Rapper Busta Rhymes said he was motivated to lose weight after an alarming experience while having sex.
“One night I was getting ready to have, make, you know… I was getting ready to have an intimate moment with my ex,” he recalled during a recent cover interview with Men’s Health dedicated to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.
Rhymes said that he began having a “really difficult time breathing” after the moment.
“I got up and I walked out of the bedroom, so she wouldn’t panic seeing me trying to keep myself calm. I was trying to inhale and it felt like it wasn’t working,” Rhymes, born Trevor George Smith Jr., continued. “That was scaring me so much that it was a mindfuck, because I had to stay calm and make sure she didn’t hear me panic or hear me struggle to breathe.”
He added: “I felt like I was having like an asthma attack — but I don’t have asthma.”
The “Touch It” rapper, who weighed roughly 340 pounds in 2019, said he left the bedroom and headed to the living room as he was “forcing myself to inhale, to relax.”
After the father of six returned to the bedroom, he revealed his now-ex said something to him that “really fucked” him up.
“She was like, ‘Yo, this is not who I fell in love with,’” he recounted. “She didn’t know what had happened outside, but she was looking at my body and the weight. She was like, ‘You gotta lose this weight. This breathing is scaring me.’”
The “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” musician admitted the exchange with his ex led him to switch up his lifestyle.
Rhymes, who lost about 100 pounds, told Men’s Health that he started gaining weight after his father died in 2014.
“I drowned myself in work,” he said of coping with his dad’s death. “I just kept drinking, smoking, eating bad — the whole nasty — and recording a bunch of songs just to escape the pain.”
Rhymes said after he had “eaten and drunk himself up to 340 pounds,” he developed polyps on his vocal cords, which blocked 90% of his airways, affecting his breathing and threatening his career as an emcee.
Rhymes, who is gearing up to tour with fellow rapper 50 Cent, said he’s currently shredding to get stage-ready.
“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.
Back in May 2021, the hitmaker told Men’s Health in a separate interview that getting in shape was a matter of “survival” for him.
“I ain’t just getting in shape to look good with my music,” he told the outlet at the time. “I was raised to protect and provide for my family and my people. I don’t know how to be any other way. I have to contribute in any way I can, even if that means engaging in physicality to ensure survival.”
He also gushed about his fitness routine, which he says consists of multiple workouts per day and eating protein-rich meals frequently.