Busta Rhymes’ VMA Performance Is A Drop The Mic Moment
In the last year, Busta Rhymes has released one of the finest Hip-Hop albums in Extinction Level Event 2. ELE2 stands tall in Busta’s extensive 30-year career and catalog, with Ambrosia For Heads arguing that it is worthy of the “classic” adjective. The concept album (featuring Rakim, M.O.P., Q-Tip, Kendrick Lamar, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, and others) flashes into the 49-year-old MC/producer’s many moods and styles while showcasing why he is an MC who has endured the ages.
That same quality appeared Sunday night (September 12) at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards. Notably, Busta Rhymes has been nominated for 16 VMAs without a win. That streak that began with 1996’s Hype Williams-directed “Woo-Hah! Got You All In Check” losing to Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight” in the “Breakthrough Video” category. Most recently, in 2011, Bussa Bus’ standout Chris Brown collaboration “Look At Me Now” lost to Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass” for “Best Rap Video,” as well as Katy Perry and Kanye West’s “E.T.” in the “Best Collaboration” category. Nevertheless, Trevor Smith was happy to offer up reason why he is a video star in 2021. The surprise guest delivered an unforgettable performance and a drop-the-mic moment for the MC who grew up just minutes from the Barclay’s Center, Brooklyn’s in East Flatbush section.
Ever See This Footage of Busta Rhymes Battling a Student at His Old High School? (Video)
In a mega-medley, a red leather-clad (perhaps Whodini-inspired) outfit, Busta Rhymes (assisted by longtime right-hand hype-man Spliff Star) rocked “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” his “Ante Up (Remix),” his “Scenario” verse, “Touch It,” “Pass The Courvoisier,” and the aforementioned “Look At Me Now.” Approaching twenty five years since Genesis, dancers recreated “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.” Busta and Spliff then seamlessly slide into his part on M.O.P.’s “Ante Up (Remix),” with a strong crowd reaction.
As Buss’ steps into a cypher circle, he rocks his game-changing verse from A Tribe Called Quest “Scenario.” He then advances things a dozen years and moves to his Aftermath period with “Touch It.” He then steps into “Look At Me Now” with a tongue-twisting performance to show why he is among Rap’s top entertainers. Busta, who nearly lost life and his voice in recent years, is back to full force. At one point, Busta makes his point known by deliberately dropping the microphone. As he leaves the stage, the East Flatbush native Busta seemed to vent with a mean mug and announcing, “Brooklyn! Don’t ever forget that!”
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ELE2 was named to AFH‘s Best Albums of 2020 list.
#BonusBeat: Ambrosia For Heads‘ What’s The Headline podcast discusses why Busta Rhymes’ Extinction Level Event 2 secured a classic album 30 years into an incredible music career: