Hip hop icon adds bling to ‘BB’ gig May 4 2011 at 08:55am By Munyaradzi Vomo Comment on this story IOL Tonight Pic 04 May 11 Busta Rhymes Ziphozonke Lushaba International artist Busta Rhymes performing during the launch of Big Brother Amplified. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba ‘I didn’t know anything about Big Brother before I got the call to come and perform here, so I had to do some research so I would know what I was getting myself into,” US rapper extraordinaire Busta Rhymes told me on Saturday. Rhymes was recently in the country to add some superstar appeal to the start of a new season of Big Brother Africa’s latest instalment, Amplified. This is his third trip to South Africa. Though the rapper found the Big Brother concept interesting, he said he personally wouldn’t put himself through the confinement requirements of the reality programme. “I don’t want to be locked up in some house with some strangers. I wouldn’t even last a day,” he said. “But then again, if you lock me up with Halle Berry, Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez, I will be really cool with it. “Hell, I can even stay locked up in there for five years straight!” he said, laughing. IOL Tonight Pic2 04 May 11 Busta Rhymes International artist Busta Rhymes performing during the launch of Big Brother Amplified. Picture: Ziphozonke Lushaba Ziphozonke Lushaba Of his trip to the continent he said: “It feels genuine every time we come here. Africa is the richest part of the planet, despite what they say back home. It feels good to experience that realness.” The artist, who has been making hits since the early 1990s, is riding high on the airwaves with the Lil’ Wayne and Chris Brown collaboration, Look at Me Now. It’s really a Brown song, but Rhymes steals the show with an impressive speed-rapping verse that leaves his fellow stars trailing in his wake. Though it was first released on Brown’s latest album, F.A.M.E., Rhymes said the track would also be on his upcoming album. “I collaborate with any artist because I respect their body of work and they get the kind of music I like. With these two guys (Brown and Lil’ Wayne) it was easy to get that song out because we are all connected by the same vibe,” he explained. “We hang out in the same clubs and love the same music, so that helps. It is probably one of the best tracks this year,” he said. Other than spitting furiously on the mic, Rhymes has also made a name for himself through his inventive use of music videos. Where so many rap videos rarely stray from the “money, cars and hos” formula, Rhymes’s music videos are often off-the-wall, featuring quirky close-ups and outlandish concepts. “It always starts with me when I am writing a song. I see how I want the video to look like. There is always an element of humour, but I consult trusted directors to then help me with the technological aspects of the video,” he said. Apart from making music, Rhymes has also starred in movies like Shaft, Who is the Man?, Higher Learning and Strapped. That said, he isn’t about to pull an Ice Cube and forget about making music. “My first love is music. The two industries have different operational dynamics. “Unlike in film, I get to have immense creative independence in music and I really enjoy that,” he explained. While the badass 38-year-old rapper appears to be mean on the mic, as well as in the way he carries himself, at heart he remains a mama’s boy. “I come from a very strong family support system where my mother is still the boss. My dad is just chillin’ and lets her run around ruling us all. “My son is almost in college now. He is the three-year-old you see in the Woo Ha video,” he explained. It’s such a pity his visit was so short, but here’s hoping we won’t have to wait too long for a Rhymes encore.
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