Kicking It Old School

Five Minutes With Busta Rhymes

The rapper talks about passing the Courvoisier, working with A Tribe Called Quest, and who throws the best party.

Courvoisier, of course, inspired one of your greatest hits. “No doubt.”

Is Cognac still your drink of choice? “Nah. I’m more of a fan of a variety of things. I’m still definitely a Cognac guy but in moderation. It was just Cognac back then. As you get older you can’t consume too much of any one thing. So, it’s evolved. I’m a wine connoisseur. You know a little tequila. A little vodka. A little Cognac. But to be honest with you I actually don’t really consume alcohol as much as I used to.”

You pulled back a bit? “Yeah. I want to live as long as possible. I’m more health conscience now. We’re just trying to balance it out. We did a lot of overdoing it when we were younger, so now we got to…”

Is that where the wine comes in? “That’s really where the wine started to come in. But even with the wine now, it’s really like on occasion. It’s not necessarily a thing that I just do.”

Before you perform do you want certain things in your dressing room? “I always have things because I entertain company. When I do shows I usually perform with friends and we got guests that come through. It’s really for them. I don’t really do it like that no more.”

You’ve been doing a lot with A Tribe Called Quest recently. Has that been fun? Is it a party atmosphere working with them? “Everything is great with Tribe. Tribe is a 30-year legacy that I’ve been blessed to be part of for at least 27 years of my life. That thing is always going to be significant in my life. Like everything else when you love something there’s really no downside. There’s really no bad side, either. Even when you go through the challenging moments it’s a part of what makes it great. The only fucked up thing for me, is not being able to share this moment with Phife [Dawg]. You know what I’m saying? He would have loved everything. Period. Even if he was still here, it was agreed collectively that this was the last Tribe album.”

Will there be another Tribe album? Or is this really it? “I mean I never heard them say ‘this is it’ before. Even when they said it before after The Love Movement album it still wasn’t final, final. This time it felt final, final especially with Phife not being here. I don’t know if it’s going to happen.”

I’ve heard Q-Tip throws a great party. Who is the best person you’ve worked with to go out with? “It’s several guys. We all like to party. It depends upon where they’re at and what the moment is that determines who has the crown for the best party going of the moment. Everybody has had their moments. I’ve had mine. Diddy has his. Q-Tip has his. Everybody has their moments.”  

This interview took place before Busta Rhymes performed as part of Crystal Pepsi’s Throwback Tour in New York.