Busta Rhymes was detained at London City Airport by immigration officials, ahead of his scheduled headline appearance at the first U.K. Orange RockCorps show at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow (Sept. 2

Busta Rhymes was detained at London City Airport by immigration officials, ahead of his scheduled headline appearance at the first U.K. Orange RockCorps show at the Royal Albert Hall tomorrow (Sept. 26).

The rapper, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was denied entry because of a criminal record. It was then arranged for his friend and fellow rapper Ludacris to fly into London to perform at the 5,000-capacity show tomorrow alongside artists including John Legend, U.K. rock act Feeder and British hip-hop artist Lethal Bizzle.

Smith, who has supported RockCorps in the U.S., arrived in the U.K. around 7.30 a.m. today and was denied entry due to "unresolved convictions in the U.S.A." according to Orange RockCorps. His lawyer, Philip Trott of Bates, Wells & Braithwaite London LLP, presented papers in support of his client, but the rapper was denied entry and arrangements were made for him to fly to Amsterdam.

However, the duty High Court Judge, Mr Justice Flaux, then granted an injunction at 9 a.m. to prevent Smith being returned to Amsterdam. A hearing will likely be held tomorrow to decide if Rhymes will be let into the country.

New York-based RockCorps has been running in the U.S. for four years and encourages community involvement by rewarding volunteers with concert tickets. With sponsorship from global mobile network operator Orange, it launched in the U.K. this summer by encouraging people to give up four hours of their time to work on community projects in exchange for a ticket to the Royal Albert Hall concert.

"We're shocked at this sequence of events and this treatment of Busta," said RockCorps co-founder Stephen Greene in a statement. "He has the necessary work-permit and has been in the country twice already this year, so we're a little puzzled that a question mark is now being placed over his ability to enter the country to perform to volunteers."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print