A Future Without A Past: The Beginnings Of Busta

It’s always interesting to me that when it comes to comic book characters, illustrated stories of their origins are treasured and adorned with monetary value, yet the recorded/documented origins of our own cultural characters often gets the “blahzay” treatment. We’re going to work on that over the next few weeks.

Many of our younger readers may not be familiar with the backstory of the man they call Busta Rhymes. He’s been in the game for, well, as long as I can remember. Before he was co-signing [hot-garbage] processions of love for cocaine, he was – and still is – a beast on the mic. Back before he cut off his dreads, before he made you clap and pass the courvoisier, even before he counted down to Y2K and proclaimed he had you “all in check”, Busta was on – and popping.

As one third of the group Leaders Of The New School, alongside Dinco D and Charlie Brown, Busta literally had a career before his career. They’d dropped a single prior to, but really came to notoriety after the release of the song Scenario with Tribe Called Quest, off the legendary Low End Theory album. After the cameo success, the group went on to release their now ironically, and in hindsight aptly titled debut, Future Without A Past. The album spawned a few hits, including Case Of The PTA and Sobb Story.

However, the group broke up shortly after their second album T.I.M.E, and acronym for The Inner Mind’s Eye. The conflict was pretty commonplace, when looking back at it. Charlie Brown thought of himself as the leader of the group, and there was tension surrounding the spotlight that Busta was clearly commanding. Basically the Destiny’s Child effect. The group’s infamous straw that broke the camels back was captured by YO MTV Raps! cameras. Needless to say, Busta Rhymes prospered post break-up. The trio reunited briefly on the song Keep It Movin on Busta’s solo debut The Coming, but were never heard together on wax again.

What they (the trio) left behind is two albums, which actually hold up nicely, for the most part. I thought it would be fitting to showcase some of the hot, often forgotten, shit that Busta dropped during his younger days with the leaders. Consider this exclusive mix a salute to the god!

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Riley About Author

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns