Forgotten Great Albums: Busta Rhymes – When Disaster Strikes

I remembered when this joint dropped, I was a young blood at the time. My crew was starting to get into that real street music. I remember one of my homies’ older brothers put me on this album. I knew of Busta from his work with A Tribe Called Quest and other various artists. But when I got my first listen of this album right here, it totally turned my life around for a good 3 months. I remember that my man let me borrow this joint, and I was “supposed” to return it to him when he brought my All Eyez on Me CD back to me. Well I fronted on him and I kept his joint, I ain’t no sucka so he returned my CD too or we was gonna have a problem. This Busta Rhymes cat was just on another level in my mind at the time. All I could do was lay back on my bed in my room with this CD in my box on “Repeat All”. I would be laying there tossing my Spalding basketball up and down (working on the form of course) and just soaking up game. Those were the good ol days, pause the CD, go to the kitchen and make a bologna sandwich, and get right back at it. Some of those tracks even had me going “woo hah”. Yo here’s how I remember the album track by track.

This was one of those classic types of intros. People were doing those narrator introductions heavily back in the day. This one sounded like the rise of an empire or something. So dramatic.

The Whole World Lookin At Me

If you had a Montero Sport or Pathfinder back in the day, you were blasting this song inside of it for sure. What I remembered the most about this track from back in the day was that it was the first time that I heard an MC drop lyrics in such a raw manner. No regard for the beat, it was not sensitive at all, very raw.

Survival Hungry

Till this day my head still bobs heavily when I hear this track. The lyrics of the song truly reflected the title, an anthem for the hungry peeps.

When Disaster Strikes
Something about his flow on this song had me entrapped in his world. It was beautiful poetry spoken from lips that had not been so sensual in the past. If you listen carefully to this song, it was purely about the lyrics. The verses were up to cypher caliber.

So Hardcore
A jiggy track produced by The Ummah. This was the first time that I remembered hearing him flowing with that unsteady pausing flow (umm umm hmm HA!). It felt like the chorus was directed at me at the time.

So hardcore like quick draw McGraw, f$ck what you heard, you ain’t heard this before

Get High Tonight
If there was a track that I skipped on this album it was most likely this one. The production just didn’t fit the mold of the prior tracks and I didn’t want to hear songs similar to songs that I’ve heard before.

Turn It Up
Even back then I was mesmerized by artist rhyming over beats that heavily resembled the original version of the sample. It just reminded me of the fundamentals of hip hop when people couldn’t really afford a beat or when you were just feeling something on the radio and you just started freestyling over the song. I remember having pictures in my mind of Don Cornelius as a thug while listening to this song because the whole thing was just so funky.

Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See

This was the jam back in the day and like most people I enjoyed this track. Now that I look back at it, the song really doesn’t fit into the sound of the album.

There’s Not A Problem My Squad Can’t Fix
This was the first time that I heard Jamal. I thought he was decent at the time then after hearing his other work I was impressed. This song really didn’t do both of the MC’s justice. It wasn’t surprising when I found out that Busta produced this track himself.

We Could Take It Outside

FINALLY! back to that real! kudos to DJ Scratch for this thorough production. It’s songs like this that you listen to Busta and you think that he just faded out on these tracks. I’m pretty sure Rah Digga was on that track.

Rhymes Galore

Mayday! Mayday! walk bare foot on ni99as like Kunta Kinte

Something about this track had me wanting more. Can’t really explain it.

Things We Be Doin For Money Part 1

Another verse built to spit in a cypher. The words were precise and the delivery was in your face. It reflected that real life street sh#t. You could even get a taste in the faded part where Busta robbed that dude. Tracks like this had mom dukes banging on my door telling me to turn that sh%t down.

Things We Be Doin for Money Part 2
To me the first part of this song was better but the story on the second part was nice.


This is one of my favorite Busta songs til this day, mainly because it features the queen herself, Erykah Badu. It wasn’t as forward as Method and Mary’s song but it showed a different side of relationships. Kudos to Rockwilder for that production. I remember cleaning my Nikes with this song bumping in the background.


I remember that I couldn’t wait until I came to this point in the album. I liked this track over ‘Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See’. I’m pretty sure that I knew this song word for word, can only recite the chorus now ha! Peep that NSX in the video, sex!

The Body Rock
I figured that Puff would find his way on this album some how. ’97 was Bad Boy’s year and of course this song sounds like one of their songs. Puff’s lyrics were so easy to repeat though ha!

Get Off My Block

DJ Scratch was talented on the production tip. I didn’t hear ‘The Coming’ till later but when I listen to this song now I think that Busta was taking it back to those days.

The outro was just as raw as the intro.

I just hope that a lot of people have this album in their catalog and don’t forget about Busta’s work. He was the first artist that I remembered hearing come on some different sh#t besides Das Efx and Redman. A true lyricist and MC.

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