Friday, 22 July 2011

Busta Rhymes @ the Hard Rock Cafe, Las Vegas

4th of July weekend and i'm on The Strip with my girlfriend, as the whole of Las Vegas is buzzing with a party atmosphere, all the pretty people are out in force in a destination already renowned for it's hedonistic reputation.

And of course there was no shortage of place to be or be seen, the only problem was picking one popstar's party over another.

Rihanna was performing at Mandalay Bay before 'hosting' an after-party back at our hotel's exclusive club, also 'hosting' further down the strip was B.O.B and Wyclef Jean would be putting in an appearance at another of Vegas' many nightspots.

But i'd already been tempted by the name daubed large across the Hard Rock Cafe's neon guitar frontage, one whole floor of gift shop and musical-related merch, the next floor the ubiquitous rock themed restaurant, and tonight, Busta Rhymes would be hitting the stage of the restaurant's intimate top floor venue.

The steep $60 price tag for tickets seemed somewhat justified after making enquiries, sincere staff said that it would be 'a proper performance' as opposed to a money-grabbing club appearance, with a full support and 11.30pm headline slot promised we handed over our foreign currency and looked forward to the night ahead.

As expected, DJs threw down some crowd-shaking hip-hop bangers and a jubilant vibe was in the air by the time a local live-rap band took to the stage, whipping up a tangible excitement in the room and putting in a respectable performance to boot.

What followed should have been the highlight of an already amazing holiday, but as the filler DJ set drew out longer and longer, the mood in the room dramatically changed.

it was later still when another DJ took over and a compère's promises that Busta Rhymes was 'in the building' and that he would be onstage 'in around fifteen minutes' were swiftly proved as dishonest as time dragged on and the previous DJ switched back again.

As the time stretched on with no indication of a headliner forthcoming anytime soon, DJs and compère were both booed and scuffles in the crowd broke out as impatience and growing unease spread throughout the building, a number of people even walked out in disgust as DJs resorted to playing the very same tracks they had already played earlier in the evening, proving them to be fatally under-prepared for the job they were there to do.

When Busta Rhymes did eventually take to the stage infront of an agitated and diminished crowd, the performance was far too brief and wholly unsatisfactory to have warranted such a high price tag, rapping over a distorted backing track that hadn't even had the vocals removed for the opening salvo, before moving onto two of his own tracks.

His talent is genuinely not in question, a quick run through of a couple of old hits was hardly 'crowd-pleasing' but were proof of his exceptional skill and inimitable style.

Then we got two guest verses from other artist's tracks and then it was over.

it really was far too little, far too late.

For an artist of Busta Rhymes' calibre, with an impressive back catalogue spanning fifteen years, to simply saunter up and essentially grab the money and run is a disgusting example of hip-hop stars trading on their own success by putting in as little effort possible, whilst still receiving a handsome reward.

This practise should not be tolerated any longer, it is disrespectful to the very fans that have put them in such lofty positions and graced them with lavish lifestyles, but in this culture of celebrity worship i fear that worse is yet to come, and that paying good money is simply not enough to make us worthy of Busta Rhyme's precious time.

Busta Rhymes - Look At Me Now (BreakBomb dubstep mix)


  1. oh man I couldve written this article myself,(its like you were in my head! you did a great job! you took my feelings from that night, and put them in black and white.. thank you! Im still disgusted at how long it took for him to come onstage..smh (my friend was one of those that walked out)

  2. thanks for stopping by and commenting

    yeah, the whole night was ridiculous, even when he did come out i think there was just so much animosity in the venue that it completely tarnished what could have been a hugely enjoyable night