Busta Rhymes explains why he was “nervous” to work with Janet Jackson

In an lengthy interview with rapper N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN on Drinks ChampsBusta Rhymes shared the story of how he connected with the iconic Ms. Janet Jackson to create their 1998 collaboration, “What’s Its Gonna Be?!

Busta recalled hearing Jackson mention she wanted to work with him during a radio interview, which prompted him to call television producer Mona Scott-Young and say: “Tell Janet I got a song for her.” 

After going through certain “protocols,” he said Janet agreed to do the song and record it in a “neutral location…in the middle of the country,” where no one would expect either of them to be.

Despite creating a “sexy and comfortable environment” in the studio filled with Jackson’s favorite flowers and candles, Busta said he was so nervous he booked another room for himself, in order to not be distracted by the woman he repeatedly called a “goddess.”

“Everything about Janet is an immaculate conception. She’s a goddess, to me,” he said. “I was so nervous that I booked another room because I didn’t want to be around her too long…and do nothing wrong.”

“I just didn’t want to be working at a pace creatively that wasn’t matching her pace,” Busta continued. “So I went in another room so I didn’t have to be distracted by being in the same space with her.” 

What’s Its Gonna Be?!” peaked at #3 on Billboard’s Hot 100 song chart, as did Busta’s 2003 collaboration, “I Know What You Want” featuring Mariah Carey. The two reunited on “Where I Belong,” a track from Busta’s new album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, which dropped Friday.

By Rachel George
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