Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front

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E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 15, 1998
StudioLarrabee North Sound Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
No Limit Studios
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)
Quad Studios
(New York, NY)
Soundtrack Studios
(New York, NY)
GenreHip hop
LabelFlipmode, Elektra
Busta Rhymes chronology
When Disaster Strikes
E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front
Singles from E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front
  1. "Tear da Roof Off"
    Released: October 21, 1998
  2. "Gimme Some More"
    Released: October 26, 1998
  3. "What's It Gonna Be?!"
    Released: March 27, 1999
  4. "Party Is Goin' On Over Here"
    Released: 1999

E.L.E. (Extinction Level Event): The Final World Front is the third studio album by American rapper Busta Rhymes. The album was released on December 15, 1998 by Flipmode and Elektra Records in North America. The album follows the apocalypse theme that was explored by Rhymes in his first two studio albums, The Coming (1996) and When Disaster Strikes (1997). Musically, the album is composed of East Coast, West Coast, horrorcore, and hardcore hip hop music.

Based on the "end of the world" motif and apocalypse themes that was displayed in Rhymes earlier albums The Coming (1996) and When Disaster Strikes (1997), the album was widely praised by critics and received three Grammy Award nominations for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Solo Performance and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group at the 42nd Grammy Awards. E.L.E. also spawned three singles that attained Billboard chart success, including the Janet Jackson-featuring "What's It Gonna Be?!", which became Rhymes' highest-charting single on the US Billboard Hot 100 as a lead artist, reaching number three. In early 1999, E.L.E. was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for selling over one million copies.

Critical reception[edit]

The album received generally favorable reviews from most music critics. At the 42nd Grammy Awards, the album earned three nominations, one for the album itself in the category of Best Rap Album, a Best Rap Solo Performance nomination for "Gimme Some More" and a Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group nomination for "What's It Gonna Be?!" with Janet Jackson.[1]

In August 2020, Busta Rhymes announced a sequel to the album, Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God, which was released on October 30, 2020.[2][3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Entertainment WeeklyB[5]
The New York Timesfavorable[8]
Rolling Stone[9]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[10]
The Source[11]
Urban Latino[6]
The Village Voicemixed[12]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number twelve on the official US Billboard 200 album chart, remaining on the chart for thirty-two weeks.[13] E.L.E. peaked at the number two spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, peaking inside the top fifty for thirty-five weeks.[14] In the United Kingdom, E.L.E. entered at number fifty-four on the official UK Albums Chart, charting for seven weeks.[15] On January 8, 1999, the album was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipping 1,000,000 copies.[16]

Album cover[edit]

The album, and cover were influenced by popular disaster movies around the time of the album's release in 1998, primarily Armageddon and Deep Impact. Busta Rhymes explained in an interview that the cover was inspired by the disaster movie Deep Impact, showing his image of an asteroid hitting New York City.[17]

Track listing[edit]

1."There's Only One Year Left (Intro)" DJ Mr. Stanneke2:39
2."Everybody Rise"Trevor Smith Jr., Dominick LambNottz3:02
3."Where We Are About to Take It"Smith, LambNottz3:08
4."Extinction Level Event (The Song of Salvation)"Smith, LambNottz3:36
5."Tear da Roof Off"Smith, Kasseem DeanSwizz Beatz3:38
6."Against All Odds" (featuring The Flipmode Squad)Smith, Rashia Fisher, W. Michael Lewis, Roger McNair, L. JonesJamal4:20
7."Just Give It to Me Raw"Smith, DeanSwizz Beatz3:03
8."Do It to Death"Smith, Dana StinsonRockwilder3:29
9."Keepin' It Tight"Smith, Manu Dibango, Rashad SmithRashad Smith, Armando Colon4:29
10."Gimme Some More"Smith, George SpiveyDJ Scratch2:41
11."Iz They Wildin Wit Us & Gettin' Rowdy Wit Us?" (featuring Mystikal)Smith, Darrell Allamby, Michael TylerDarrell "Delite" Allamby, Kenny "Flav" Dickerson3:41
12."Party Is Goin' on Over Here"Smith, SpiveyDJ Scratch2:34
13."Do the Bus a Bus"Smith, Russell Simmons, Lawrence Smith, Jimmy Spicer, SpiveyDJ Scratch5:00
14."Take It Off"Smith, Carlos EvansHaas G3:09
15."What's It Gonna Be?!" (featuring Janet Jackson)Smith, Allamby, Antoinette RobersonDarrell "Delite" Allamby5:26
16."Hot Shit Makin' Ya Bounce"Smith, Deric AngelettieD-Dot, Nashiem Myrick3:34
17."What the Fuck You Want!!"SmithDiamond D3:17
18."This Means War!!" (featuring Ozzy Osbourne)Smith, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, A. McLeerBusta Rhymes4:38
19."The Burial Song (Outro)"Smith, SpiveyDJ Scratch5:04


Chart (1998) Peak
US Billboard 200[18] 12
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[19] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[20] 45
UK Albums (OCC)[21] 54
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[22] 34

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1999) Position
US Billboard 200[23] 49
US R&B/Hip-Hop Albums[24] 14


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Gold 100,000*
United States (RIAA)[26] Platinum 1,000,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ "Awards Nominations & Winners". 30 April 2017.
  2. ^ Torres, Eric (2020-10-08). "Watch Chris Rock Announce Busta Rhymes' New Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  3. ^ Grant, Shawn (2020-10-08). "Busta Rhymes Announces 'Extinction Level Event 2: The Wrath of God' for Oct. 30". The Source. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  4. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1998-12-08). "Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front - Busta Rhymes". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  5. ^ David Browne (1999-01-15). "Extinction Level Event-The Final World Front Review". EW.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  6. ^ a b "Busta Rhymes - Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front CD Album". Cduniverse.com. 1998-12-15. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  7. ^ "NME Album Reviews - Extinction Level Event (The Final World Front)". Nme. Nme.Com. 1998-11-07. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  8. ^ Neil Strauss (31 December 1998). "THE POP LIFE; Those Hits Will Go On". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  9. ^ "Rolling Stone : Busta Rhymes: Extinction Level Event - The Final World Front". Rolling Stone. 1999-01-05. Archived from the original on August 28, 2006. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  10. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. ISBN 9780743201698.
  11. ^ https://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Guild/8222/REVIEWZ/BUSTARHYMES.html&date=2009-10-25+08:04:02[dead link]
  12. ^ Greg Tate (1998-12-29). "Video God Madness". Village Voice. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  13. ^ "Busta Rhymes - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  14. ^ "Busta Rhymes - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  15. ^ "Busta Rhymes | Artist". Official Charts. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  16. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - June 30, 2014". RIAA. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  17. ^ Interview in radio program P3 Soul in Sveriges Radio P3 on 2008-09-07
  18. ^ "Busta Rhymes Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 2013-09-18.
  19. ^ "Busta Rhymes Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  20. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  21. ^ "Busta Rhymes | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
  22. ^ "Busta Rhymes Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  23. ^ "Busta Rhymes - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  24. ^ "Busta Rhymes - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2014-06-30.
  25. ^ "British album certifications – Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front". British Phonographic Industry.
  26. ^ "American album certifications – Busta Rhymes – Extinction Level Event: The Final World Front". Recording Industry Association of America.