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Busta Rhymes recalls losing rap battle to JAY-Z in high school

Busta Rhymes confessed he initially wanted a rematch because of his “competitive” nature.

JAY-Z/Busta Rhymes Getty Images

Busta Rhymes’ music career spans three decades, but some of his greatest recollections were created before he made it big.

The “Touch It” emcee, who is currently on a press run for his forthcoming album Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, recently joined the “85 South Show” podcast and talked many things, including some memories of fellow Brooklyn native JAY-Z.

During the interview, Busta credited JAY-Z for being one of the earlier rappers to get into the art of fast rapping. “At the time, I never heard no rappers do it. No MCs wasn’t doin’ it,” he said. “I have to say the only people that was fucking with it on some rap shit was the originators. And the originators was the crew that Hov was down with after Jaz-O. After they did the ‘Hawaiian Sophie’ joint... Hov was on that shit really early. I don’t think he was actually one of the originators. They just all fucked with each other just being [from] Brooklyn.”

While JAY-Z mastered his flow, Busta hadn’t yet found his voice, but as students of George Westinghouse High School who were both into music, they eventually ended up competing against each other in a rap battle.

“Ultimately, Hov got the best of the battle in that moment. I was just starting to figure out how to master my fascination with the speed rap. He was already on it,” Busta explained. “He was doin’ it at an incredible level of skillset. And was displayin’ that shit like — water spillin’ all over the place. Just takin’ shape and form whatever way he felt like it ‘cause he had been on his shit with it.”

“Me, at that point, with my competitive ass. You know, I always wanted to have my rematch, you know what I’m sayin’?” Busta continued. “It didn’t happen which was fine because I ended up getting my skillset developed to the point where I don’t think nobody want to fuck with a nigga now.”

The “Gimme Some More” rapper exuded a similar level of confidence when he challenged T.I. to a Verzuz battle.

“From one brother that loves you to my brother that knows I love him, I’m begging you to step in the ring with me,” he said during an interview on “The Fat Joe Show.” “Let me tell you something. We gon’ do it with grace, but I’ma bust T.I. I’ma bust your ass. Come on T.I, let’s have fun. Let’s have fun T.I.”

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