Busta Rhymes will headline this year’s 2012 Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival with a performance down under the borough’s namesake bridge on Saturday. With a stash of rap anthems that includes “Pass The Courvoisier,” “Woo-Ha!! (Got You All In Check),” and “Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” the big man’s set is sure to close out the event in a suitably rousing fashion. But Busta’s also positioned himself as something of hip-hop’s great guest verse artist—as these seven scene-stealing turns prove.
7. P. Diddy feat. M.O.P. & Busta Rhymes, “Bad Boy For Life (Remix)”
The remix to Diddy’s funky stuttering anthem might no longer contain his greatest lyric (“Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks”), but the boisterous guest list takes the song into steroid territory. Busta, for his part, brings the track home while threatening to “shatter your windshield with a rock guitar.” It’s part of his zero-tolerance policy.
6. Lil Jon & The East Side Boyz feat. Busta Rhymes, Elephant Man & The Ying Tang Twins, “Get Low (Remix)”
Crunk music might not be a soothing sound to everyone’s ears, but Busta’s presence on an already rowdy song undisputedly ups its ass-moving potential. Then Lil Jon makes everything go merengue—complete with Busta bouncing around like a hyper loon in the video!
5. K.M.D. feat. Brand Nubian and Busta Rhymes, “Nitty Gritty (Remix)”
A joyful tail-end golden-era rap work-out with MF Doom’s first group, Busta joins the session in jovial mood with a verse that rhymes “illy” with “silly.” He also starts his rap with possibly the politest ever opening couplet, asking, “Question number one, how can you go wrong?/ K.M.D., can I sing this song?”
4. Chris Brown feat. Busta Rhymes & Lil Wayne, “Look At Me Now”
Moral judgements about the utterly distasteful Chris Brown to the side, Busta’s tongue-twisting, syllable-stacking guest turn on the remix of “Look At Me Now” is something to fawn over. Spitting at something approaching warp speed, Busta never once comes close to losing his composure, leaving the listener pleasingly disoriented by the time he’s finished his brilliant barrage.
3. Craig Mack feat. The Notorious B.I.G., Rampage, LL Cool J & Busta Rhymes, “Flava In Ya Ear (Remix)”
An era-defining mid-’90s anthem, Busta climaxes this all-star remix with a performance that’s an expert lesson in how to bring a posse cut home. And for good measure he sports something we’d like to think he calls his urban bonnet in the video. (Life in the old dog yet: Mr. Muthafuckin’ eXquire’s “The Last Huzzah” pays homage.)
2. M.O.P. feat. Busta Rhymes, Teflon & Remy Ma, “Ante Up (Remix)”
“Attention please, attention please, this shit here feel like a whole entire world collapse!” ad libs Busta on the intro to a remix of this enthusiastic song about robbing people. Then big Bus kicks a verse that takes an already insanely amped song into stratospheric territory. Run that!
1. A Tribe Called Quest, “Scenario”
The rambunctious “Scenario” isn’t only one of hip-hop’s greatest ever posse cuts—it’s also the song that rap mythology likes to paint as the moment when Busta proved his clout as a superstar-in-waiting. Erupting on stage during a live rendition of the cut on The Arsenio Hall Show, Bussa Bus upstaged both Tribe and his Leaders Of The New School band mates while also memorably flipping his towering hat inside out. (It’s always about the hat.)
The Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, with Busta Rhymes, Freeway, Ka, and others, takes place at Brooklyn Bridge Park tomorrow.