Busta Rhymes Understandably Asked Fans To Get Off Their Phones During His Show, But His Delivery Is Throwing Some People Off

Busta Rhymes wants you to be present during his shows.

Busta Rhymes at a red carpet event, wearing a velvet tuxedo jacket with a bow tie, smiling at the camera
Steve Granitz / FilmMagic

That means getting off your phone and truly enjoying and living in the moment.

Busta Rhymes on stage wearing a colorful sweatshirt with a microphone in hand
Duane Prokop / Getty Images

Yesterday, he performed at Essence Festival in New Orleans, and at one point, the rapper confronted fans who were using their phones instead of fully engaging with the show.

Busta Rhymes performs on stage, wearing a colorful knit outfit and large gold chains, while holding a microphone and gesturing expressively with his hands
Bennett Raglin / Getty Images for ESSENCE

In a video captured by a fan, Busta said, "Ayo, fuck them camera phones. Let's get back to interacting like humans. Put them weird ass devices down."

Busta Rhymes performs on stage, wearing a colorful striped shirt and a large gold chain necklace
Scott Dudelson / Getty Images for Coachella

"I ain't from that era," Busta continued, shaking his hand at the crowd. "Them shits don't control us. Fuck your phone!"

Busta Rhymes performing on stage, wearing a matching short-sleeved top and pants with a floral pattern
Johnny Nunez / WireImage

He then proceeded to single out people who were on their phones before asking them to stand. "I will point every last one of y'all out until y'all asses is up," he shouted. "I don't give a fuck. All age groups get yo' ass up now!"

Busta Rhymes performing in front of an orchestra, wearing a formal black suit with shimmering accents, passionately singing into a microphone
L. Busacca / Getty Images

"Everybody up top, too, get y'all big head asses up!" Busta demanded, adding that he has a "zero tolerance" policy for that kind of behavior. "Make me feel like we home!"

Busta Rhymes performs passionately on stage, holding a microphone and gesturing towards the audience
Arturo Holmes / Getty Images for Coachella

On one hand, people understood where he was coming from.

Busta Rhymes speaks at a podium, dressed in a white shirt and patterned vest, with sunglasses and jewelry

"People just need to take a break from their phones and stop being screen junkies," someone else wrote, while a fourth fan stated, "I fucking hate when people record concerts from their phones. The sound isn’t for those tiny mics so it usually comes back all distorted. And if you’re not front row, you ain’t gonna get any useful video. So then [there's] 1000s of idiots [sic] watching a concert through their phones for a video they will never watch again. Just ... live in the moment."

Busta Rhymes poses on the red carpet at the Tribeca Festival, wearing a stylish button-up shirt
Arturo Holmes / Getty Images for Tribeca Festival

Some said Busta's delivery just could have been better.

"He shouldn't have disrespected the people who have been supporting him," one person tweeted.

Busta Rhymes smiles on the red carpet, wearing a printed short-sleeved shirt with palm trees and white pants, against a Haute Living backdrop
Eugene Gologursky / Getty Images for Haute Living

Another said, "He has a point, but y'all gone learn to stop insulting people to prove points. We not in YOUR ERA anymore big dawg. People paid to see you, calm down."

A comment by ill_nai_nai reads: He has a point but yall gone learn to stop insulting people to prove points. We not in YOUR era anymore big dawg, people paid to see you calm down
The Neighborhood Talk

It's "unhinged behavior to tell people to stand up," one redditor wrote. "Fuck you buddy if I wanna sit shut your ass up."

Busta Rhymes wearing a black and white graphic shirt and a gold chain necklace, looking to the side with a neutral expression
Scott Dudelson / Getty Images

Someone else said it felt like a "get with the times grandpa" moment and also argued that fans' conduct shouldn't matter anyway since Busta is still getting paid.

Close-up of Busta Rhymes at an event, wearing diamond earrings and a necklace
Paul Zimmerman / WireImage

While someone else speculated that audience members may have been on their phones because they weren't necessarily there to see Busta. "He was performing at a festival that had a multitude of other artists, and he wasn't even headlining," the fan noted. "Most likely the people on their phones were just waiting on their favorite artist. Can't get mad at them cause they have to sit through your performance while waiting on the person they really paid to see."

You can watch the video here, and then tell me what you make of the situation in the comments.

Essence / Twitter: @ArtOfDialogue_