Outside the Lines With Rap Genius – Dante Ross Excerpt #2: Busta Rhymes Lyrics
SameOldShawn: One other person you discovered very early on was Busta, with his group. I've read stuff you said about him, and you said even before he went solo, even in his group days, there was always something special...
Dante Ross: Oh yeah, he was shining
SOS: If you had to put it into words, what was it about him that was special?
DR: Well, one, he's larger than life. He's super charming, he's incredibly talented, great rapper, unique. Has a real yardman energy to him, you feel the Jamaican thing. Very Brooklyn. He always had a huge personality. And he was very, very smart and very driven. To this day, I say he's the most driven artist I've ever seen in my entire career. I've never seen someone who wants it and works as hard as him
And every album -- people don't know this -- he does 35 songs for every album. Maybe only 15 make that album. But the catalog of work he has an all the stuff he can do, and how perceptive he was. I say that because, when we made the second record, then turned it in, and I didn't like the second record. I was like, this record's not good enough. And I played it for Lyor and Chris Lighty, who was their manager at the time -- who I loved to death, he was one of my favorite people ever.
SOS: The second Leaders record?
DR: Right. We all determined it wasn't so good. And they were a band thats trajectory was going up, but there was a lot of infighting in the group. "Scenario" was their biggest record. So I grabbed Q-Tip and I said, "Would you want to executive produce the record with me? You'll oversee the production, you'll do a lot of it, you'll fix it. They listen to you. You could really make this your thing, and I'll cut you in for a piece of it." And he was like, "I'm down." None of the Leaders wanted to do it -- none of them except Busta. And they all shot it down for ego-driven reasons, led by Charlie Brown. And Busta took me aside and was like, "Yo, I'm down to do that"
And that's when I really, really knew that he was more perceptive than they were. When he performed in the band, when he got on the mic, that's when everyone got crazy. It was very apparent. I remember watching with Muggs. Me and Muggs was watching when they performed at this place called The Building. When Bus hit the mic, everyone went crazy. Muggs turned to me and said, "Yo, he gotta do his own record." And I was like, "You're right"
Another thing was, they had a routine. "Jump, jump, jump, jump." That became "Jump Around." I mean, they took it from a Ninja Man song, "Jump Around Spread Out," that's where they got it. But it's an old reggae thing, it's an old dancehall routine. But that's where Muggs was inspired to do "Jump Around" from, and he'll tell you that. And he saw that, too. He's like, "How come that's not a record?" And I always would think to myself, Muggs is a great A&R guy, cause I saw him make Cypress, and he saw that about them. He was one of the people I always listened to, I always took his opinion highly. And he was one of the people who said Busta should be a star from jump. I felt it, and Chris Lighty felt it. Me and Chris pulled him to the side. I'm like, literally, we want to throw that second album in the garbage. I wanted him to go solo then, but we couldn't get him to do it. But after the record ran its course, he was like, I'm ready
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