Busta Rhymes Already Revving Up Next LP; Dre, Pharrell On Board

MC hopes to have Before Hell Freezes Over out by spring.

ATLANTA — Busta Rhymes says there's no way he will ever take three years to make an album again.

"Hell no!" he said recently, when asked about the looooong gap between the release of It Ain't Safe No More in late 2002 and The Big Bang earlier this year. "That's one thing you're never gonna see again. The new album is coming, like, around early second quarter next year. It's called Before Hell Freezes Over."

Bus said he'll be working with a lot of longtime collaborators as well as some people he's never had the chance to get down with before.

"You're gonna get your traditional Busta Rhymes-and-Pharrell collabo," he said. "My man Focus from the Aftermath crew; [Dr.] Dre; the late, great Jay Dilla got work on the album (a.k.a. Jay Dee: see "Busta Rhymes, Common Keep Jay Dee Shining On Posthumous LP"). It's gonna be great — look forward to the new bang-out."

While Busta's last bang-out, The Big Bang, didn't sell as well as he'd hoped, Busta said he loved the positive reception the album's musical quality received. The LP debuted at #1 but quickly slid down the charts in the wake of negative press surrounding the February shooting death of Rhymes' longtime friend and bodyguard, Israel Ramirez, during the filming of the video for the song "Touch It" (see "Busta Rhymes Speaks Out About Slaying, Defends Video").

"The album was acknowledged the right way," Busta emphasized. "A lot of people categorize it as 'Busta Rhymes, put on your classic boots and jump around in the field of the classic material product and projects.' I think it was the first time in my whole career that people really [said], 'Yo, this is that classic one, Bus.' It feels good.

"At the end of the day, people identify with the grind and see that Busta Rhymes is a whole lot of steps in front of these regular artists," he concluded. "I ain't saying that to be disrespectful, I'm saying that to be inspiring."