Young MC

Bust a Move

Composed by Marvin Bruce Young / Marvin Young / Matt Dike / Matt William Dike / Michael Lawrence Ross / Michael Ross / Young MC

Song Review by

The late '80s and early '90s -- the Bush era, if we're talking politics -- are frequently called the Golden Age of Hip-Hop because it was when the genre was growing by leaps and bounds, with innovative production teams and visionary MCs seemingly appearing each month. There's another reason, frequently uncited, why it was the Golden Age: The mainstream pop crossovers were as brilliant in their own way as the underground hip-hop. Young MC's "Bust a Move" is proof positive of this. It's an unabashed catchy song, thanks to its skittish, rhythmic guitar riff, looped beats, female backing vocals (cooing "you want it, baby you got it"), and Young MC's funny rhymes. It's a dance song in more ways than one. Yes, the rhythm is a virtual invitation to dance, but the lyric is all about winning someone's love through dancing -- by busting a move. Because of this, some snooty critics dismissed it as pure fluff, but they're missing the point. This is ingenious fluff, an irresistible dance song so clever that it hasn't aged where some of its peers (such as Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" or MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This") have. Why is that? It's because Young MC was not only blessed with a wry sense of humor -- the jokes are good-natured and unpredictable -- but the music is spare, catchy, and to the point. There's nothing that dates the music, just a great beat and a great, funky guitar hook that keeps the record eternally young. It's pop-rap at its best, and it certainly deserves to be ranked among the great singles of its era -- and that includes pop, rock, and soul singles, not just hip-hop.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Stone Cold Rhymin' 1989 Bicycle Music Company 4:23
Bust a Rap 1990
Various Artists
Priority Records / Priority 4:23
Rap's Biggest Hits 1990
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution
Rock the First, Vol. 3 1992
Various Artists
Sandstone Music
Bust It, Vol. 1 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 4:23
Old School Rap, Vol. 3 1996
Various Artists
4:01
Rap's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Priority Records / Priority 4:24
West Coast Collection, Vol. 1 1997
Various Artists
Zomba 4:14
Classic Club Mix: R&B Grooves 1997
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 4:23
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
Cold Front Records / K-Tel Distribution 4:23
Hot Dance Classics, Vol. 2 1997
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 4:23
Greatest Sports Rock and Jams [Box] 1998
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:23
Instant Party Disc: Extra Strength 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 4:23
Millennium Hip-Hop Party 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 4:24
Millennium Party [Rhino Box] 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 4:24
The Best of Young MC 1999 BMG Special Products 4:23
Waxing Off: Delicious Vinyl's Greatest Hits 1999
Various Artists
Bicycle Music Company 4:24
Hip Hop Party [Double Play] 1999
Various Artists
K-Tel Distribution 4:23
Ultramix 2000
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 4:25
Entertainment Weekly: The Greatest Hits 1989 2000
Various Artists
Buddha Records 4:25
Old School Rap, Vols. 1-4 [Box Set] 2000
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:17
Monsters of Rap, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Razor & Tie 4:26
New Millennium Party 2000
Various Artists
Rhino 4:24
Dude Where's My Car 2000
Original Soundtrack
Sire 4:23
Spirit of Hip-Hop 2001
Various Artists
Wagram Records 4:23
No Image 2001
Various Artists
Buddha Records 4:25
All Music Guide: Before They Were Jiggy 2001
Various Artists
All Music Guide / Medalist Entertainment 4:26
Bust a Move: The Best of Old School 2002
Various Artists
Flashback Gold / Rhino 4:26
Old School Rap Party, Vol. 1 2002
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:00
Bust a Move & Other Hits 2003 Rhino Flashback 4:23
Ultra Mix: Dance Hits of the 80s and 90s 2004
Various Artists
Madacy/Universal 4:25
Rap Sessions 2004
Various Artists
Sessions Records
Old School Rap Party, Vol. 2 2004
Various Artists
Thump Records 4:00
Ultimate Hip*Hop: 30th Anniversary Collection 2004
Various Artists
Madacy 4:26
100% Black 2005
Various Artists
Som Livre 4:22
King's Ransom: The Album 2005
Original Soundtrack
Penalty Recordings / Bulletproof/Penalty 4:25
Kiss Presents Hip Hop Classics 2 2005
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:24
Classic Rap Hip Hop 2005
Various Artists
Crimson Productions 4:24
Ultimate 16: Ultimate Hip Hop 30th Anniversary 2005
Various Artists
Madacy 4:26
Hip Hop Essentials, Vol. 2 2005
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 4:25
One Hit Wonders 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 4:29
You, Me and Dupree 2006
Original Soundtrack
Lakeshore Records 4:25
How to Eat Fried Worms 2006
Original Soundtrack
Bulletproof 4:23
My Name Is Earl: The Album 2006
Original Soundtrack
Shout! Factory 4:23
Old Skool Hip Hop Klassiks, Vol. 1 2006
Various Artists
St. Clair 4:25
Hip Hop Essentials [Box Set] 2006
Various Artists
Tommy Boy 4:25
#1 Hits: Best of Hip Hop 2007
Various Artists
Madacy 4:24
Bust a Move/Got More Rhymes 2007 Bicycle Music Company 4:23
Delicious Vinyl: 20 Years Fresh: DJ Bobby Evans 2008
Various Artists
Delicious Vinyl 1:04
17 Again [Music from the Motion Picture] 2009
Original Soundtrack
Classics & Jazz / Decca / Universal 4:26
100 Hits: 80s Dance 2009
Various Artists
100 Hits / Demon Music Group 4:24
Now That's What I Call Dance Classics 2009
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution / Sony Music Entertainment 4:23
It's Like That!: 40 Block Rockin' Beats 2010
Various Artists
Universal Distribution / Universal Music TV 4:24
Back to Reality 2012
Various Artists
Universal Music / Universal Music TV 4:27
100 Hits 80s Dance [2015]
Various Artists
100 Hits
100 Hits: 80s Rewind
Various Artists
100 Hits 4:24
I Love the 90's Presents: The Last Great Decade of Music
Various Artists
Rhino 4:25
Party Time
Various Artists
SPG
R&B Hits [Crimson]
Various Artists
Crimson / Crimson Productions
blue highlight denotes editor's pick