Album Review | Busta Rhymes – It Ain’t Safe No More…

This album was released on November 26th in 2002. As you probably know by now, I’m a really big fan of Busta Rhymes. I feel like he was kinda starting to fall off at this point in his career though. I mean, he still kills features to this day, so I wouldn’t say he doesn’t have it anymore. I feel like the quality of his music was starting to take a dip though. I don’t know if it started with this album, but by the time we get to his 2009 album things are gonna be rough. I haven’t even heard it, but I can tell you right now that that is probably his worst album. Anyway, I don’t think this project is gonna be bad. I doubt it’ll be on the level of his prior output, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it to some extent. I’m not gonna talk about the final track because it’s a remix of track 8. I’m not even gonna listen to it because it features Sean Paul, so there’s pretty much no chance of me liking it more than the original song. Anyway, like most of Busta Rhymes’ albums, this shit is way too long. I don’t know why the majority of his projects are around 70 minutes. Maybe I’ll end up appreciating the large amount of content after hearing it.

1. Intro produced by Busta Rhymes

Oh no… This is not good. I mean, I don’t think this is supposed to be taken seriously as a legitimate song. I did not enjoy this at all though. Busta Rhymes is using a voice synthesizer and interpolating the lullaby Hush, Little Baby. This shit is fucking wack. I’m probably taking it too seriously though. I’m never gonna listen to this again. I doubt anybody listened to it more than once.

2. It Ain’t Safe No More… featuring Meka produced by J Dilla

Okay, things are off to a pretty good start here. This beat from J Dilla is exceptional. I’m not sure who this Meka person is, but she did a pretty good job with the hook. I actually really like it. She’s not an amazing vocalist. It’s not like she’s really trying to hit a note or anything. She’s pretty much acting as a background singer. She’s harmonizing with Busta Rhymes. It sounds good. I tried to do some research on her—in other words, I googled the name “Meka”—but I couldn’t find anything, so I don’t know if she has any other experience as a musician. Goddamn. Busta fucking killed that first verse. Okay, maybe this album will be better than I thought. This shit is really good. Jesus. The second verse was even better. He fuckin’ killed this shit. His flow was smooth as hell. I don’t have any issues with this track. I love the beat from J Dilla, the hook is smooth, and Busta rapped his ass off. This shit is dope af to me.

3. What Do You Do When You’re Branded produced by DJ Scratch

Huh. I don’t know why, but I actually REALLY like the way Busta Rhymes sounds singing the hook on this song. For some reason it makes me think of Shrek. I have no idea why though… I really fuck with this beat from DJ Scratch too. This shit is awesome. Man. I really thought this album was gonna be weak. I mean, I won’t be surprised if the quality drops after the first few tracks, but it’s off to a really great start. Busta rapped his ass off on that first verse. I love this shit. I think I get why this song made me think of Shrek now. When Busta sings the hook it sounds like the soundtrack to a medieval adventure. I really fuck with it. The second verse was really great. This is another fantastic song. I don’t have any issues with it. I love the hook, and DJ Scratch did a great job with the production. Busta killed it too. This shit is dope af. The skit at the end of the song was really funny too.

4. Call the Ambulance featuring Rampage produced by The Neptunes

This beat is okay I guess. I don’t love it as much as the previous couple of beats. It’s a bit repetitive. I like how chaotic it sounds though. However, it’s probably one of the worst beats I’ve ever heard from The Neptunes. The first verse from Busta Rhymes was cool. It didn’t impress me as much as his work on the previous two songs, but it was still good. The second verse from Rampage was solid. The hook is really repetitive and simplistic. It works though. I don’t like this song nearly as much as the first two songs, but I still enjoyed it. It’s a good song. I don’t love it, but it’s a cool track. I fuck with this.

5. We Goin’ to Do It to Ya produced by Megahertz

Oh fuckin’ shit. This beat from Megahertz is really dope. This is more of what I would’ve expected from The Neptunes honestly. It’s pretty much all percussion. The different kinds of drums he used sound really cool though. The first verse was dope. Busta didn’t really say anything that interesting or original, but he rode the beat well. The production kinda switches up during the hook. It gets a little more melodic. The hook kinda sucks honestly. It sounds really trendy. It’s not bad enough to ruin the song though. The second verse wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was solid. I like this song more than the previous track just because the production is a lot better. It’s still not on the level of the first two songs though in my opinion. However, I definitely enjoyed this. It’s dope.

