Trevor Noah Raps Flawlessly Alongside Busta Rhymes
In September of 2022, Trevor Noah shocked the world when he announced he was stepping down from his post as the host of The Daily Show, after nearly seven years of filling the role. The announcement came as a surprise to nearly everyone, including his staff. Just before going to a commercial break during that September 29 taping, Noah went off script and said “It’s been absolutely amazing, and I found myself thinking about everything we’ve gone through…and I realized that after seven years, my time is up.” While Noah has not announced any plans for what he intends to do next, he made a very public, tongue-in-cheek audition for a new job following his 3rd consecutive stint at the host of the Grammy Awards on Sunday night (February 5).
In mobile phone footage captured backstage after the show, Noah is seen approaching Busta Rhymes. Earlier in the evening, Busta was one of several Hip-Hop legends who tore down the Grammy stage with a scintillating Hip-Hop 50 tribute curated by The Roots’ Questlove. In addition to Busta, the tribute included Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Black Thought, LL Cool J, Method Man, Nelly, The LOX, Queen Latifah, Lil Uzi Vert, Missy Elliot, Lil Baby, Run-D.M.C., DJ Jazzy Jeff, Salt-N-Pepa and many, many more. As Trevor Noah approaches the MC born Trevor Smith, Noah begins rapping the refrain to Busta’s “What It Is.”
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After congratulating Busta on his stellar performance, telling Busta “That was everything,” Noah casually drops that he was Busta’s biggest fan. While many could rattle off the chorus to “What It Is,” Noah then proceeded to go to a whole different level of fandom. After effortlessly showcasing that he knows Busta government name (Trevor Smith, Jr.), Noah cooly says “I’ll be his backup whenever he needs it.” Noah continues, saying “If Spliff [Star] is busy, you call me,” wryly referring to Spliff Star, Busta’s longstanding hype man, who is widely-regarded as one of the best in the business. And, just to show Busta that he is not joking, Noah proceeds to flawlessly rap the lyrics of “Party Is Goin’ On Over Here.”
Fans of Busta Rhymes know that it is no small feat to recite his lyrics. Busta’s breath control, as he spits his rapid fire flow, is legendary. Noah takes on the task with flair, and knows the lyrics so well that he is able to edit some of the more sensitive words, on the fly. All in all, it is a fantastic true Hip-Hop moment where Noah, fresh off the Grammy stage, is able to appreciate Busta as a fan. And, while Spliff Star’s job is likely secure, Noah once again shows that he is a man of countless talents.
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#BonusBeat: A deep-dive 2020 episode of Ambrosia For Heads’ What’s The Headline podcast analyzing why Busta Rhymes’ ELE 2 is a classic album: