There was a time when Eminem was so hot that Missy Elliott gave him his own damn track on her album.
She contributes a “chorus” and half raps half speaks at the end of the song, but it feels as if she’s aware of her afterthought status throughout the proceedings. She announces Em three times at the beginning of the track–it’s indisputably his show. I’m not even sure Eminem knew Missy Elliott had anything to do with this song (“who’s this crazy lady wearing a garbage bag and dancing next to me?”). But it definitely doesn’t matter. So many quotable lines, so much insanity. In terms of off-kilter punchlines, “Busa Rhyme” is near the top of the list in Eminem’s discography.
The Timbaland beat is the sort of thing that sounds rote now considering how many times we’ve heard it and similar beats from Timbo since 1999, but at the time shit was hot (well, the second half of the song has always felt a bit unnecessary and mediocre, but the first section is dope as hell).
Eminem, I don’t know where you are and I’m sure you’ll never read this, but please start taking drugs again so you can make more music like “Bus a Rhyme.” Hell, don’t take drugs. Just stop rapping in accents.
Also, looking back, Missy Elliott released some of the most adventurous pop music of the late 90s/early 2000s. It basically ends after “Gossip Folks,” but she had a pretty fascinating run as one of the most interesting, least talented rappers ever. She managed to make really dope music without being particularly proficient in the craft of rapping. Praise be to Timbo…all though I don’t want to discount Missy…this is getting long…I feel an essay coming on…
Until next time, kiddies. Bus a rhyme for me.