Busta Rhymes has been considered by many to be one of the most prolific hip hop artists ever. Known for his powerful, booming voice, he first became involved with rhyming and rap after moving to Long Island at the age of twelve. After forming and performing with his own music group, Leaders of the New School for a few years during the 1990’s, Rhymes eventually released his debut solo album, The Coming in March 1996; a commercial hit, the album was significant in helping to kick off his independent career as a music artist. Carrying on with his singing, he has since released over a dozen studio albums and thirty singlesーmost of which have charted in the United States. An up-and-coming rapper, Rhymes has sold over 10,000,000 records in the US alone.
Born on May 20, 1972, in Brooklyn, New York, Busta Rhymes (Real name: Trevor Taheim Smith, Jr.) is the son of Trevor Smith and Geraldine Green, both of whom are from Jamaica; he has a younger brother named Paul Smith. According to Rhymes, his mother had always been one for discipline while his father on the other hand, was more lenient and “energetic.” After having spent most of his childhood years in his home city of Brooklyn, he moved with his family to the suburbs of Long Island. During his teen years, he went to the George Westinghouse Vocational and Technical High School, where he had coincidentally roamed the halls together with a number of fellow rappers including Jay Z, The Notorious B.I.G. and DMXーeventually even rapping together in the schoolhouse.
Busta released 9 studio albums between 1996 and 2012, and is apparently working on another studio album that is yet to see the light of day.
Rhymes is a Muslim. He has four children: three sons, T’Ziah (born 1993), T’Khi (born 1999), Trillian (born 2001), and a daughter, Mariah (born 1998)
On August 20, 2006, Busta Rhymes was arrested and arraigned for charges of third-degree assault after attacking a man who reportedly spat on his car in New York City on August 12 after the AmsterJam Music Festival on Randall’s Island.
On October 24, 2006, Busta Rhymes appeared at Manhattan Criminal Court as the district attorney’s office attempted to amend previous charges against him to include weapons possession for a machete found in his car. The judge refused to add the charge and adjourned the case.
On February 20, 2007, Busta Rhymes refused a plea deal offered by the prosecutor’s office for the assault of his former driver, Edward Hatchett. The deal would have entailed six months in jail and pleading guilty to two assaults, the attack on Hatchett, and the attack on the former fan. The dispute with Hatchett is believed to have originated over back pay Hatchett felt he was owed. Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Becki Rowe offered Busta another option, pleading guilty to third-degree assault. The conditions of the proposed sentence would include five days of community service, two weeks of youth lectures and six months of anger management classes, as well as three years of probation.
On March 18, 2008 a judge in New York City sentenced Busta to three years probation, 10 days community service, $1250 in fines (plus court costs), and to enroll in a drunken driving program.
On September 25, 2008, Busta Rhymes was temporarily refused entry to the United Kingdom due to “unresolved convictions”.
On October 14, 2009, a Brooklyn judge ordered Busta Rhymes to pay a concert goer $75,000 in compensation for an assault which occurred in 2003.