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Article Dec 6 2016 Written by

Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See: Breakdown

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The Flatbush-born Trevor George Smith Jr. made a name for himself as the 80’s came to a close and led a career that garnered a world renown still respected today. Busta Rhymes found his start by carving out a niche that deviated from the classic Hip Hop pioneers that came before him as the face of Leaders of the New School. When Busta’s second album, “When Disaster Strikes…” was released, he had established himself as a wild presence in both attitude and fashion. It was for this album that Busta recorded a song that Complex Magazine would call his Magnum Opus, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.”

Busta and his production team knew they were onto something big after converting folk band Seals and Croft’s song “Sweet Green Field” into a smooth and mysterious Hip Hop beat. The suave factor, while uncharacteristic of Busta Rhymes at the time, stayed true to his rejection of the conventional and pushed the boundaries of Hip Hop to previously uncharted waters. Trading out his usual high energy shouts and shrieks, commonplace in songs like “Woo Hah!!”, with a quiet confidence that showed the world Busta’s unpredictable range. Busta noted later that this change of style came about as the result of a critique from A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip and the music mogul Diddy. The two felt it time for Busta to branch out and explore his artistry by experimenting with new sounds and vocal styles. Busta’s flow, intentionally designed after the English dialect spoken by West Indian and Trinidadian immigrants around Brooklyn accomplished this feat. Busta Rhymes recalled how many in these groups would overuse the word “yo” as a way to try and sound more American, thus instilling Busta’s lyrics to build around this habit.

The song quickly became recognizable as a Hip Hop classic and went on to become sampled by artists like Janet Jackson, 50 Cent, Tanya Stephens, Total, and Mariah Carey. Another thing to note while reading through the lyrics is the maintaining of a single rhyme scheme throughout the entirety of each verse.

 Verse 1

Hit you with no delaying so what you sayin yo
Silly with my nine milli, what the deally yo
When I be on the mic yes I do my duty yo
Wild up in the club like we wild in the studio
You don’t wanna VIOLATE nigga really and truly yo
My main thug nigga named Julio he moody yo
Type of nigga that’ll slap you with the tool-io
Bitch nigga scared to death, act fruity yo
Fuck that
, look at shorty, she a little cutie yo
The way she shake it make me wanna get all in the booty yo
Top mistresses and banging bitches in videos
Whylin with my freak like we up in the freak shows
Hit you with the shit make you feel it all in your toes
Hot shit got all you niggas in wet clothes

Styling my metaphors when I formulate my flows
If you don’t know you fucking with lyrical player pros, like that

Verse 2

If you really wanna party with me, In God We Trust
Yo it’s a must that you heard of us yo we murderous
A lot of niggas is wondering and they curious
How me and my niggas do it, it’s so mysterious
Furious, all of my niggas is serious
Shook niggas be walkin around fearing us
Front nigga, like you don’t wanna be hearing us
Gotta listen to how radio yo be playing us
Thirty time a day shit’ll make you delirious
Damaging everything all up in your ear-ius
Yo it’s funny how all the chickens be always serving us
All up in between they ass where they wanna carry us
Hit ya good then I hit em off with the alias
Various, chickens they wanna marry us
Yo it’s Flipmode my nigga you know we bout to bust
Seven figure money the label preparing us
Bite the dust, instead of you, making a fuss
Niggas know better cause there ain’t no comparing us
Mad at us, niggas is never, we fabulous
Hit my people off with the flow that be marvelous
Oh shit, my whole clique victorious
Taking no prisoners niggas is straight up warriors

While you feeling that I know you be feeling so glorious
Then I blitz and reminisce on my nigga Notorious

The lyrics were meant for the listener to sing along, for enjoyment while chilling out or turning up simultaneously.  A small detail in the lyrics is that each verse ends with a line dedicated to the memory of Notorious BIG, who had just been murdered a few months before the song released.

“Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See” peaked at number 37 on the Billboard Hot 100 and hit number two on the Hot Hip Hop/R&B Songs chart, and received a nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 40th Grammy Awards. Later, Hype Williams directed the official music video for the song, which gained its concept from the movie Coming To America, about an African man living in New York. The video itself became wildly recognizable for its unusual visual style and large-scale production. The music video earned a spot as number 20 on MTV’s 100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made list and garnered four VMA nominations in 1998. The track has always been one of my personal favorites, always and fondly remembered as a crucial stepping-stone in the long and historic career of Busta Rhymes.

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Written by

Deep thinker with a Hip Hop Head. Art lover and history enthusiast. My Top 5 Golden Age Emcees: Rakim, KRS-One, 2Pac, Black Thought, and Notorious B.I.G.…

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