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Busta Rhymes

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Busta Rhymes
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While Elektra had signed Grandmaster Flash as far back as 1985, and had some success with other rap acts like Brand Nubian, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, the label didn’t truly find its breakout hip-hop superstar until the 1996 arrival of Busta Rhymes. A distinctive personality hailed for his inventive, ragga-inspired flow and irrefutable humor and invention, Rhymes began his recording career as a 17-year old rapper with old school hip-hop crew, Leaders of the New School. The group released two albums on Elektra before splitting up in 1993.
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While Elektra had signed Grandmaster Flash as far back as 1985, and had some success with other rap acts like Brand Nubian, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, and Pete Rock & CL Smooth, the label didn’t truly find its breakout hip-hop superstar until the 1996 arrival of Busta Rhymes. A distinctive personality hailed for his inventive, ragga-inspired flow and irrefutable humor and invention, Rhymes began his recording career as a 17-year old rapper with old school hip-hop crew, Leaders of the New School. The group released two albums on Elektra before splitting up in 1993. The Brooklyn-born MC -- born Trevor Taheim Smith, Jr., and then given his nom de rap by none other than Public Enemy’s Chuck D – struck out on his own, appearing on tracks by Craig Mack, KRS-One, and A Tribe Called Quest before reuniting with Elektra via his Flipmode Entertainment label. The premier Flipmode/Elektra release was Rhymes’s 1996 solo debut, The Coming, which spawned an RIAA platinum-certified, #1 Rap single in “Woo Ha!! Got You All in Check” and was itself certified platinum – the first of four consecutive million-selling albums. 1997’s When Disaster Strikes duplicated its predecessor’s chart-topping entry onto Billboard’s “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” list, but made an even higher debut onto the overall Billboard 200 at #3. The album featured the Grammy-nominated hip-hop hit, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” plus two gold-certified singles in “Dangerous” and “Turn It Up,” both of which reached #1 on Billboard’s “Top Rap Songs” chart. Rhymes scored still another gold-certified #1 Rap hit with “What’s It Gonna Be?! (Feat. Janet Jackson),” included on 1998’s E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event) The Final World Front.
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That same year saw Rhymes stepping out as leader of his own Flipmode Squad, a hip-hop supercrew whose ranks included fellow Flipmode/Elektra recording artists Rampage and Rah Digga. Back on the solo front, Anarchy, Busta’s fourth and final Flipmode/Elektra album, entered the “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums” list at #1, with a top 3 arrival on the main chart. Though Rhymes and Elektra soon parted ways by mutual agreement, the iconic rapper continues a hugely successful solo career to this very day, in addition to a wide range of other artistic pursuits.
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