Busta Rhymes is an American rapper and actor. His birth name is Trevor Tahiem Smith, Jr. He was born on May 20, 1972 to Geraldine Green and Trevor Smith, who were Jamaican immigrants. He moved to Long Island at the age of 12, where he attended Uniondale High School. After graduating from high school in 1991, he attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School along with future rap stars Jay-Z, DMX and The Notorious B.I.G. In 1989, Rhymes formed the hip hop group Leaders of the New School, along with fellow band members Charlie Brown, Dinco D and Cut Monitor Milo. The band’s debut album was released via Elektra Records and was titled “A Future Without a Past…”. They gained fame as the opening act for the group “Public Enemy”.
The band was then featured on the song “Scenario” by American hip hop group “A Tribe Called Quest”. They then released their next album titled “T.I.M.E. (The Inner Mind’s Eye)” before breaking up in 1993. Rhymes began to collaborate with other artists such as Big Daddy Kane, Another Bad Creation, The Notorious B.I.G., Brand Nubian, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy and LL Cool J. Rhyme’s solo album, titled “The Coming” was released in 1995, followed by his second album “When Disaster Strikes” in 1997. The album included the hit songs “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check”, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” and “Fire It Up”.
In 1998, Busta Rhymes released his album “Extinction Level Event (Final World Front)” from which the single “Gimme Some More” reached No. 6 on the UK singles chart and “What’s It Gonna Be?!” (featuring Janet Jackson) reached No. 11 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts. He was particularly noted for his fast paced rhyming. His final album with Elektra Records was “Anarchy”, released in 2000. He then moved to J Records, founded by ex Arista chief Clive Davis. He released his greatest hits album titled “Total Devastation: The Best of Busta Rhymes” followed by “Genesis” featuring the hit singles “What It Is” and “Break Ya Neck”. Rhyme’s next album was released in 2002 titled “It Ain’t Safe No More” which enjoyed limited success.
In 2006, Rhymes moved to Dr. Dre’s label Aftermath Entertainment, with whom he released his album “The Big Bang”. This was the first No. 1 album of his career, and included the tracks “Touch It” and “In The Ghetto”. He then moved to Universal Records with whom he released the album “Back on My B.S.”. This album included the controversial track “Arab Money” which was banned in several nightclubs in the U.A.E. because it was deemed controversial and offensive to Arabs and Islam, allegedly containing verses from the Quran. Rhymes later apologized for it. In 2011, Rhymes moved to Cash Money Records, and plans to release his next album titled Extinction Level Event 2 in 2015. Rhymes has also acted in several films and television shows including “Shaft”, “The Rugrats Movie”, “Finding Forrester”, “Higher Learning” “Cosby” and “The Steve Harvey Show”.
Busta Rhymes has four children, three of them with his ex girlfriend. He has had a string of legal issues, including charges of third-degree assault for attacking a man, weapons possession and attacking his driver as well as a fan.