Picks and Pans Review: Anarchy

UPDATED 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 07/24/2000 at 01:00 AM EDT

Busta Rhymes (Elektra)

Today's hot rapper is often tomorrow's has-been: Few have managed to stretch their fame beyond the customary 15 minutes. Count Busta Rhymes among that handful.

The Brooklyn native—who began his career in the early '90s with the group Leaders of the New School—has spun a string of solo hits to the top of the pop charts and has now branched out to Hollywood, costarring with Samuel L. Jackson in Shaft. (Rhymes even survived the surreal moment at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards when he co-presented an award with Martha Stewart, arguably the least hip-hop person on the planet.) Known for his rapid-fire, reggae-influenced delivery (his parents are Jamaican) and an outrageous, though good-humored, image, Rhymes here reins in his persona in favor of a more direct style. Though the songs focus on familiar Rhymes themes—the end of the world and the corruption of "so-called civilized society"—Anarchy is both cautionary and celebratory.

Bottom Line: Rhymes with the times

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