American rapper, Busta Rhymes is one of the most idiosyncratic personalities in the field of rap. He is an actor, record executive, and record producer, well known for his unique style, and fashion sense. His frenetic style of rap has led him to 11 Grammy Award nominations. In 1990, Rhymes was listed as one of the best rappers by Steve Huey of AllMusic.
Early life and education
Tregor George Smith Jr. aka Busta Rhymes was born on 20 March 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S. Rhymes is the son born to father Trevor Smith Sr and mother Geraldine Green, who were originally from Jamaica.
Rhymes is Afro-American in ethnicity and holds American nationality. He is of Jamaican heritage. He has a brother named Paul Smith.
At his age of twelve, Rhymes shifted to Uniondale, Long Island, and later went to the UK. He spent most of his time in Liverpool, and Morecambe, England, before coming back to America.
Leader of the New School and rising popularity
In 1989, Rhymes, along with his Long Island native Charlie Brown, Cut Monitor Milo, and Dinco D, found the East Coast hip-hop group Leaders of the New School. The group came into limelight after performing an opening act for Public Enemy, the American hip-hop group.
Leaders of the New School started their recording in 1989. They released their first album A Future Without a Past... in 1991 with Electra Records. At the beginning of 1992, the group made their appearance on A Tribe Called Quest's posse cut 'Scenario.'
After few years, the group began facing problems, due to Rhymes' increasing popularity. The group disbanded during their appearance on the set of Yo! MTV Raps.
In 1994, Busta Rhymes made guest appearances in single On My God alongside A Tribe Called Quest. He collaborated with LL Cool J, Rampage, Puff Daddy, and previous classmate The Notorious B.I.G, for a remix to Flava In Ya Ear, by Craig Mack.
After the remix track, Rhymes collaborated with The Notorious B.I.G and rappers like Coolio and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony on a posse cut, The Points. The song was also featured on 1995 movie Panther.
The Coming, When Disaster Strikes, and Extinction Level Event: Final World Front: 1995-1999
Busta Rhymes began working for his solo album in the summer of 1995. Their debut album, The Coming was released in March 1996. A month before his album's release, Rhymes became more popular with his single Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check.
Later, he started working on his second album titled, When Disaster Strikes, released in September 1997. The album included the hit singles such as Fire It Up, Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See.
2000-2004: Anarchy, Genesis, and It Ain't Safe No More
In 2000, Rhymes recorded his ultimate album for Elektra, titled Anarchy. He released a greatest hits collection titled Total Devastation: The Best of Busta Rhymes after he signed to J. Records. J. Records is a label founded by the then recently fired founder and chief of Arista Records, Clive Davis.
In 2002, Busta Rhymes released his 6th studio album, It Aint Safe No More. The album achieved huge success, with hit singles including I Know What You Want, featuring Mariah Carey.
In 2004, Rhymes signed with American record executive and producer Dr. Dre's Aftermath Entertainment, by Interscope Records.
2005-2009: The Big Band and Back on My B.S
Rhymes' seventh studio album titled The Big Bang was #1 album of his career. The album was sold over 209,00 copies in the first week of the release. The album marked on the top rank on the US Billboard 200.
In 2007, Rhymes released a song We Made It; alongside Linkin Park. He also released an original song, Where's My Money, for a radio station in the Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008.
On 19th May 2009, Rhymes released his eighth studio album Back on My B.S. The album peaked no.5 on Billboard 200, with 56,000 copies sold. It was his first album which did not receive an RIAA certification, with 122,000 copies sold till date. The album consisted hit singles such as Arab Money, starring Ron Browz, Hustler's Anthem 09, feat. T-Pain.
In 2008 November, when Rhymes released their single, Arab Money, Iraqi rapper The Narcicyst and DJ Dany Neville, gave a response by recording a reply. As per the reports by the National Media Council, the lyrics of the song were considered to be offensive, as it quoted the Shahada. Later, Busta Rhymes apologized.
Other DJs in the country claimed they did not get any banning orders for the records from being spun in clubs. They also had mixed feelings regarding the record.
DJ Bliss, with other DJs in the UAE, denied playing 'Arab Money' on Radio 1 in Dubai after the track was banned in the UAE as an offense to Arabs. He also said,
''I used to play the original version in the club, but out of respect for the laws here in my country, I havent's played it since.''
In 2010, Ron Browz, the track's producer defended Rhymes in an interview in Dubai with journalist Awad Mustafa saying that the track was misunderstood. Browz stated,
''For us, having Arab Money is a compliment unbderstood like having Tiger Woods money, or Oprah Money- it's just street slang, and we were appreciating the amazing wonders that have been created here.''
Browz also added that he produced that track in a moment of inspiration during his experiment in his studio.
''Growing up in harlem I was always surrounded by Arabs and Muslims, we embraced their cultures and they embraced ours and we always joked with each other.''
2010-present: Cash Money Records, Mixtapes, and Extinction Level Event 2
In September 2009, Rhymes announced that he was working for his ninth album, collaborating with Canadian producer Boi-1da, titled The Chemo. During the time, he said that the project was 80% completed.
In May 2010, Busta Rhymes changed the name of his ninth album from The Chemo to Extinction Level Event 2.
In 2011, he recorded Look at Me now, featuring Lil Wayne and Chris Brown's on Brown's fourth album F.A.M.E. The song also achieved good reviews about Rhymes guest verse on the track. The song also charted at number 6 on the Billboard and peaked no.1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
On 16 November 2011, Busta Rhymes signed with Cash Money Records. He released his single, Why Stop Now reuniting with Chris Brown, as his debut single with the Cash Money label and Conglomerate Records.
