Busta Rhymes Recalls Battling Jay-Z In High School
Back before [artist id="1043"]Busta Rhymes[/artist] was known as the Dungeon Dragon for his raucous flow and when [artist id="1269"]Jay-Z[/artist] was just Jay, the two were upstart rappers attending the same high school in Brooklyn, New York.
During his appearance on "RapFix Live" on Thursday (October 7), Bussa Bus recalled battling the future Roc Nation head for crown of the cafeteria. The two went toe-to-toe in rhyme before Jay-Z emerged victorious, handing Busta his first significant loss, he said.
"One day, somebody came up to me and was like, 'Yo, Hov is in the cafeteria,' " Busta Rhymes told MTV News' Sway. "They weren't calling him Hov at the time; they were calling him Jay. 'Do you want to step to him on some rhyme sh--?' So I go. At the time, when we were rhyming, it was speed rap. That was the thing to do. I knew how to freak it, and he knew how to freak it. And at the time, he was so ill, 'cause of the people he was with at the time, Jaz-O and them, it was their thing [that style]. He kind of got the best of the situation. I got to give it up. He was so ill and his arsenal was so long that he had more than what I did. I spit my one rap, and my tank was empty real fast. He came with two or three after that, and I was like, 'Here we go.' But I gave it my best."
The two, along with another fellow student, the Notorious B.I.G., eventually went on to bigger things, as each scored platinum album sales, big hits and worldwide adoration. But the defeat stuck with Busta Rhymes. Although his style had traces of hip-hop and dancehall, and he wasn't primarily an MC at the time, Busta thought Jay-Z's victory was impressive nonetheless.
"That was probably the fist time that I lost a battle that mattered," he said. "[Jay-Z] always exemplified greatness as an MC. He was a scientist with it."
Who do you think would win today in a Busta/Jay rap battle? Share your thoughts in the comments!