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Busta Rhymes leaves Elektra for J Records

Plus, Björk’s homegrown new album

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Busta Rhymes
Busta Rhymes: Vaughn Youtz: Zuma Press

BUSTA MOVE You can almost hear Clive Davis shouting ”Woo – ha!” After 11 years with Elektra, Busta Rhymes has signed with Davis’ fledgling J Records and recently began work on a new album. Tentatively titled ”Genesis,” the disc will include collaborations with Kelis and the Neptunes, Mystikal and Trina, and perhaps ”something that I’m planning to do with Madonna.” (Her rep is unaware of any such team up.)

So why did the rapper leave the label that made him a star? Although Rhymes says he’s grateful to Elektra and still loves label president Sylvia Rhone, his last album, 2000’s ”Anarchy,” failed to match the sales of his previous three efforts: ”When you consistently reach a certain level, you strive to reach higher goals, and Elektra wasn’t capable of getting me there. They need younger dudes who understand the newer ways of approaching the [marketing] game. I offered suggestions in a million ways and I wasn’t seeing changes.” (Elektra declines to comment.) As for the album, ”I’m still figuring it all out, but we’re gonna extreme it a little bit this trip.”

HOUSE FRAU Meanwhile, Elektra is planning a May 22 release for the latest from Björk, a recent Best Song Oscar nominee for ”I’ve Seen It All” from ”Dancer in the Dark.” ”The album is like a cocoon,” she says. ”How can I explain? A lot of my music is very real and stark, but this is almost the opposite, sort of Walt Disney, like a fantasy. It’s about creating a bubble in your house, a paradise. It’s called ”Vespertine,” which refers to twilight — it’s sort of a winter album.”

The disc features beats from San Francisco experimentalists Matmos, who craft tracks out of real world sounds. ”There’s a solo in [the first single] ”Hidden Place” made from shuffling cards,” Björk says. ”You know the plastic thing you put in the freezer to make ice cubes? They [made beats by] cracking the ice. All their noises are recorded around the home.” Who says house music is boring?