Busta Rhymes

It Ain't Safe No More

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No matter whether the title's a reference to the increased risk of terrorism in Busta's hometown circa 2002 ("sh*t is crazy!") or to the fact that rap's most volatile and unpredictable personality is back and bigger than ever, It Ain't Safe No More continues in the vein of loose-cannon classics like 1997's When Disaster Strikes and 2001's Genesis. And when he's on, he's better than ever, too; the title track features a P-Funk singalong and a vivid, synth-heavy production over some of the tightest spitfire raps heard on any hip-hop LP of the new millennium. After a half-hearted melodrama called "What Do You Do When You're Branded," Busta returns to what he does best on "Call the Ambulance" -- incapacitating all comers with rhymes as hardcore as they are hilarious. "What Up" is half-Neptunes and half-Raymond Scott, and the single "Make It Clap" is just the latest classic Flipmode anthem. Except for a few overblown performances and quasi-epic productions, It Ain't Safe No More finds Busta Rhymes with the same sure grip on his distinctive personality.

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