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Busta Rhymes Unleashes The Beast At Essence Festival

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Busta Rhymes Unleashes the Beast At The Essence Festival
Busta Rhymes. Image source: Erika Goldring, Getty Images.

During the Essence Festival this past weekend, Busta Rhymes’ temper flared, and he scolded the crowd of concert attendees.

Busta earned his nickname “Dragon” for a reason. This moniker perfectly captures the intensity with which he delivers his rapid-fire lyrics. His flow is sharp and explosive, leaving listeners in awe. However, at his concert on July 6th, Busta made it clear to his loyal fans that there are certain actions he will not tolerate, including the use of cell phones during performances.

Busta Rhymes Lectures

Numerous sources have reported that while Rhymes was performing, he suddenly stopped and gave a stern lecture. It has been stated by various outlets that several festival-goers were not only using their phones during his set but also sitting down. The iconic rapper appeared  irritated by this behavior and responded,

Aye yo. F*** the camera phones. I ain’t from that era. F*** your phones.

Was Rhymes Justified?

The festival attendees were undoubtedly surprised by this action. It’s not every day that an artist pauses their performance to demand the audience’s attention. Did Busta have a valid point in doing so?

Busta Rhymes is right to say that he comes from a different era. However, it’s important to note the technological differences between his time and now—specifically, the absence of cell phones. To make a fair comparison, there must be similar factors at play. It’s likely that if cell phones were as prevalent during the golden age of hip-hop, the crowd would have reacted similarly.

Society’s Shift And Its Impact

Society has changed, and it’s clear that people have grown accustomed to prioritizing their phones over in-person interactions. Countless articles discuss the effects of cell phones on relationships and social dynamics, all pointing to a decrease in genuine engagement. And unfortunately, he’s not the only one who has become less than enthusiastic about concert crowds recently.

Talking Generations

In recent news, Method Man sparked controversy when he announced that he would never perform at the Hot 97 Summer Jam again due to the age gap between him and his audience. Another media outlet highlighted this quote from the well-known rapper after his performance:

“Thanks again to New York and the entire tri-state area for coming out to support us, along with Pete and Ebro. I appreciate the love, but I have to say #nevercomingback. The generation gap has become too wide for me.”

However, the artist later clarified his intentions behind this statement.

Complexity Of Audience Engagement

When examining both scenarios, one must take into account that the lack of audience response may not solely be attributed to their cell phones. As Method Man argued in his case, the age gap among the attendees is also a factor to consider.

Numerous factors could explain why the audience did not react as Busta Rhymes had hoped. Should he have reprimanded his fans? Is it acceptable for an artist to lash out at their audience if they receive an unexpected or lackluster response? Was Busta right here?

Written by Renae Richardson 

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