“I was getting ready to have an intimate moment with my ex. I had a breathing issue after the intimate interaction,” the rapper, 51, recalled during a recent interview with Men’s Health. “I was having a really difficult time breathing, so I got up and I walked out of the bedroom so she wouldn’t panic seeing me trying to keep myself calm.”
Busta — whose real name is Trevor George Smith Jr. — said he felt like he was having an “asthma attack” but noted he doesn’t have asthma. “That was scaring me so much that it was a mindf–k, because I had to stay calm and make sure she didn’t hear me panic or hear me struggle to breathe,” he remembered. “I’m butt-ass naked in the living room, trying to calm myself down.”
When he returned to the bedroom, his ex told him that he was no longer the man she fell in love with. “She didn’t know what had happened outside, but she was looking at my body and the weight,” Busta said. “She was like, ‘You gotta lose this weight. This breathing is scaring me. When I met you, you wasn’t like a musclehead, but you, you was slim, you was cut, you had your s–t right. I need you to get back to who I fell in love with.’”
Busta went on to note that another incident in May 2019 added to his concern. He passed out in the car after a party, and it took his eldest son, T’ziah, and his security team about 45 minutes to wake him up. At the time, he had polyps on his vocal cords blocking 90 percent of his air passages and causing severe sleep apnea.
“I ran from the surgery as long as I could, but after that weekend I saw the doctor and he looked at my throat and he said I could die in my sleep,” Busta said. “That’s when I got surgery and started to get back in shape.”
Busta has since lost 100 pounds and has recently upped his workout regimen to prep for an upcoming tour with 50 Cent. “I’m doing two-a-day workouts, everything: weights, circuits, sauna, cryotherapy,” he explained, adding that he also swears by “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.”
Earlier this year, Busta received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 BET Awards in June. Five of his six children were in the audience to watch their dad accept the honor.
“I’ve been super blessed to have people that actually love me so much that they refuse to let me die, people you can be honest with when you’re comfortable enough that you know they genuinely love you and they will protect you,” he told Men’s Health when asked about the big moment. “Not just professionally but personally, and you can be vulnerable and honest with them and truly ask for some guidance and truly ask for some help.”
Busta shares sons T’ziah, 30, T’khi, 24, and Trillian, 22, with ex Joanne Wood and daughters Mariah, 25, and Cacie, 24, with Jill Miskelly and Rhonda Randall, respectively. He is also the father of daughter Miracle, 17.