Busta Rhymes – “The Fuse is Lit” review

This is the debut EP from Brooklyn emcee, songwriter, producer & actor Busta Rhymes. Coming up as a member of the Leaders of the New School, he would go on to turn heads in the spring of ‘92 off the strength of his verse on “Scenario” off of A Tribe Called Quest’s iconic sophomore album The Low End Theory. The dragon would see greater success as a solo artist with full-lengths like The Coming, When Disaster Strikes…, E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front, Anarchy, Genesis & The Big Bang. However when E.L.E. 2 (Extinction Level Event 2): The Wrath of God dropped a couple Devil’s Nights back, it would find Busta returning to form considering the mixed to subpar reception of B.O.M.B.S. (Back On My Bullshit & the Cash Money Records-backed Year of the Dragon. But to warm everyone up for his upcoming 11th album, Busta’s coming together with The Fuse is Lit.

“Break This Bitch Up” kicks off the album with a Middle Eastern instrumental from Swizz Beatz talking about how he can’t be stopped whereas “Slap” is a vintage boom bap cut produced by Marley Marl as Big Daddy Kane & Conway the Machine come into the picture to spit some hardcore bars tremendously. The song “Hot Sex, Pt. 2” has a more electronic quality to it courtesy of Aftermath Entertainment in-house producer Focus… with the lyrical themes being reminiscent of the Tribe Called Quest joint “Hot Sex” while the penultimate track “Bulletproof Skin” with Skillibeng is a decent dancehall/hip hop crossover. “Run It Up” though is a jazzy closer with Busta showing motherfuckers how it’s done.

E.L.E. 2 was an incredible return to form for the Dragon & for him to give us this as of way of holding people off until the next full-length, I wouldn’t say it’s as great but the high points on this EP are most definitely worth your time. The overall sound of it is eclectic from boom bap to dancehall & jazz rap with Busta remaining to be strong with the pen.

Score: 3.5/5

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