Busta Rhymes got a major salute at the 2023 BET Awards with a Lifetime Achievement Award. On Sunday (June 25), the “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” rapper was introduced by comedian Marlon Wayans at the event, who called Rhymes a “brilliant” artist.
Congrats To Our 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Busta Rhymes! | BET Awards ’23
A teary-eyed Rhymes, born Trevor George Smith Jr., accepted the honor while backed by producer Swizz Beatz and longtime collaborator Spliff Star. Acknowledging his start in hip-hop as a member of the rap trio Leaders of the New School (also admitting that he didn’t want to go solo), Smith shouted out artists both old-school and new, like Coi Leray and Ice Spice, also urging rappers to stop “petty beefs.”
“Y’all messing up the bag. Y’all messing up the energy,” Smith said. “I don’t like when I talk to these dudes that run these streaming platforms and they talking about: ‘You know, we turning the consumer off because there’s so much little this and little that going on with you rappers.’
He continued, “We’re gonna stop that. We’re gonna love each other, and we gonna get to this money.”
A high-energy performance from Smith followed, which featured Star for “Ante Up Remix”, “Scenario,” “Look At Me Now” and “I Know What You Want.” Gen-Z rappers joined in, like Scar Lap for the remix of “This Is New York,” Coi Leray with “Players (DJ Saige Remix),” and BIA with “Beach Ball.”
Rah Digga, Swizz Beatz, Coi Leray & More Pay Tribute To Busta Rhymes! | BET Awards ’23
Midway through the special set, Smith switched gears into dancehall with Dexta Daps (“Shabba Madda Pot”), Spice (“So Mi Like It”), Skillibeng (“Whap Whap”) and Cutty Ranks (“A Who Seh Me Dun (Wait Deh Man).”
Next, Smith will be releasing a new album with Beatz and Pharrell Williams as executive producers.
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