In 2012, Rhymes worked with Jodie Connor, featuring on her track, Take You There, but did not play in the music video. Later, Rhymes was featured on YMCMB label mate Shannel's single Last Time.
On 21 December 2012, Busta Rhymes alongside Reek da Villan and J. Doe released a mixtape called Catastrophic. He collaborated with Pharrell Williams, who produced the first single off his Cash Money Records debut Twerk It. The single was released on 6th June 2013.
Rhymes announced that he left Cash Money Records because of creative differences and is not on Republic anymore. On 7th November 2013, Rhymes released Thank You, featuring Lil Wayne, Q-Tip, and Kanye West.
Busta Rhymes is currently single. Previously he was in a long-term relationship with his former girlfriend, Joanne Wood. The couple stayed together for ten years and had four children together.
Rhymes' children include three sons, Trillian Wood-Smith (born in 2001), T'Khi Wood-Smith (born in 1999), and T'Ziah Wood-Smith (born in 1993), and a daughter, Mariah Smith (born in 1998).
After staying for ten years together, Rhymes found his ex to be a lesbian. The ex-couple has been bitter during their battle for custody rights; Rhymes was angry that she loves a woman more than him.
The news got viral all over and created a major problem for both of them. Later, Rhymes talked a lot of trash about Wood in the promotion of his new album, The Big Bang.
Rhymes called her name from crazy to dangerous to the gold digger and other vulgar words.
Later, Joanne Wood stated,
''He asked me to marry him three times. I said yess each time, but we never did it.'' However, they began having kids too, but still wasn't married.''
She also said,
''It was just a relationship stuff. He was trabelling a lot. He wasn't home a lot. It Just wasn;'t working. We were getting apart more as opposed tobeing together more. So that was that.
If he was cheating, I didnt know about it, but I can be negative to the fact that stuff was probably happening.''
Currently, Joanne Wood has visitation right two times a week and every other weekend to see her kids, who live with their granny in New York.
Wood is still in a process together with the funds, and the strength, for an appeal of the custody decision.
On 20 August 2006, Rhymes was busted and blamed for charges of third-degree assault after hitting a man who was in his car in NYC on 21 August after the Amsterdam Music Festival.
On 24 October 2006, Rhymes was at Manhattan Criminal Court as the district attorney's office attempted to previous charges against him with weapons possession for a machete found in his car. However, the judge did not add the charge and adjourned the case.
On 20 Feb 2007, Busta Rhymes denied a plea deal given by the prosecutor's office for the charge of his former driver, Edward Hatchett. The deal demanded six months jail and pleading guilty to two assaults, the attack on the former fan, and the attack on Hatchet.
Becki Rowe, Manhattan Criminal Court Judge, offered Rhymes another option. He had to plead guilty to third-degree assault. The conditions of the sentence required two weeks of youth lectures, three years of probation, five days of community services and six months of anger management classes.
Rhymes was arrested again in Manhattan for driving while impaired and without a license on 3rd May 2007. On 18 March 2008, a judge in NYC sentenced Rhymes to three years probation, ten days community service, and $1250 fine for involving in drink and drive.
On 25 September, Busta Rhymes was temporarily refused to the United Kingdom because of unsolved convictions.
On 14 October 2009, a Brooklyn judge made Rhymes pay a concert goer worth $75,000 in compensation due to an assault which happened in 2003.
Net worth and Salary
Busta Rhymes earns a huge amount of money from his career as an actor, rapper, record executive, and record producer. Due to his various sources of income, Rhymes generates a good amount of salary annually.
Busta Rhymes made $910,000 from his album titled The Coming. The album also sold over 197 copies in the US. The album included hit single, Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check.
Rhymes had a total earning of $1,850,000, from his another hit album When Disaster Strikes. The album was sold over 1.677 million copies in the United States. The album featured hit single Put Your Hands Where Eyes Could See and Fire it Up.
In this year, Rhymes earned $1,790,000 from his album Extension Level Event: The Final World Front. The album sold over 1.648 million copies in the US, with its hit singles What's Gonna Be?!, featuring Janet Jackson.
Rhymes released his another album named Anarchy and made $720,000 in the US. The album sold over 648 thousand copies with a popular song including What It Is, featuring Kelis, P. Diddy, and Mary J. Blige, and his solo hit Break Ya Neck.
Rhymes had an estimated profit of $1,500,000 from his album Genesis with more than 1.339 copies sold in America, making one of his highest earned years.
From his album The Big Bang, Rhymes earned $910,000 with 678 thousand copies sold. The album also took top place on Billboard Hot 100.
This year he had a bit less amount of earnings compared to previous years, with $195,000 from his album Back on My B.S.
Besides, Rhymes is very fond of luxury cars and has pretty good collections too. His car collections includes, Ferrari California($192,000), Lamborgini Murcielago($450,000), Lamborgini Diablo($338,600), Rolls Royce Phamtom($553,275), Mercedes Benz G-Class($114,000), Porsche GT2RS($294,250).
Rhymes also own numerous pairs of designer sneakers worth thousands of dollars. His shoe collection includes Gourmet Footwear, Nike Air Force 1, Versace Studded High Top Sneaker, Nike Air Foamposite.
The famous rapper also owns a jet and choppers. He also owns a very expensive collection of watches and jewelry. Rhymes live in his luxury mansion in Malibu. The house is worth $10.995 million. It includes 3-bedrooms, one living room, a car garage, three full bathrooms, a swimming pool, well-equipped kitchen.
As of 2017, Rhyme's total net worth is estimated to be $65 million.
Busta Rhymes Affairs
Affair with Joanne Wood
The pair stayed in a relationship for ten years and shares three children together. All of them are sons.