Heat Check: How Do You Feel About Busta & Eminem’s “Calm Down”?
What's better than a new Busta Rhymes song? A new Busta Rhymes song that features Eminem! What's better than a new Busta Rhymes song that features Eminem? How about a new Busta Rhymes song that features Eminem, which finds the two veterans rapping Scoop DeVille's sampling of House Of Pain's Jump Around? Is the the record a candidate for "Banger of the Summer" or merely two past-their-prime emcees on wax? Per usual, when something involves Eminem, it must be talked about. It's "Heat Check" time!
First and foremost, if you don't recognize this song's sample you must do some hip-hop homework. Busta and Em spitting over a beat incarnation of Jump Around is enough to get at least one listen from me (it's like a Rihanna boob picture...you're going to look at least once, because why not?). But what about more than a single listen?
There are very few emcees who could do the original justice--not that it was an amazing musical feat, it just has so much energy--and these are two of a select few who would make the list. The only problem is, after a while, the sample becomes borderline annoying. Hell, even after the first verse of the original, I'm kind of done; I certainly don't want to hear it for almost six straight minutes. Busta and Em commit lyrical homicide to the track--as I said, these two have the perfect amount of energy and bite to make the sample work--but I just don't really like it.
This record basically sums up how I have felt about Eminem for the past few years. Yes, he is still an amazing emcee, one of the best when it comes to sheer rap-ability, but I just don't develop a personal connection like I used to. The way he recites his verses is amazing (dude can rap his face off), but what he says has no value to me anymore. He used to be so controversial, but now he's such an ingrained part of hip-hop that the villain role doesn't really work anymore; it's hard to execute real shock value after doing commercials for Buick.
Also, what's with all this blogger hate? Speaking as a blogger, I can tell you that I don't, nor will I ever, just mindlessly crap on a song (Tyga doesn't count). In fact, rarely do I write about music that I hate, let alone strongly dislike, unless it's in a Best/Worst piece. It doesn't make for good content. Besides, who wants to read 1,000 words about a bad record?
Between the two Busta is definitely more compelling, which is fitting based on the simple fact that the single is his and not Em's. Calm Down ain't bad, but I can't think of a time I would find myself wanting to listen to it again (maybe the gym?). A lukewarm rating from me.
What about you?
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is "College Dropout", but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]