Busta Rhymes will be allowed to headline the Orange RockCorps concert, following a successful High Court hearing in London.
The rapper had been 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 on Friday (Sept. 26).
The rapper, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was denied entry because of a criminal record. He 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.
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.
Smith, who has supported RockCorps in the U.S., arrived in the U.K. around 7.30am (Sept. 25) 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 9am to prevent Smith being returned to Amsterdam. He is currently detained pending a decision on temporary admission by the authorities.
"We're shocked at this sequence of events and this treatment of Busta," said RockCorps co-founder Stephen Greene in a statement (Sept. 25). "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."
Smith has performed in the U.K. this year and last month he came in to help clear up a community center in south London.
Busta Rhymes left Interscope earlier this year and has signed to Universal Motown. His new album "B.O.M.B." is out on Dec. 9.