Calm Down

Album: E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event) 2: End of the World (2014)
Charted: 63 94

Songfacts®:

  • Busta goes head-to-head with Eminem on this cut, which is backed by production from Scoop DeVille (Kendrick Lamar's "The Recipe"). "I've got a six-minute record with Eminem that sounds like we are respectfully trying to battle each other in a way that you probably never heard us battle in our entire careers on a record," Busta told XXL. "So it's lot of real incredibly golden moments for us on this project."
  • The song samples the horns from the beginning of House of Pain's 1992 hit "Jump Around," which itself was borrowed from Bob & Earl's 1963 track "Harlem Shuffle."
  • Busta recalled to MTV News how this morphed from a simple song with a few verses and a hook, into a nearly six-minute rap battle. "Originally, the song was like three minutes and eight seconds. I had two 16-bar verses on it and the hook that's there," the rapper explained to MTV News.

    When Busta sent the song to Eminem, he expected to get a standard 16-bar rhyme, but the Detroit spitter sent him a 42-bar performance. The length and intensity of Slim Shady's verse brought out the competitive instinct in Busta. "You're not just gonna mop the floor with me on my record," he recalled thinking to himself. "I didn't expect any less because that's what Em does, but that's what people know Busta Rhymes for doing."

    Busta went back to write a longer verse to match Eminem's rhymes before travelling to the Detroit rapper's studio, where the plan was for Slim to mix the joint. "I'm in there, Em hears the verse. He's vibing for like two or three hours… He said, 'We not mixing today.' Em was like, 'Yo man. My energy don't match your energy right now,'" Busta remembered. "I'm listening to the verse like, 'You f–kin' spazzed out already. What more spazzing out do you wanna do?'"

    A month or so after Busta returned to New York, he received an even longer final verse from Eminem. "Em sends back his verse again. So now he's at 62 bars and I'm like, 'F–k that, I'm going back again,'" he said.

    The pair eventually decided enough was enough and put the song out.

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