Busta Gets Leave To Appear

Busta Rhymes played a charity gig at London’s Royal Albert Hall Sept. 26, after getting the go-ahead from two High Court judges.

The 36-year-old U.S. rapper flew into the U.K. the day before the show, but was immediately detained by British immigration officials.

Rhymes – real name Trevor George Smith Jr. – was arrested as soon as his flight from Holland touched down. He was held for 11 hours while his lawyer fought to keep him in the country. The legal wrangle went on until a few hours before show time.

British officials tried to deny him entry to the U.K. – and at one time came close to sending him back to Amsterdam – because of “unresolved convictions” in the U.S., but his lawyer contended that they had no grounds for taking such action.

The convictions in question center on a New York court case from March, when Rhymes was given three years of probation, ordered to do 10 days community service and fined $1,250 on charges of assaulting his former chauffeur and one of his fans.

His lawyer said his assault offense – and another for drunken driving – are considered misdemeanors under New York criminal law.

His legal team also said their client had never been jailed and had completed the community service for his convictions.
Judge Stadlen emphasised the extraordinary nature of the case and stressed that he was acting so as not to disappoint the thousands of fans who, even as he was giving his judgment, were heading to the venue.

More than 5,000 young people had given hours of their time to charitable causes to win exclusive tickets to the gig, which was organised by Orange RockCorps, a voluntary organisation that seeks to engage young people who might otherwise take “a negative approach to life.

The lineup also included The Automatic, Guillemots, Lethal Bizzle, Feeder, and John Legend.