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Busta Rhymes' bright future belies dark themes

Web posted on:
Tuesday, December 29, 1998 4:23:05 PM EST

From Correspondent Mark Scheerer

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Busta Rhymes is busting out with a new album to help welcome in the new year. The just-released "E.L.E." features some unlikely duets, while taking a dark look at the future. Despite these shadowy tracks, Busta's future could not be any brighter.

The rap star with the rapid-fire delivery is out to get his just desserts before the world ends in an apocalypse, a theme touched on with his previous solo albums.

"All of the albums actually connect: the coming, the warning, when disaster strikes, preliminary, signs of the times of the extreme turning point," Rhymes says.

And although this new album offers his darkest view of the future to date, Busta Rhymes prefers to look at the bright side.

"It's just a bunch of ideas of what could be, what might be, what might never happen," he says.

Listen to a clip of "Gimme Some More"

Audio clip: 165k MPEG-3
Audio clip: 225k WAV
Video clip: 1.2Mb QuickTime

Success breeds collaborations

Since becoming an MTV darling, thanks in part to his colorful collaborations with music video director Hype Williams (Williams made his feature film debut this year with "Belly"), Rhymes has attracted the attention of artists from other musical genres. Janet Jackson's desire to work with the rapper resulted in a new duet entitled "What's It Gonna Be?"

"Not only did I want to get just cool with her on a personal level so we could always have a communication and just vibe, like overall, I wanted the song to be incredible," Rhymes says of the encounter.

Fans of Ozzie Osborne were also in for a surprise. The Ozman hooked up with Rhymes on the new album, "Extinction Level Event," for a remake of his classic heavy metal anthem, "Iron Man."

"Just to bring it even more so closer to the home plate of undisputed full blast hot record, I reached out to Ozzie," Rhymes says.

Busta's also reaching out into the fashion world by unveiling his own Bouchee clothing line in 1999, which the Brooklyn, New York, native describes in only two words: unlimited flavor.

What else could this rap prophet-turned-retailer possibly sink his teeth into next? The children's entertainment market, of course. Rhymes recently lent his distinctive voice to "The Rugrats Movie" as Reptar Wagon. This former emcee and busy bee is working hard to maintain his buzz.

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