Busta Rhymes Recalls the ‘Intimate Moment’ He Realized He Had to Lose Weight

Busta Rhymes attends the BET Awards 2023 at Microsoft Theater on June 25, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Busta Rhymes says he’s transformed his body multiple times over the years. In the past, getting chiseled was about looking good, now he’s focused on living longer and “self-preservation.”

The rapper, songwriter and record producer sat down with Men’s Health magazine for the new issue celebrating the 50th anniversary of hip hop.

The Brooklyn native discussed his fitness journey, the embarrassing incident that pushed him to lose weight, and his focus on overall health after turning 50.

“Me, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre, a lot of artists now, understand the seriousness and significance of self-preservation: a healthy diet regimen, significant water intake, getting your sleep so your body can repair itself when you beat it up and you tear that muscle from the workouts,” he told the magazine in the article published Tuesday.

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Just a few years ago, Busta Rhymes’ weight had climbed to 340 pounds. During a night of partying in 2019, it took his oldest son and his security team 45 minutes to get him inside his home after he passed out in the car.

The rapper, born Trevor Smith, blamed poor eating habits and grief over the loss of his father for the weight gain.

“My dad died in 2014 and I drowned myself in work. I just kept drinking, smoking, eating bad — the whole nasty — and recording a bunch of songs just to escape the pain. I also had a 90 percent blockage in my throat because of polyps on my vocal cords, and my breathing was bad,” he explained.

He realized his health had spiraled out of control during an intimate encounter with a partner.

“One night I was getting ready to have, make, you know… I was getting ready to have an intimate moment with my ex. I had a breathing issue after the intimate interaction,” he recalled.

The incident caused him to panic.

“I felt like I was having an asthma attack — but I don’t have asthma. So I walked out of the bedroom and went into the living room, and I was forcing myself to inhale, to relax,” he said. “I’m butt-ass naked in the living room, trying to calm myself down.”

He said his partner told him it was time to make changes.

“She was like, ‘Yo, this is not who I fell in love with.’ She didn’t know what happened outside, but she was looking at my body and the weight. She was like, ‘You gotta lose this weight,'” he shared.

That same week, one of his sons teased him about his weight by touching his stomach.

“He was just being funny, but these things never happened when I had a six-pack. Those are two moments that really made me say, ‘Right, I gotta fix all of this,'” he said.

He’s since lost 100 pounds in preparation for this year’s “The Final Lap” tour with 50 Cent.

“I’m trying to lean out, chisel that six-pack up, build the pecs, cap the shoulders, get the traps, triceps—you know, get your waist small, stomach flat, get your back muscle so you can take the T-shirt off on the stage,” he said. “I’m gonna be on stage with 50 [Cent] and don’t want to be a weak link.”

Men’s Health also interviewed 50 Cent, Method Man, Wiz Khalifa, Common, and Ludacris for the special issue. The rest of the interviews can be found here.