Here, Busta Rhymes reflects on his place in the hip-hop hierarchy as he calls himself "one of the kings of Black history." The New Yorker boasts that his trash talk is much harder than the rhymes the modern generation of rappers can manage. He says while he "spit 'em like darts 'til they puncture your kidney," the younger rhymer's taunts just don't convince him.
Kendrick Lamar joins Busta Rhymes for a verse where he reminisces on his origins – he recalls writing his first bars in the car with someone called Stacy. He goes on to boast how he leads the new generation of rappers.
The song dates back to around 2017. Rhymes told Zane Lowe that he recorded the track while trapped in New York City's Quad Studio during a blizzard. He then sent it to Lamar. "Kendrick bodied the verse, sent it back," he said.
"Shoulder" is the two rappers' second time working together, following Rhymes' appearance on Lamar's "Rigormortis (Remix)," dropped on September 1, 2011.
The chorus samples The Jackson Five's "I'll Be There
," specifically drawing from Michael Jackson's vocals.
The song was first teased in late 2017 and leaked online on September 29, 2018. It appeared on the unauthorized 2018 Kendrick Lamar project, bad kid, chill city, which rounded up a series of the Compton rapper's leaks. A remastered version of the song finally made it onto Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God when Rhymes dropped the record on October 30, 2020.
Busta superfan Chris Rock appears throughout Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God. He uses the outro to this song to speak of Busta's legacy.
He got catalog, you understand?
Just over your shoulders