Busta Rhymes Opens Up About His Near Death Experience
Less than three weeks since releasing the highly-acclaimed Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, Busta Rhymes continues to give fans greater context about a comeback album like no other. In speaking with Van Jones’ The Messy Truth, the veteran MC/producer discussed how Public Enemy and The Bomb Squad mentored Leaders Of The New School beyond the basics. Busta opens up about his father’s view of his Rap pursuits, his relationship with former high school classmate JAY-Z, and how his mother was part of his business for years.
Most notably, though, Busta Rhymes tells Van Jones how he nearly died in recent years. B.R. admits a lifestyle that included hard-drinking, smoking cigarettes, and excessive weight gain. The veteran MC put on about 100 pounds since his last album, and his breathing alarmed family members. At 58:30, Busta reveals that he lost his voice after a night of partying and making the music video for his M.O.P.-assisted “Czar.” A trip to a voice doctor led to an emergency admission concerning his breathing passages. “[The doctor] said, ‘your polyps grew so big that [they] blocked 90% of your breathing passage. If I send you home tonight, and you sleep under the A/C and catch a cold, and that last 10% of your breathing passage gets blocked, you’re going to die tonight.” Busta reveals that the news brought him to tears. “I just couldn’t believe that’s how bad my condition was; I just couldn’t believe that I was that close to death.” Busta adds that he sleeps under the fan most nights, increasing his risk of a blockage in that described scenario. “[Had I not gone to a doctor], it could have been a whole ‘nother thing—people posting ‘Busta Rhymes rest in peace’ posts on the ‘Gram. Thank God that ain’t the case; we don’t need to put that in the universe.”
Busta Rhymes Has Made A Classic Album 30 Years Into His Career
Busta, who had watched close collaborators J Dilla and Phife Dawg, says he immediately went to UCLA Medical Center. That staff insisted on a next-day surgery. “That’s when I knew sh*t was real.” Busta adds that UCLA’s team considered his career, refusing to compromise his vocal sound with their work. The MC also describes the pressures he faced being a provider to so many people. “It ain’t set up yet for me to just [die] and them be alright—the way they need to be.” The New Yorker says his faith helped him ahead of what was a successful surgery procedure.
On this week’s episode of Ambrosia For Heads‘ What’s The Headline podcast (season 2, episode 7), we discuss Van Jones’ conversation with Busta Rhymes—including this revelation, which B.R. says is the first time he’s been public about this incident. We also welcome guest Lyric Jones to the show, who appears in the middle of the episode. Lyric, who has worked with Blu, Skyzoo, J-Live, and others, unpacks her Closer Than They Appear album. The just-released project is executive produced by Phonte and features Little Brother as well as Vic Mensa. In the discussion, Lyric details how Phonte’s enthusiasm affirmed a career that goes back a decade. She describes being an educator, who raps, sings, plays drums, and now DJs. Additionally, Lyric Jones weighs in on 2020 and how her “Face To Face” song captures the spirit of a year surrounded by pain and progress.
Lyric Jones Celebrates Solidarity & Getting By In “Got Bills” (Video)
Here Is What Else Is Happening Of Note:
Benny The Butcher was shot outside of a Houston, Texas Wal-Mart on Sunday (November 15). The Black Soprano Family founder suffered a leg injury, but was seen boarding a plan and recovering since the attempted robbery. (TMZ)
Gucci Mane replaces T.I. in this week’s November 19 Verzuz season 2 battle. Gucci will take on his former real-life foe Jeezy. (Billboard)
Westside Gunn is no longer an artist on Eminem’s Shady Records. The Griselda founder broke the news to The Joe Budden Podcast less than one year after his group’s W.W.C.D. marked its long-awaited debut for the imprint. This year, he released WHO MADE THE SUNSHINE with the label, before making his exit. Both works garnered critical praise without the same commercial response.
DJ Spinbad has passed away due to unknown causes. The Queens, New York veteran was 46 years old. In the 1990s, he partnered with DJ JS-1 and DJ Avee to make DJ Spinbad Rocks The Casbah, an acclaimed 1980s pop music-themed mixtape. (Complex)
Singer Jeremih is reportedly on a ventilator amid a battle with COVID-19. Reports indicate that the Def Jam Records artist is showing signs of improvement. (TMZ)
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads’ official playlist, featuring new music by 2 Chainz, Ill Bill, Pharoahe Monch, Conway The Machine, Lyric Jones, Busta Rhymes, Jack Harlow, Rakim, Kendrick Lamar, REASON, MC Eiht, Kokane, Black Thought, and Benny The Butcher, among other new songs: