Busta Rhymes, who recently wrapped up a tour with Wu-Tang Clan and Nas, is in a period of reflection. During a recent conversation with Billboard, the “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” rapper spoke on his recent achievements, including a new EP and his vastly under-celebrated visual body of work.
With constant comparisons to Missy Elliott—who received her long overdue MTV Video Vanguard Award in 2019—Busta expressed, “That’s my twin sister. I love her on undescribable [sic] levels. She has been moving out here in such a phenomenally iconic way. She just got her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this year. She just got a street named after her. She got a doctorate, I believe. And I just seen that she recently got her Madame Toussaint [sic] Wax Museum statue. Her s**t is on a whole ‘nother level of icon right now. So I’m super proud. Congrats to Missy.”
Later, the Brooklyn-bred legend gave Kendrick Lamar his flowers, citing that “The Heart Part 5” was the last video that left a lasting impression on him.
“What was the name of the Kendrick joint over the Marvin Gaye sample? ‘The Heart Part 5.’ That video was special, and they set a bar for the new generation when it came to the revolutionary visual impact that me and Missy were always successful at executing,” said Busta. “The balance of simplicity and complexity in it is so incredibly powerful, and that’s not an easy balance to find. I’m still looking to see who will come up with some s–t that’s gonna f**k with that. So visually, I’m giving Kendrick the crown. And that’s just one of the many things that Kendrick gets the crown for from me right now.”
Not-so-coincidentally, Lamar credited Missy and Busta as inspiration for his videos back in 2018.
Sharing the formula behind his own iconic music videos, Busta credited his well of originality. “It really starts with the vision and thinking outside of whatever was considered the norm, which was easy to do when you were never the norm to begin with. But then to be able to find an incredible director that knows how to help you execute that […] I think the same thing applies now.”
With his wealth of knowledge and longevity, the 50-year-old also gave insight on the evolution of music videos.
“The only difference is, technology has allowed things to be done a lot more cost-effectively,” he said. “You could still pull off these magical ideas, but there’s definitely ways to be smarter about the spend. I’m fortunate enough to be able to still pull off some amazing visuals that look like million-dollar spends, but they’re no way near those spends, but I’m still able to impact s**t in the way that people have grown to know and love me for doing.”