Busta Rhymes reveals how Eminem continuously moved the goalpost during the creation of their competitive anthem “Calm Down.”
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“If you want a clear display of what the fundamentals of hip-hop is and the art of emceeing, [Calm Down] is the case study,” explains Busta. “I sent the record to Eminem with 16 bar verse. He sent it back with like 40 bar verse. I’m like ‘what the fuck is going on. You are not gonna do this to me on my song.’ I sent back my verse with 45 bars. He sends it back 56 bars. I sent mine back 62 bars. He sends back 66 bars. I’m like, look bro, who we making this record for at this point? Are we making this record for the consumer or we are just battling each other now?”
Busta Rhymes ft. Eminem – “Calm Down”
“But that’s the beauty and the competitive nature and spirit we both have cause we care that much,” he continues, clearly appreciating the back-and-forth that ensued during “Calm Down’s” creation. “We love it that much. No one wants to be a weak link. No one wants to say I’m going to settle with getting my ass bust by the other rapper on the song. It’s no longer a business at that point. It’s just that fiery passion that still burns in the souls of both of us as true incredible swordsmen of the sport and we love the opportunity of being able to display the skill set at the most highest level of just raw emceeing. That was so much fun.”
For more from Busta, including an extensive breakdown of crafting “Break Ya Neck” with Dr. Dre, check out his full conversation with Pitchfork below.