With nine albums and 10 million copies sold on his resume, Busta Rhymes is one of hip-hop’s elder statesmen. To celebrate 25 years in the game, he lit up New Jersey’s Prudential Center on Saturday night (Dec. 5) for Hot 97’s Hot for the Holidays concert.
The Conglomerate Entertainment boss called on some of hip-hop and R&B’s A-Listers and rookies to tear down the stage. During the three-hour soiree, big-name acts like Puff Daddy, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Jeremih, Fetty Wap, Raekwon, Method Man, French Montana and a slew of surprise guests hit the stage for one heck of a Snapchat-able night. In the end, tears of joy streamed down the Brooklyn rapper’s face as the adoration overwhelmed him.
Keep your FOMO at bay with a swift recap of the night’s most memorable moments below.
Busta Makes an Entrance
Busta Buss’ entrance was fit for a king. After dancers in African-inspired garb swayed and boogied across the stage, Busta appeared in Coming to America-esque fashion. With Spliff Star by his side, he launched into the double platinum banger “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See.” He then took the energy to 100 when he went into the “Ante Up” remix with a surprise appearance from M.O.P. Throughout the show, he performed hits like “Make It Clap” featuring Sean Paul, “Woo Hah (Got You All In Check),” “Arab Money,” “New York Shit” and “Break Ya Neck.”
Wu-Tang, Method Man & Redman Pop Up
Without introduction, Raekwon quietly made his way to the stage. After performing “Incarcerated Scarfaces,” he brought out Method Man for the Wu-Tang Clan crowd-pleasers “C.R.E.A.M” and “Ice Cream.” Meth then took over and went into his two-decade old banger “M.E.T.H.O.D Man” which was greeted with roars from the audience. When the beat for the 1999 hit “Da Rockwilder” dropped, that was the cue for another surprise performer, Redman, to appear. Meth and Red proceeded to dominate the stage like it was 1999.
The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul emerged to perform “You’re All I Need To Get By” with Meth. She held her own as the only songstress with her own set (Mariah Carey only sang for “I Know What You Want” with Busta) as she flawlessly sang ’90s favorites like “Be Happy” and “Love No Limit” and turned the stage into a dancery with her GIF-worthy moves. When “Real Love” dropped, MJB didn’t have to do much as the crowd took over singing duties. One of the main highlights was when Lil’ Kim joined MJB on stage to perform “I Can Love You Better.”
As soon as New Jersey’s golden child Fetty Wap took the stage, the crowd went berzerk. Slowly pacing across the stage, it was evident that Zoovier was still ailing from his leg injury following a motorcycle accident in September. He still kept the crowd live as he performed his four Billboard 200 hits “My Way,” “679,” “Again” and “Trap Queen” to Busta’s delight as he two-stepped on the side of the stage. Mr. 1738 couldn’t leave the stage before Busta praised the hometown hero for performing at his 22-year-old son’s graduation party earlier this year.
Busta Spits “Look At Me Now” Verse
Busta displayed his rap acrobatics as he spit his verse from Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now.” After spoon-feeding the crowd sections of the verse, Busta breathlessly rapped without missing a beat. Feeling himself, he mocked CPR moves as he revived the stage and fans thunderously yelled in amazement.
Leaders of the New School Reunite
Just when we thought there were no more surprises, Busta brought out his day ones. After he changed into a black leather jacket with the Leaders of the New School logo embedded on the side, Dinko D and Charlie Brown came out in matching gear and performed their first hit “Case of the PTA.”
A Tribe Called Quest Performs “Scenario”
After the Leaders of the New School flipped the calendar back to 1989, A Tribe Called Quest continued the nostalgic trip when they joined the trio on stage for a performance of “Scenario” and the “Scenario” remix. Watching the two groups on stage was like seeing a group of college buddies get bromantic after not seeing each other for two decades.