Busta Rhymes is paying homage to veteran dancehall Shabba Ranks, whom he says influenced his style choices with his quirky fashion decisions.
In a recent interview on Tidal’s Murda She Wrote, Busta Rhymes, who share proud Jamaican heritage thanks to his parents, recalls how the Jamaican dancehall artist who helped to spread the genre’s dominance worldwide influenced him and his own representation of the culture in rap music.
“Shabba was the father for me,” Busta begins. “The wardrobe, the jewelry, the voice, kickin’ up your foot, the hands in the air? I brought all of that to rap. Ahahaha!” he says.
The artist shared that dancehall was a part of his early life, noting that his upbringing between Brooklyn and Long Island was like any other teenager, but instead, he sold tapes recorded from dancehall music playing on the radio to buy his favorite Puma suede shoes.
His life has come a long way, and on every stage, Busta Rhymes has embraced and shared dancehall with the world through the culture and his Patois-infused raps.
However, while the artist seems happy that the culture is being given exposure and Jamaica and Jamaicans can benefit from more opportunities and finances, the artist isn’t amused by the way some pop stars try to use and misrepresent dancehall and reggae music without understanding the core of it.
“There’s a lot of misrepresentation of reggae culture,” Busta says to Tidal’s Reshma B. “The truth is the truth. Motherf**kers don’t rep the culture right, they should be called out. That’s a part of the beauty of dancehall culture. That’s why we clash! If you nah have your lyrics them right, come offa the bl**dcl**t stage!”
Meanwhile, Busta Rhymes has been working with younger acts like Skillibeng, one of the biggest names out of Jamaica right now. The artist’s latest track, “Bulletproof Skin,” was recently released off of Busta’s new EP, ‘The Fuse Is Lit’.
The project also features Swizz Beatz, Conway the Machine, and another young Jamaican artist Capella Grey (“Gyalis”).