Where is Busta Rhymes headed? At this point he has two options. Is he going to go down the Jay-Z road where he takes his time between albums and drops consistently hot material? Or, will he go the DMX route and release mediocre material every 6 months? With his latest effort we see him at these crossroads. I sense that he will go more towards the Jay-Z approach, as this album seems more thought out than the previous effort.
'Anarchy' shows us the versatility of Busta Rhymes, something that he has dragged himself away from in the last few albums. He comes with different flows, and a new production scheme to change things up a bit. This album isn't incredible, but it is a blast of light, that proves Busta's "major artist" credentials, and will keep him at the Jay-Z/DMX/Nas level for a few more years.
Gone from this album is the intense Flipmode presence. This is considered a good thing by most hip-hop fans. Busta's albums had been overtaken by nothing but Flipmode Squad appearances. On this effort we see collabos with Raekwon and Ghostface Killer, plus the track with Jay-Z, and DMX. MOP comes through to steal the show on their track, proving to be MVP's when it comes to adding intensity to an album. Again, Busta Rhymes reaches for more of an audience with an appearance by Lenny Kravitz.
'Anarchy' features a wide array of tracks that show just how unique and intense of an artist that Busta Rhymes really is. The clear standout track is the appearance of Wu-Tang heads Ghost and Rae. The pure brilliance of Ghost's non-sensical lyrical flow is not even the amazing element here.... Large Professor produced the track; the crime story lyrics fit the cinematic beat to perfection.
The album really only includes that one standout track, but what makes it a solid effort is it contains a great deal of solid material. You don't have highs and lows, you have highs and mediums. The first single 'Get Out' shows a fuzzier side of Busta Rhymes, which will reach more fans and increase album sales. The second single; "Fire" is just a lyrical onslaught over a self-produced beat. The aforementioned Flipmode Squad does reunite once though, for 'Here we go Again,' which warns us of the forthcoming Squad album.
This is a very well produced album, the addition of Large Professor proves that alone. But, there were other subtle additions that make this album above average. Jay Dee handled production on a few tracks, he produced Common's latest album, and apparently his handiwork was requested to spice up Busta's new project. Of course, DJ Scratch and Swizz had their hand in production here, making this album a well-rounded piece of work.
With all the good things about this album, we of course have the bad aspects. The major knock on Busta Rhymes is that he doesn't show much lyrical versatility. That proves to be true here. He does come with different styles, but overall we see the same Busta Rhymes, rhyming about the same subject matter. Another knock is that despite different producers, the same Busta Rhymes sound is prevalent, making it seem as if you could get any producer to come through to provide beats that all fit into the same mold that supports Busta's style.
All in all, this is far from a mediocre album. It is leaps and bounds above his previous album, but yet miles from his debut album. This is the measuring stick that Busta Rhymes needs. This effort shows how far he has come along, and probably point him in the direction he should point his career in.