Busta Rhymes painted the tale of a world at the brink of destruction in 'Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front' 22 years ago. Now, Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr is back with a new entry into the Extinction Level Event series. This time Busta enumerates the details of his world’s armageddon; a world that disconcertingly parallels ours.
With old school jazz-sampling beats and smooth storytelling flow 'Extinction Level Event 2' culminates to create a love letter to the golden era of hip-hop; one that is unfortunately plagued with spelling mistakes, bad handwriting and Chris Rock incessantly making vexatious fruitless appearances throughout.
Despite its perspicuous and explicit social commentary on tracks like ‘The Purge’, 'Extinction Level Event 2' is often bloated and monotonous, making its one hour (plus!) run-time challenging to endure. What could be a colourful and important album is unequivocally tarnished by the tedious, repetitive, and needless opening seven tracks. What follows, however, is a true to form ode to the old school.
‘Master Fard Muhammad’ provided much-needed respite from the less interesting efforts on the album. Busta and Rick Ross, two artists famous for their features, become lyrically and infectiously entwined over a slick-spicy horn lead jazz-hop beat. This is just one example of the plethora of varied and interesting features on the album, from Anderson .Paak on ‘Zuuuu' to Kendrick Lamar on ‘Look Over Your Shoulder'. Busta, unfortunately, depletes these incredible guest verses with his often unbearable performances, namely on the song ‘Where I Belong’ with Mariah Carey, where the wrong person provides their vocal acrobatic chops.
The album ends strong with scintillating female-fronted, soul-inspired lyrically introspective tracks ‘You Will Never Find Another Me’ and ‘Freedom?’, proving that even on his own album Busta Rhymes will always be best as a feature artist.
Words: Mason Meyers
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