Busta Rhymes says it’s about one common cause, one common destiny, to be great and inspire greatness.
The legendary MC says he has an even bigger battery in his back since the grand reception of A Tribe Called Quest’s We Got It From Here… Thank You For Your Service and seeing his friend Phife Dawg’s name further immortalized with a street named after him in his Queens neighborhood.
“When I was a shorty, I used to ride through. My father owned a white Thunderbird. Back then they had stations like WBLS with Marley Marl and Mr. Magic, 98.7 with Red Alert,” Busta began to reminisce on Saturday shortly after the street sign for “Malik ‘Phife Dawg’ Taylor Way” was unveiled on the corner of Linden Boulevard and 192nd Street in Queens.
“In those moments when you used to ride through the neighborhood and see black icon figures and their names put on the street. It was always something you wish one day [would happen for you], especially being a due that was aspiring to be an artist.
“I always wanted to be the one in my family to bring that superstar recognition to my blood-line and my family,” he added. “And I wanted to be the one that was held in that high regard. When I would see those names I wanted to make sure I was one step closer to securing that win. I bled when I performed. I bled when I rhymed. I rhymed till I lost my voice. I would break dance until I actually injure myself. Either you do it all the way to your fullest capacity possible or you don’t play with it.”
Busta says seeing an MC with a street named after him is a historic, trailblazing moment.
“So when I see Malcom X’s name, Ella Fitzgerald’s name, John Coltrane’s name on the street, I don’t see no rapper names on no streets. So I’m trying to be the first at everything… For me to be this close to someone that I was actually eating their grandmother’s good West Indian cooking. I’d fall asleep on Phife’s grandmother’s couch. I’d get scolded by Phife’s moms when she thought we was into mischief and we come in the house smelling like something we ain’t supposed to smell like and she know we into things we ain’t supposed to be. And I see Phife’s name right now and I’m buggin cause my man did that. My man did that. I mean he’s all of our mans. I’m sure everybody feels that way that was affected directly or indirectly by his amazing contribution but that is my man. So that [street sign] means something to me. I can’t even explain. And it feels like an accomplishment that was given to all of us.”
Busta, Phife and the rest of Tribe share a major accomplishment as well. On Monday, We Got It From Here… came in on the Billboard charts at number one. You can catch the likes Busta, Kanye West, Consequence, Andre 3000 and of course A Tribe Called Quest on the REVOLT TV special “Beats, Rhymes and Phife" which airs at 10 PM ET tonight.