Though many have since deemed ELE2: The Wrath Of God to be the best album of Busta Rhymes' storied career, there are many who still hold his Dr. Dre-produced The Big Bang in the highest regard. Host of The People's Party Talib Kweli stands among them. During a recent conversation, Talib revealed to Busta that, despite the classics lining his ten-album discography, the album he continuously turns to is The Big Bang, originally released on Aftermath in 2006 and executive produced/mixed by Dr. Dre.
Speaking on the beloved record, Talib praises the musical chemistry between with Busta and Dre, opening the floor for further dissection of the dynamic. Busta reveals how he was initially inspired upon walking past Dre's platinum plaques for Doggystyle, The Chronic, and several of Eminem's albums. "I was like 'I want one of these'," he explains. "Each one of them was five million sales and better."
"This is in 03," reflects Busta, who had gone platinum on each of his albums except It Ain't Safe No More. "Dre was like 'well, you don't get different results doing the same things. So we gotta do some different things if you want different results. We need to get you in shape." Dre also advised him to disappear from the game for a while, stopping his features and shows entirely. "I'm looking at him crazy," admits Busta. "I'm like fuck you mean, I got kids." Busta revealed that Dre assured him he would be taken care of financially, allowing him time to focus entirely on his album.
Busta Rhymes ft. Q-Tip & Marsha Ambrosius - "Get You Some"
"We didn't realize it would be a three-year journey," reflects Busta. "I'm used to putting out an album every year." Though the process was difficult to adjust to on the financial side, Busta was pleased with the results he was seeing with both his body transformation and the music itself. "We get to two and a half-years, and when you work with Dre, he's on his own clock. It's never about deadlines to him. It's about when it's perfect. It was frustrating cause we couldn't get a definitive timeline on when we would drop. I had to learn how to appreciate patience by circumstance. And then I had to learn what it is to apply this new lifestyle change with discipline."
Busta admits that while having to turn down a few business opportunities was frustrating at the time, he came to appreciate Dre's advice once the album was released. "I'm recording these incredible records with Dr. Dre, and I'm experiencing this process of how he works first hand, for three years," he says. "And the album comes out, and I get my first number-one album debut in my whole career. Do over two-hundred-and-something in the first week. Shit was screaming in the streets with the 'Touch It' record, and then the remix comes and we go through that crazy situation."
Busta Rhymes - "Legend Of The Fall Offs"
He admits that releasing "I Love My Bitch" as a follow-up single was a misstep, as "motherfuckas wanted to hear a Busta Rhymes and Dr. Dre record." Though he doesn't get into details, Busta maintains that he was "coerced" into releasing that as a single. Despite some of the speedbumps, Busta still considers "The Big Bang" to be a turning point, one that for many years was the shining point of his discography. "It set the new bar for Busta Rhymes completely," explains Busta. Check out the full conversation below, with Aftermath talk kicking off around the 1:19 mark.