While watching this video of a live, Philadelphia performance of John Legend's Slow Dance on MTVMusic.com yesterday, I was shocked in a delighted kind of way to see Mr. Flip Mode himself, Busta Rhymes, playing back-up on the slide trombone. (Forward to 3:00 in the video for the sultry, surprise cameo.)
I saw Busta Rhymes in college, playing the high-school intimate Leede Arena, where he stopped the show in the middle of a song to upbraid some poor white kid he'd noticed wasn't really feeling the flow. Apparently the kid wasn't bobbing his head, or tapping his feet, nothing; just apparent physical indifference to Busta's beats and rhymes. So Busta turned the spot light on this guy, laid into him for about 30 seconds with a shocking screed laced with F*** words, finished him with the race card, and then went back to his jams as if nothing unusual happened. I seem to remember the crowd being a little wigged-out at first, but then obediently getting back into the groove for fear of seeming not down with Flip Mode.
So it's good to see he has a softer side, even if he keeps it on the D low.
Though I looked in the John Legend video, I didn't notice Busta's typically ever-present sidekick Spliff Star (who was most definitely in the house that night at Leede Arena). His Wikipedia page is worth a read because it betrays his thoroughly un-street backgound as William A. Lewis holding a BA in Communications from Franklin & Marshall College it tidy, exurban Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I wonder how he got in with Flip Mode Squad on the weakness of that Amish-country cred?