6. What Up produced by J Dilla

Fuck yes. This beat from J Dilla is absolutely crazy. It’s super weird. I love it though. The first verse from Busta Rhymes is really dope. Again, he doesn’t really say anything that interesting, but the rhyme schemes are dope, and he has a nice flow. The hook is pretty simplistic, but I don’t mind it at all. It works. The second verse was really good. He somehow maintained just one rhyme scheme for almost the entire verse. He only switched it up for the final two lines. This track isn’t amazing or anything, but I definitely enjoyed it. The beat from J Dilla is great, and Busta did his thing on the mic. I fuck with this track. This shit is dope.

7. Turn Me Up Some produced by J Dilla

This song has another really great beat from Dilla. It’s jazzier than the previous one, and more melodic. It sounds like it could’ve been released today. It doesn’t sound dated at all. It kinda reminds me of the beat from Neighbors by J. Cole. The first verse from Busta was really dope. The hook is really nice too. This is definitely one of the best tracks so far. Busta killed that second verse. This is another really great song. This is actually my favorite song on the album so far. I don’t have gripes. This shit is dope af to me. The fucking skit at the end of this song is absolutely hilarious to me too. That shit was fucking funny.

8. Make It Clap featuring Spliff Star produced by Rick Rock

Uh oh… This is definitely the first misstep on this album for me. I could tell just from the title of the song that I wasn’t gonna fuck with this shit. I don’t really care for the production from Rick Rock, and the content of the song really isn’t for me. I don’t really care to hear music about women shaking their asses. It just doesn’t interest me personally. I really hate the hook on this song. Busta’s singing doesn’t sound good here, and the clapping sound is eye roll inducing. This beat fucking sucks honestly. The second verse from Spliff Star wasn’t very good. I really dislike this track. I don’t like a single aspect of it. This shit is wack to me.

9. Take It Off, Pt. 2 featuring Meka produced by Mario Winans

The beat on this track is kinda cool. It’s a little repetitive though. The first verse from Busta was decent, but he didn’t really say anything that interesting. I’m not really feelin’ the hook with Meka. She’s not singing. She’s just reciting a few lines. I don’t care for her delivery. This isn’t very good to me. I don’t think it’s as bad as the previous track, but I can’t really say I’m enjoying it. I didn’t even like the first Take It Off song that appeared on Extinction Level Event, but I think I’d rather listen to that one than this. The more I listen to the hook, the more I hate it. This song is mediocre to me. The skit at the end was really bizarre. I feel like they were trying to be humorous, but it didn’t really make me laugh at all.

10. Taste It produced by Tetamus

This album seems to have taken a dark turn. Hopefully things get back on track soon. This beat sounds pretty dated honestly. I don’t really care for it. The first verse didn’t impress me. Once again, I can’t really get behind the content. Oh my God. This hook is fucking terrible. It’s an uncredited feature from a female. She’s basically talking about how she’s giving some guy head, and she even makes slurping sound effects. This is really fucking bad. Honestly, I think this is even worse than Make It Clap. This shit is wack as hell.

11. Hey Ladies produced by Wildstyle

Isn’t Wildstyle the name of the scene character from the Lego movie? Oh, never mind. She spells her name “Wyldstyle.” That’s a stupid name. She really thought that was badass though. I don’t know why I’m talking about that movie. I feel like it’s pretty overrated. Anyway, I’m really not feelin’ the beat on this song. Wildstyle let me down. It’s pretty repetitive & simplistic. The first verse is cool I guess. It’s not that interesting lyrically, but his flow was nice, and I liked his delivery. The hook is nothing special. It’s not bad though. The second verse was pretty solid. Ehh… This is a decent song. It just doesn’t really stand out that much to me. Nothing about it really excited me in any way. The production actually kinda grew on me after a while, but the song still isn’t really that enjoyable. It’s an okay track though. I don’t hate it. It’s decent.

12. I Know What You Want featuring Spliff Star, Baby Sham, Rah Digga, Rampage & Mariah Carey produced by Rick Rock

Oh nooo… I fucking remember this song… I hate this track so much. The production from Rick Rock is fine. That fucking hook though… Jesus fucking Christ. That hook is awful. Busta Rhymes sounds fucking awful singing that shit, and to be honest, Mariah Carey doesn’t sound good singing it either. Shit, they could’ve had fucking Michael Jackson singing it, and I probably still wouldn’t like it. I don’t care for the melody itself. I don’t care for any of the verses either. The content doesn’t interest me at all. Rah Digga probably had my favorite verse, but that’s just because I think she sounds really good over this beat. I’m not feelin’ this song at all. I fucking despise that hook. This shit is wack to me.

