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Busta Rhymes

The Big Bang (Aftermath/Interscope Records)

Busta Rhymes has recently embarked on a career makeover. He's got a new label, a new haircut and a new body. But his latest album, The Big Bang, is reminiscent of the Busta of the '90s: hungry, charismatic and crazy. The Dr. Dre-produced opening salvo, "Get You Some," finds Rhymes sounding remarkably reinvigorated. Elsewhere, on the hypnotic, head-nodding "New York S***," he returns to his East Coast hip-hop roots by uplifting a city still trying to get over the changes brought on by 9/11. Praised for his rapid-fire flow, Busta shines on "Get Down," a stripped-down, party-starting cut produced by Timbaland. But it's not all about parties this time: Rhymes speaks of his personal journey on "Been Through the Storm," while the dark, piano-driven "Legend of the Fall Offs" deals with the fear of being irrelevant. With Dr. Dre at the helm, Busta bangs on this one. How could he not?

 
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