Busta Rhymes and Eminem Jump Around on Frenetic 'Calm Down'

The two titans of hip-hop trade 60 bars apiece on Busta's big comeback track

Eminem and Busta Rhymes.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images for MTV; Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic
June 30, 2014 11:35 AM ET

Last week, Busta Rhymes hopped on Twitter to tease a collaboration with Eminem. "It's official! Busta Rhymes ft. Eminem 'Calm Down' is coming July 1st," Busta tweeted, accompanied by the pair standing cross-armed in the studio. One day earlier than promised, "Calm Down" has arrived. Using a loop of those unmistakable opening horns from House of Pain's classic "Jump Around," Busta and Slim Shady spend nearly six minutes going toe to toe in this Scoop Deville-produced cut (via Miss Info).

Part Deux: 7 unnecessary sequels inspired by Em's Marshall Mathers LP 2

Previously advertised as a battle record, there's not much sparring as Busta and Em stand in their own corners and use their long verses to showcase their undiminishing skills. Busta once again displays his verbose style, unspooling rhymes at his usual breakneck words-per-second pace. Eminem, meanwhile, is in full schizo Slim Shady mode, wowing on lines like "Who raps nasally, eyes hazily, rhymes crazily" before plummeting into sophomoric rhymes ("Hey Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, other than your husband's fucking brains that were leaking, how'd you think that play was this weekend?") among other unfortunate homophobic and school shooting jokes.

"That's the next record that's gonna destroy the streets of New York and hip-hop," Scoop Deville told Vlad TV about "Calm Down" in January. "This is THE record to bring back Bust in a major way… Just rap rhyming. 64 bars of Bust, chorus, 60 bars of Em, chorus." According to Deville, Busta recorded his bars first and then sent it to Eminem, who "blacked out" when it was his turn. Upon hearing what Slim had recorded, Busta went back in to re-record and elevate his own verses.

The track comes from Busta's upcoming album E.L.E. 2, the quasi-sequel to 1998's E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front. Busta's first true album in over five years – we're not counting his frequent mixtapes and the 2012 Google Play freebie release Year of the Dragon -- E.L.E. 2 is shaping up to be an all-star affair thanks to guests like Kanye West and Lil Wayne on previous single "Thank You" and Nicki Minaj on the Pharell-produced "Twerk It." "Calm Down" is available now on iTunes.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“You Oughta Know”

Alanis Morissette | 1995

This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

More Song Stories entries »