Busta Rhymes


RS: 3of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4of 5 Stars


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The arrival of Y2K wasn't exactly the extinction-level event that Busta Rhymes predicted on his last couple of albums, but the worrywart rapper isn't breathing a sigh of relief just yet. On his fourth solo outing, Busta casts a wary eye on the "current state of no fuckin' government." Still, save for a gloomy prelude and outro, Anarchy is mostly fist-pumping, wildin'-out energy, full of joints for Busta's real live niggas to turn way the fuck up. Much of the album will sound familiar to fans: Swizz Beatz crafts some tracks; call-and-response hollers serve as most of the hooks; the catchy "Get Out" samples a children's chorus, following the trend started by Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life."

What knocks you upside the head is Busta's flow. His hallmark dungeon-dragon roar and impossibly quick, clipped cadence get loose over D.J. Scratch's skittering strings ("C'mon All My Niggas, C'mon All My Bitches") and understated grooves from the Ummah's Jay Dee ("Live It Up"). Anarchy's seventy-five-minute length dulls its impact; by the time the grandiose strains of "Ready for War" (track nineteen) kick in, the endless rah-rah refrains and hit-or-miss production are wearing thin. At his best, though, Busta's explosive charisma and on-point mike skills can make lyrical content irrelevant and choruses a mere formality. (RS 844/845)


(Posted: Jul 6, 2000)