Busta Rhymes' return to the charts has a decidedly Long Island feel.
The Uniondale rapper builds his new single, "Calm Down" (The Conglomerate), around the opening of Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle," the same sample that fueled "Jump Around" by House of Pain.
Of course, the fact that it features an epic rap battle with Eminem doesn't hurt its chances of success. Rhymes says the competition between the rappers pushed them to pack as much into their performances as they could.
The result is six minutes of lyrical firepower, with Busta and Eminem dropping potent verses. "See me and Shady together we're crazy," Rhymes says. "Like baking a vomit-and-rabies cake like a pastry." Later, Em asks, "Act my age? I am, eight! So let's get smashed and wake up the next day with the room trashed, covered in Band-Aids, glass ashtray smashed, champagne splashed on the lampshades."
"One thing that I love the most about working with Em is that he brings the best out of me and I was able to do the same for him," Rhymes told Complex. "It's very much a rewarding feeling and an honor when you work with one of your favorites, and he invests time and is meticulous and makes corrections and adjustments. That just shows each other how much we respect each other's pen and how much we respect each other's ability and skill set."
The respect is spreading, as the song debuted at No. 16 on the rap chart and landed at No. 94 on the pop chart. It's a strong opening for the upcoming "Extinction Level Event 2" album, which Rhymes hopes to release late this fall.