If Kevin Bacon can tie people together through various degrees of separation, Busta Rhymes can connect places with song. Just ask him about his new single "Make It Clap."
"Whether you in church, whether you in a strip club, whether you at an opera, applauding at a basketball game, wherever it is, pretty much every scenario that's a feel-good scenario gets an applause," Busta said Friday about the inspiration for his first single from It Ain't Safe No More, due Tuesday. "Clapping represents a feel-good energy, so for me it made sense to do this record and channel that feel-good energy. That's a traditional approach for me, giving people records that bang in the party."
Since he debuted the song a few weeks ago, Bus has received kudos for keeping the bar raised in music video making. No million-dollar budgets this time, however. He decided to scale down and go with a comedic approach, which included Busta acting as a corrupt preacher with a Jheri Curl.
"It's really all in the idea, not in the money," he explained. "Like how D'Angelo did that 'Untitled' video, it was one shot, cost-effective."
The Flipmode Squad general was keeping a close eye on the budget Monday as he, Spliff Star and special guest Sean Paul shot a video for the remix of "Make It Clap" in New York.
"That's gonna be a much more edgy and raw type of video," he said. "I already have a big-looking video, now I'm gonna do a much more cutting edge, street type of approach."
The Bussa Bus/Sean Paul allegiance was formed when the tandem worked on the remix of Paul's "Gimme the Light."
"It came out so bangin' that we was like, '"Make It Clap" got a reggae feel in the bounce to the beat, so let's see what [a remix] sounds like.' ... The energy was right. We was bouncing off each other like trampolines."
Another cut off It Ain't Safe No More, "Call the Ambulance," was made with slam dancing, elbow throwing, rabble rousers in mind.
"Most of the time in those street parties like the Tunnel and [club] Speed, real underground spots, we're used to hearing that muthaf---ers had to get carried out the club, whether they getting rushed by a crew or the bouncer had to flatten somebody for getting stupid. It's even iller at a concert when n---as is wildin' out in the celebration of the vibe. At the end of the day it's just me giving n---as another one of the records to wild out on."
"I Know What You Want," featuring Mariah Carey and Flipmode Squad, finds Busta in a much more benevolent mood, showing love to his girl and singing.
"Throughout my career I sung on several records," he explained. "For me, I don't mind to try and experiment with different sh--. I felt good vibing with Mariah in that way. When she listened to [me singing], she said it would be cute.
"We made a lot of joints [dissing] women, and we make the joints focusing on the chicken heads of the world, but there are a lot of worthy women who are putting up with a lot of sh--," added the co-star of the upcoming action-drama "Narc." "You put your mom through sh--, you put your girl through sh-- -- we gotta show them love for hanging in there. Rah Digga came with a point of view of appreciating her man."
Busta, who said he'll be going on tour in January, left the singing up to Carl Thomas on "The Struggle Will Be Lost." But don't be fooled by Thomas using the same melody as the theme from "Gilligan's Island." Busta was dead serious when recording that track.
"For me, I'm gonna always deal with a higher science in addition to partying and bullsh---in'," he said. "We gonna have fun, but we gonna deal with a jewel every now and then. I feel that's a responsibility."
Identifying the strife of the times we're living in led to Busta's bleak It Ain't Safe No More album title.
"Since 9/11 it's been a consecutive and consistent chain of events that just represents nothing but hazardous and harmful sh--," he said. "In that aspect, we're reflecting the vibe of what was taking place in a society level through the music. In addition, I felt like it almost wasn't safe to be an artist doing your thing in any kind way, because each MC is going at each other's heads."
Click here for a complete listen of Busta Rhymes' It Ain't Safe No More