The 36-year-old rapper (real name Trevor Smith) has enjoyed global success and rare staying power in the hip-hop game since breaking off from his Leaders of the New School crew to pursue a solo career in the mid-’90s. But he’s also been embroiled in a string of recent legal troubles ranging from assault and weapons charges to drunken driving that have garnered almost as much attention as his musical endeavors.
Now, however, the gruff-voiced rap energizer, who performs at Showcase Live in Foxboro tonight, said he’s focused and rejuvenated as he prepares to release his eighth album, “Back on My B.S.” on May 19 – Malcolm X’s birthday.
The album has already spawned a club hit in the Ron Browz-assisted “Arab Money” (which Busta says is not meant as a slight to the Arab culture, but rather a nod to their spiritual and financial wealth) and features cameos from the likes of Lil Wayne, Jadakiss, Estelle, Pharrell Williams, Mary J. Blige, Jamie Foxx, John Legend, Common, T.I. and Akon.
“I’m happy, real happy, about a lot of things,” Busta said in a telephone interview. “I’m in a great situation. New label, new money, new excitement, new sound, new album, just new everything. I just feel like I’m being born again or something.”
The rebirth comes courtesy of leaving former label Interscope Records, signing with Universal Motown and reconnecting with label boss Sylvia Rhone, who helped jump-start Busta’s solo career and has allowed him to return to his roots on this latest effort.
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