13. Riot produced by Mr. Porter

I really like the beat on this song. It’s really good. The first verse from Busta is pretty cool, but the hook kinda ruins this song for me. I don’t know if I’d consider what Busta’s doing on the hook “singing,” but the tone of his voice just doesn’t sound very good. Well, I guess he is kinda singing actually. It sounds really bad. I think this would be kind of enjoyable if it weren’t for the hook. Neither of the verses are really that great though. The production is easily the best aspect of this song. I don’t think this is wack, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I’m never gonna listen to this again. It’s decent though.

14. Hop produced by Mr. Fingaz

The beat on this track is pretty boring. It’s not terrible I guess. Busta Rhymes’ flow on the first verse was actually pretty nice. The hook is nothing special, but I don’t mind it at all. The final verse was cool. Huh. This song doesn’t really stand out that much. I definitely enjoyed it to a certain extent, but it’s far from my favorite track on the album. It’s a cool track, but it could’ve been better. A featured rapper probably would’ve made it more interesting. Preferably someone from outside the Flipmode Squad. I like the Flipmode Squad, but it would’ve been more interesting to hear Busta work with someone different. Anyway, I enjoyed this song. It’s good to me.

15. Together featuring Rah Digga produced by Swizz Beatz

Damn… I actually REALLY like this beat from Swizz Beatz. It’s dope. The first verse from Busta was pretty nice. I liked how he synchronized his voice with the beat. That was pretty dope. Ehhh… This hook… I don’t know how I feel about it, man… It’s performed by an uncredited female vocalist. She doesn’t really sound bad singing I guess. I don’t think the hook is bad. I could’ve done without it though. It definitely doesn’t ruin the track. It kinda hurts it a little bit for me if I’m being real though. According to Genius it’s performed by someone named Mynx. I googled her and didn’t find anything. The second verse from Busta is cool. Rah Digga’s verse was fine. It didn’t really impress me that much honestly. It wasn’t bad though. This song definitely could’ve been better, but I enjoyed it. I pretty much feel the same way about this song as I did the previous one. It’s flawed, but I like it. It’s dope to me.

16. Struttin’ Like a G.O.D. produced by Ric Rude

iTunes has Spliff Star labeled as a feature for this song, but Wikipedia doesn’t, and neither does Genius. However, Spliff Star was mentioned in the skit at the end of the previous track. I like the beat on this song. I feel like the hook should’ve been performed by Pharrell. The melody sounds like something he would sing. I think that’s Busta singing. I like the hook, but it definitely would’ve been better if Pharrell did it. The first verse from Busta was cool. It wasn’t amazing or anything, but I enjoyed it. I feel the same way about the second verse. I like this song. Once again, I feel like it could’ve been better. I enjoyed it though. This is dope.

17. The Struggle Will Be Lost featuring Carl Thomas produced by Rick Rock

The hook from Carl Thomas on this song isn’t great. It’s tolerable though. I’m not really impressed by the production from Rick Rock. For once Busta Rhymes is actually rapping about something different. He’s basically shitting on stereotypical lazy black people. The hook is basically painting a portrait of the white devil. The second verse was pretty goddamn nice. However, as a whole, this song isn’t really that enjoyable to me. I didn’t care for the production or the hook. I wouldn’t call this wack, but I’m never gonna listen to it again. It’s decent at best.

18. ‘Til It’s Gone produced by True Master

The beat on this song is actually really great. I don’t know what that sample is that they flipped for the hook, but it sounds really good. The first verse is dope. He’s rapping about how you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. This is definitely one of the best songs on the album. The production is great, the hook is dope as hell, and all three of the verses from Busta Rhymes are really good. I don’t have any issues with this song honestly. I think this shit is dope af.

This album is okay. I think it’s his worst solo album at this point in his career. It actually started off really good. I was surprised by how much I liked the first few songs on this project. I think a lot of the best songs on this project are better than anything that appeared on his previous album. Unfortunately this album just isn’t very consistent. It kinda falls apart once you get to the first single. The singles for this album fucking suck. I wish he did more work with J Dilla because he was responsible for my favorite songs on this project. I don’t think Busta was rapping poorly on any of these songs. I just feel like the songs he was making didn’t really appeal to me personally. I don’t like the trendy, female oriented tracks he was doing. Some of the beats leave a little something to be desired as well. Overall I think it’s a solid project, but definitely disappointing in comparison to some of his better albums. It’s an okay album.

Favorite Song: Turn Me Up Some
Least Favorite Song: Taste It


Grade: C+

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