Busta Rhymes – “E.L.E. 2 (Extinction Level Event 2): The Wrath of God” review

Busta Rhymes is a 48 year old MC from Brooklyn, New York who came up as a member of the Leaders of the New School. Becoming the stand out member of the quartet, he branched out for a very successful solo career & dropped 4 classics in a row from 1996-2000. Last we heard from Busta was in 2012 when he released the universally panned Year of the Dragon but after 8 years, he’s back with a sequel to E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front.

The intro starts off with Busta rapping about being a God over a boom bap beat from Nottz with some strings & a vibraphone, but then Rakim accompanied him as it switches up into a more atmosphere instrumental. The next song “The Purge” talks about rioting over a Swizz Beatz instrumental with some prominent sirens while the track “Strap Yourself Down” talks about challenging his opponents over a dynamic beat from the late J Dilla & Pete Rock. The song “Czar” with M.O.P. finds the 3 talking about being the leaders of the new shit over a symphonic instrumental from Rockwilder while the track “Outta My Mind” is a fun club banger backed by a sample of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison”.

The title track gets conscious then over a monstrous instrumental whereas “Slow Flow” is a sequel to “I Remain Raw” backed by a video game-esque beat & sampling Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Brooklyn Zoo” for the hook. The song “Don’t Go” with Q-Tip sees the 2 getting romantic over a luxurious piano instrumental while the track “Boomp!” talks about every hood having love for him over a boom bap beat from DJ Scratch with some keys & a synthesizer.

The song “True Indeed” talks about leaving dudes dead over a DJ Premier instrumental with a suspenseful loop while the track “Master Fard Muhammad” with Rick Ross finds the 2 getting materialistic over a jazzy beat from Hi-Tek & Terrace Martin. The song “YUUUU” with Anderson .Paak sees the 2 talking about money over a snap instrumental while the track ”Oh No” takes aim at anyone fucking with his click over a wavy trap beat.

“The Don & The Boss” with Vybz Kartel finds the 2 talking about strippers over a triumphant instrumental while the song “Best I Can” with Rapsody sees the 2 talking parenthood over a soulful beat from none other than 9th Wonder. The track “Right Where I Belong” is a redundant sequel to “I Know What You Want” down to the Rick Rock production while the song “Deep Thought” gets confessional over a dreary boom bap beat from Busta himself.

After the “Young God Speaks” interlude, the track “Look Over Your Shoulder” with Kendrick Lamar finds the 2 talking about hip hop needing them over a sample of The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” while the song “Another Me” talks about being unique over a smooth beat. The penultimate track “Freedom?” gets back on the conscious tip over a moody boom bap instrumental & then the album ends with “Satanic”, where Busta gets religious over an angelic beat.

It’s been a longtime coming but at the end of the day, this is a great return to form for Busta & I’ll even say it’s his best since The Big Bang. There are a few filler cuts in the track listing, but I really enjoy how he spends most of the album sticking to his guns instead of trying to appeal to an audience that doesn’t exist.

Score: 4.5/5

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