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).
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.