The gravelly, mic-melting flow and outsize personality of [artist id="1043"]Busta Rhymes[/artist] have been etched in the minds of hip-hop heads ever since he kicked off his solo career with his multi-hued, high-energy 1996 video for "Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check." Since then, he's set the bar high for inventiveness in hip-hop, with eye-popping visuals and a singular flow that can swing from understated to unruly in a single verse.
So, who among hip-hop's latest class of freshman MCs does Bus-a-Bus believe is taking the game to the next level? During his "RapFix Live" interview on Thursday (October 7), Busta broke down the newbie rap stars he's checking for.
"I give it up to J. Cole, he's one of my favorite new MCs," Busta said. "Very creative, his spit game is incredible to me. I think he delivers well and he's been exemplifying consistency."
In addition to the Roc Nation lyricist, Busta said Young Money's multi-skilled singer/spitter Drake is also putting a serious dent in the scene.
"I gotta big up Drake," Busta continued, "It's not every day that you come across one of those dudes that have the ability to just do so many different things and still sound extremely thorough in every area. Sometimes you might try to do more than one thing but you may hear how you may lack in some of those areas. Drake definitely has a great balance in being able to sufficiently deliver on both sides."
The animated MC also gave a shout-out to Drake's Young Money fam and sometime partner-in-rhyme Nicki Minaj.
"Nicki Minaj is doing a wonderful job, not just as a female artist but as [an] MC period. She's displaying an ability that most dudes ain't even been able to deliver as consistently on," Busta said, adding that she's switching up the vibe of hip-hop with her colorful persona. "Her speed-rap ability, her animation, she exemplifies not just dope ability as an MC, but she's bringing character back to the game. Most artists, a lot of the time they come out and they just want to rhyme and dress cool. She is not afraid to deliver as a character."
Busta also revealed he respects Pittsburgh MC Wiz Khalifa's indie hustle. "I like the Wiz Khalifa dude. I'm very interested in seeing how his thing is coming together because it seems like it's coming together very organically. Like, he had his movement already before he even really started to put these records out and get the public notoriety that he's starting to get," Busta said. "I always love a grassroots grind and being able to build your own momentum."
The "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" spitter also shouted out an artist he has been in the studio with, Reek Da Villian, who accompanied Busta to his "RapFix Live" sit-down and later dropped a freestyle.
"I gotta big up Reek Da Villian, [who] is one of the new MCs. I been working with him for about three years. We kinda stopped working with each other for a year and we recently got back together within the last eight, nine months," Busta explained. He added that the Long Island lyricist, whose track "Mechanics" features Busta and Swizz Beatz, is an "MC's MC."
"At the end of the day, where we come from, it's about spittin' and the boy can make records and he can make songs," Busta said. "It's rare to come across new, fresh talent that not only knows how to spit but can make songs."
Do you agree with Busta's picks for hottest new MCs in hip-hop? Sound off in the comments!