Nearly a decade ago, fans watched as Busta Rhymes slowly began to lose his lean, chiseled physique as he packed on the pounds and developed a bulging midsection.
Unbeknownst to the public, grief from the loss of his father in 2014 and indulging in poor eating habits, alcohol, smoking, and throwing himself into his work were behind the drastic weight gain.
At his heaviest, Busta weighed 340 pounds and dealt with high blood pressure, polyps on his vocal cords that caused a 90 percent blockage in his throat, and burdensome breathing.
In his September Men’s Health feature, the “Touch It” rapper said he hated the sound of his labored breathing. But his wake-up call to change his lifestyle came after a night of passion.
“I had a breathing issue after the intimate interaction. … I got up and I walked out of the bedroom so she wouldn’t panic seeing me trying to keep myself calm,” he recalled.
He described the respiratory turmoil as “I was trying to inhale, and it felt like it wasn’t working. I felt like I was having like an asthma attack—but I don’t have asthma.” Busta said when he returned to the bedroom, his then-girlfriend told him he needed to get his health in check and “to get back to who I fell in love with.”
He would have two more uncomfortable experiences — his son playfully slapping his belly and a 2019 incident where he collapsed due to his breathing issues — before he locked in and shed the weight.
In October of 2020, he revealed his transformation on Instagram with side-by-side photos, one of him with a large belly and the other with his shirt lifted to show off his sculpted six-pack. In the caption, he told his followers to never give up on themselves.
He was praised for his dedication then, and not much has changed now that he has opened up about his motivation to shed 100 pounds. Some of the comments on Facebook include people writing:
“His chick was wearing him out , had him exhausted and snoring at the same time .”
“He was just at a Janet Jackson concert not to long ago bussin out of his jacket. At least he’s doing something about it.”
One person defended him against laughter and ridicule. “What’s funny about this..? It takes a lot to be vulnerable about something like that, and, sometimes, it takes moments like these to inspire people to get their health under control,” wrote a supporter.
These days, the “Look At Me Now” lyricist weighs 255 pounds. He says dedication to the gym and his diet have helped him to not stray from his “best shape,” when he weighed between 240-255 pounds.