Complex | Combat Jack

Busta Rhymes on The Combat Jack Show Ep. 2

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Combat Jack:

Now, one thing I learned about you late in your career is when you started speaking about when you use to hustle back in the day man. Like, what's the craziest shit you've seen back then man, when you was hustling man? And why

did you stop? Busta Rhymes:

I never wanted to hustle, ya' know. I actually did it just to fuck around, I didn't need to do it. But I never wanted to do it. Combat


You wanted some, some fresh money...

Busta Rhymes:

Actually, yeah. I just want to get fresh money and I wasn't-- you know, my family did a phenomenal job with providing for me and... you know, I never really ever needed to hustle. You know, I don't ever false advocate that because my mom's bust her ass and came home with swollen ankles many a nights. Combat Jack: Well, what'd she do? What does your mom

do? Busta Rhymes:

My mother had worked for a law firm for 25 years as a

receptionist. Combat Jack:

And that's hard

work man. Busta Rhymes:

Yeah, but the hours were just so crazy man and my mom's wasn't... She was a lot heavier back then, so she would come home with her ankles looking like little mini-pumpkins and it used to be so painful. And I use to hate that shit. So, I ended up trying to do things to create less stress for her. It wasn't 'cause I needed to do it-- Combat


Was your pops around? Busta Rhymes: Yeah, my pops was around he was always a licensed electrical contractor. He's always been self-employed, I've never seen him work for somebody else. Yeah, it's hard, hard. My father's one of those doers, his hands are calloused up and you know he's just a strong believer of being self-sufficient and not begging or borrowing from nobody. So, I grew up with the integrity of-- understanding the value of being your own boss and being responsible and being a provider. You know what I'm saying? So, I was fortunate enough to never have to have-- I never had a regular job in my life, you know what I'm saying? I went straight from school and you know, I busted my ass for a couple of years to find my way into being able to get this deal so I can get my own employment happening and then it's been off to the horse races 22 years later. But-- but the point that I am trying to make is that, the hustling thing I ended up doing because it was just what I was surrounded with. All of the homies in the hood was doing it, Reagan was the president, Crack was the shit, Coke was the shit... and it was easy to get money. Especially back then, you know, out of town when it was the best money to go get. And... you know, it was fun until-- Combat


What was fun about it? The money part? The chicks, the cars-- Busta Rhymes: Yeah, all of that shit, the most amazing

shit. Combat Jack:

The Sergio Tachini, like, suits- This is a good Jamaican man. Busta Rhymes: You know that. All of that, son. First of all, first of all, internets, know something. Busta Rhymes has Lamborghinis and fish net tanks in the

same color. Busta Rhymes:

Yeah, but you know that... That shit-- there was a lot of shit that you've seen that I'm not really gonna sit around and get to talk about this shit on camera. But you know, you see shit and it was a lot of moments that was frightening moments man. And you know, it was moments that... really, really... made me pursue this music shit--

Combat Jack:

I'm not built for-- I'm not

built for this? Busta Rhymes:

I don't-- I don't want to be built for it. One funny thing was uh... I was following some dudes out of town and the spot got robbed.

Combat Jack:

While you was in it? Busta


Yeah... and... you know these niggers had to take it short obviously because buy got wrong. So, uh... They put us back in the spot with some more shit... and uh... I robbed them. I-- I had a problem with the fact that, I got-- the spot got wrong, it wasn't my fault. You telling me I gotta take a short, so you're not paying me. So now, I've been sitting in here doing all this shit and then on top of that... you know, something could happen to me. And then you're telling I go back in there without my package, you're telling me we're short if we take a short we ain't get no paper. Okay, cool... So, I'ma go back in there with just dick, and when y'all leave I'm leaving with your shit. I'ma get paid myself. I'ma pay myself. And I didn't see these dudes for about... well, 4 years-- 5 years after.

Combat Jack:

Now, you're in the show

business, right? Busta Rhymes:

Yeah, so the first time I've seen them again they came to a show... where I was Busta Rhymes. I didn't even see them doin' the leaders run. So, they come in the show as Busta Rhymes and they see me there... I gets off the stage and I step straight to 'em 'cause I thought it was gonna be a problem and you know... I didn't want them to feel like... you know, I was worried about anything. So I went over say "What's up?" They big me up, about 8, 9 of 'em. Same crew from back when we was on the street. Same exact crew, every last one of 'em was still rockin' with each other. So, they said to me "We're glad you're doing your thing, congratulations and all of that... But if you ever end up back on this side, you're gonna pay for that shit you did." I laughed at that shit. I said, you motherfuckers ain't never gonna see

me... Combat Jack:

And that was it,

right? Busta Rhymes:

Them verses kept getting better and better baby. Combat


Yo' that's amazing. Uhm... Lead us to the new. I know you've told the story a million times and I wanna move past that chapter. B-but how heartbreaking was it

when y'all disbanded man? Busta Rhymes:

I was real scared because... I wasn't ready to breakup. I had no backup plan and I never really had the responsibility of writing no full song about myself for an album. You know, doing three verses, coming up with all the hooks... 12, 14 songs. I never really had to do that. So... And then I never been in this shit rockin' without my bros, you know, two dudes had been with me from the beginning.

So... Combat Jack:

And it was a tough relationship but still it was a relationship, you had each other. Busta


Yeah, yeah I mean... it definitely was... It was over before it was over. It was bad. You know what I'm saying, but--

Combat Jack:

Oprah would say it was toxic.

Busta Rhymes:

Yeah. I wouldn't say it was toxic, but we just knew that we wasn't really rockin' with each other right there. It was made obvious plenty of times. You know, especially between me and Brown. Right. This is the problem with teams sometimes. People don't realize that, everybody here doesn't have to shoot. Somebody can grab a rebound, somebody can take a charge. You know, give an assist. You were the shooter. Busta


Yo' I think it was just more of me just wanting to... Really... I'm a competitive, driven motherfucker. So, even if we are respectfully rockin' together, was still respectfully competing-- Combat


Competing. Yeah. Of course, as it

should be. Busta Rhymes:

And that's what it was always about for me. It was the same thing for Brown. It was the same thing for Dane, everybody. We wouldn't eve let each other, hear each other's verses until it was time to lay them shits. Because you didn't even want another motherfucker to be able to correct bars before we spit. You know. once you laid your shit, it was mandated that you can't change it later. So, the competitive shit intensified to the point where we were vindictively trying to shit on the ext MC. So, when we did songs in the studio... 85, 90 percent of the time, nobody would say their verses to each other-- Until it was laid and once you laid your shit...Yeah, that was it. You can't change it. 'cause you might feel you heard the dude rhymin' after your shit, spanking your shit, ow you wanna go back and switch shit up. That ain't the way this is going down. And we-- that's the way we rock with each other. So, every verse has to be that shit that you knew you was going to be comfortable living with 'cause once you laid it you couldn't change it.

In the second part of our three part interview with Busta Rhymes on The Combat Jack Show, Busta opens up about his past as a drug dealer.

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