Jam: Fight For NY.
His seventh studio album, titled The Big Bang, became the first No. 1 album of his career. The CD sold over 209,000 copies in its first week to earn the top spot on the US Billboard 200. The album also became his highest charting album in the UK, peaking at No. 19. Some of the album was previously leaked online, and as a result several songs were left off the album and new ones added. The Big Bang features production by Dr. Dre and Swizz Beatz, as well as appearances by Raekwon and Nas. The album spawned the singles "Touch It", "I Love My Bitch", featuring Kelis and will.i.am, "New York Shit", featuring Swizz Beatz and "In The Ghetto". Busta Rhymes also had a stint opening for Mariah Carey's The Adventures of Mimi Tour. Also, he has performed with Eminem on "Touch It Remix Part 5" and who also performed a verse on Em’s song, "I'll Hurt You". On July 17, 2008, Busta left Interscope and Aftermath due to a creative clash with Interscope head Jimmy Iovine.
In 2007, Busta Rhymes released a song featuring Linkin Park, titled "We Made It". He also made an original song, "Where's My Money", for a fictional radio station in the 2008 video game Grand Theft Auto IV. It was later revealed that Busta inked a deal with Universal Motown, where he released his eighth studio album Back on My B.S., on May 19, 2009. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, selling 56,000 copies, and was his first album to not receive an RIAA certification, selling 122,000 copies to date. The album was supported by the singles "Arab Money", featuring Ron Browz, "Hustler's Anthem '09", featuring T-Pain and "Respect My Conglomerate".