Thursday, February 25, 2010

Busta Rhymes on the Slide Trombone

While watching this video of a live, Philadelphia performance of John Legend's Slow Dance on 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.)
Apparently Busta Bust isn't just about the fast lyrics and bomb ass beats, but also prone to the sexy soul of the backup brass. One more layer of texture to his musical melange, and that I can appreciate.

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?

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