Busta Rhymes has absolutely no plans to retire. The 43-year-old MC is playing ringmaster this weekend at Hot 97's winter fete, Hot For The Holidays, and has recruited a pretty insane lineup of his friends to perform with him. An abbreviated list of guests includes Puff Daddy, Lil Kim, Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, French Montana, Method Man, Red Man, and the empress of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey.
But over the phone before a rehearsal, Busta tells The FADER that show should not be confused as some sort of going away party, it's more of a "reset button" for a second stage of his 25-year career.
"This is the most fun part of this shit—when you got 25 years of information that you can apply," he said. "It's like, you have a project and you've got all of the fucking cheat codes. I'm living in great pleasure of whooping a lot of ass out here when I drop my shit next year!"
He also added that next year will be the first year he's eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and that 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of his first solo album, The Coming. One person that's sure to be invited to any of his parties is Fetty Wap, who is also performing at the concert this Saturday. He's easily the most green performer on a the roster and that's no accident, as Busta explains. Their friendship comes from a place of great respect.
Find out the surprising way of how the two became friends below and watch out for Busta's album when it drops next year.
BUSTA RHYMES: I love Fetty Wap's music because that motherfucker did it his own way! He believed in himself so much and his team, in how sure he was about his music. He put out an album with just him and his guys. Not one superstar outside of him and his immediate crew. He's the only superstar in his crew as of right now, but he set up a platform for himself and his guys to turn the rest of his crew into superstars. He made sure that he did it in a way that would put him and his team on the map, so that his team would have a platform strong enough for themselves to be able to springboard off of his talent.
There's nobody on that album who's outside of his immediate circle and that's very impressive because there's not too many new artists who are brave enough to do that. I respect that, so that's number one.
Number two, I fell in love with the brother even more so providing a college graduation party for my older son who was 3 years old in the "Woo Hah!" video in 1996. Now he's 22 years old with a college degree in business marketing. I reached out to Fetty Wap with a request from my son for him to perform. He came through and delivered with no red tape, no hassle, no confusion. It was so beautiful the way he came through and stepped up to the home plate. I got to acknowledge The LOX for doing the same thing, Jadakiss, they did the same thing. I gotta acknowledge Swizz Beatz. All three of these entities came out for my son's college graduation party I threw for him at Space Ibiza in Manhattan. It was just such a proud father moment for me to see my friend and my allies to come out for my child.
At the time, me and Fetty's relationship was young. But I met the brother few months ago at a function out of town, I think we were doing Allstar Weekend in February and me and him had an interesting conversation when I first met him. It was a random moment. "Trap Queen" was popping like crazy, and I wanted to give him some encouragement, a little information that I felt that he should know. That shit just felt good and he was just embracing me, taking in the information that I was sharing with him! Him and his crew, it was incredible the energy, vibe, temperament, and mannerisms. Something that was supposed to be a brief discussion ended up becoming an extended dialogue.
They just made it very easy and comfortable and made me grow respect for him. We established a genuine friendship. And that's the reason why Fetty Wap is the only new rapper on the lineup. It's a genuine friendship and he was available. I got a lot of new genuine friendships with a lot of the new MCs, but God bless him, they've been busy moving and shaking. That's what we all ask for when we get involved with this shit, to be able to be busy and get money and leave a stain on the industry. We start carving and shaping this legacy from the beginning!
With that being said about Fetty Wap, that's the reason why he's on this show. I'm very proud of him and I love what he stands for and represents with his whole team.