Following Busta Rhymes calling out fans at Essence Fest, Uncle Charlie Wilson was asked about the issue of phones at a concert. Wilson stated he would rather have fans with cameras out as long as they are having a good time.


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“I prefer people to party with me, I don’t care how you do it,” Wilson. “I’m fine with fans standing up, on a handstand, I don’t care.”

Adding to the cell phone issue, “I didn’t stream, I’m from word of mouth,” before agreeing that live streams and more are good for business.

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Busta Rhymes was visibly upset, actually downright irate with the crowd’s lack of energy during his performance at the Essence Festival on Friday night. 

The 52-year-old rapper, known for hits like “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” expressed his frustration with fans on their phones instead of engaging with the show. In fairness to the crowd, which was not full, was that the right venue for a Busta performance? The Essence Festival brand is closer to R&B and jazz, so maybe legacy Hip-Hop may not have been the right move this year.

As the video of Rhymes’ tirade circulated on social media, many users commented on the empty seats in the audience. 

One social media user-provided context, explaining that the low turnout was likely due to a severe rainstorm outside the event. 

“For context, there was damn near a hurricane outside of the stadium. That is why there were only like 400 people in there,” the user noted, sharing a video of the downpour. He added, “Also, don’t judge a short clip, it was light-hearted, and he put on an amazing set. My section had a ball.”

Busta went on to rant:

“F—k them camera phones. Let’s get back to interacting like humans. Put them weird ass devices down. I ain’t from that era. Them s—ts don’t control us all. F—k your phone,” Rhymes said, according to a fan’s video shared online.

Rhymes called out individual audience members, urging them to stand up for his performance.

That part was a choice, albeit not the best one but Busta did not care.

“I’m gon’ point every last one of y’all out until y’all asses is up,” he declared. “33 years of this s—t. I ain’t used to n—as sitting down at my show. I don’t give a f—k. All age groups, get your ass up, now.”

He continued his rant, targeting those seated at the venue’s top: “F—k goin’ on? Get y’all big head asses up.”

Get this, Rhymes explained that his outburst, which he described as having “zero tolerance for bulls—t energy,” stemmed from the significance of the event. “This is my first time in New Orleans at the f—king 30 year anniversary of the Essence Festival. Make me feel like we home,” he said in closing.

About The Author

Senior Editor

Shawn Grant is a Chicago native and the Senior Editor of The Source Magazine. He can only be found on Instagram and Twitter at @shawnxgrant.

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