Photo by Theo Wargo via Getty Images.
The video of Busta Rhymes is from a June 2021 performance in St. Louis.
The internet came for Busta Rhymes in a hurry this morning when a video of the rapper delivering an impassioned anti-mask rant went low-grade viral.
In a clip from a June performance in St. Louis, the Brooklyn rap legend expressed his gratitude for being back on stage after an extended hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But his sentiments quickly pivoted to categorically anti-science, bashing mask mandates for reasons that have mostly nothing to do with stopping the spread of a once-in-a-century virus. “It’s called the god-given right of freedom, right? No human being’s supposed to tell you, you can’t even breathe freely,” the rapper told a cheering crowd. “Fuck your mask. Some of y’all might feel differently, but fuck your mask. I can’t rhyme to you with a mask on. You can’t eat food with a fucking mask on. We can’t even see each other smile with a mask on,” Busta added before noting how face coverings were interfering with his ability to flirt with women.
“I come from a time where before I used to even want to holler at a chick, I used to have to do shit with my face to let her know that I’m into her. But all of that energy gets blocked when your mask is on. Energy is important, and we are all conductors of fucking good energy,” the rapper continued.
None of this appears to have sat well with his fans and followers. Reactions to the video surfacing have ranged from quick lessons in virology to invocations of Dave Chappelle’s evergreen “Where’s Ja?” jabs at celebrities claiming authority in fields other than those they are famous for.
You can watch Busta Rhymes deliver his anti-mask screed below. Scroll on for some standout critiques from social media.
“Gonna make gonna make gonna make your body sweat (yeah!)” – Covid, actually
— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) August 24, 2021
Busta Rhymes is dumb AF for this.
The reason why you’re “back outside” is because people like me are wearing masks and getting vaccinated to help bring these numbers down compared to last year.
Had we followed your advice from the jump, more people would be dead. https://t.co/Ee53BJ05gp
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) August 24, 2021
Damn, Busta truly wants an Extinction Level Event. https://t.co/EWnhWyziN8
— Ron Funches (@RonFunches) August 24, 2021
i just cannot see a time in my life that i will take medical advice from non-medical personnel, particularly rich ones who will be perfectly fine if they happen to get sick while our broke asses die in the streets https://t.co/LAkOZxE5Y1
— tracy aka Bhad Bhonnet (@brokeymcpoverty) August 24, 2021
This, is, serious
You should have a healthy fear of this
So dangerous so dangerous this entire COVID rant is so dangerous https://t.co/fOoLI4QZBY
— Dr. Jason Johnson (@DrJasonJohnson) August 24, 2021
this man is talking about not wearing a mask so people can give the right facial expressions to women they like.
so he can get numbers while thousands are dying. american individualism is treacherous https://t.co/SatP5D4YE7
— andrejgee (@andrejgee) August 24, 2021
Busta Rhymes: “F*** your mask”
Black Twitter: pic.twitter.com/2uYwQ5jox4
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) August 24, 2021
Busta Rhymes to an audience:
“Fxck your masks”
Busta Rhymes last album cover: pic.twitter.com/VaoAHfgybq
— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) August 24, 2021
Confirmed: Busta Rhymes is better when he’s rapping too fast for us to really understand what he’s saying. pic.twitter.com/ZMWdkVNBiK
— Brandon Kyle Scott (@brandonkscott) August 24, 2021
As an O.G. @BustaRhymes fan this is so disappointing. Black Americans are dying disproportionately from COVID. And they’re being bombarded with disinformation on social media and from influencers who are NOT DOCTORS OR SCIENTISTS. Below are the right questions. #getvaxxed #maskup https://t.co/EPuJnavYfV
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) August 24, 2021
Ask yourself two things:
1.) Do I trust Busta Rhymes with MY health?
2.) Will “energy” power that ventilator when my lungs 🫁 are too inflamed for me to breathe? https://t.co/w78kPmRyki
— Typical Millennial (@A6thSense) August 24, 2021
We’re calling the next COVID mutation the Busta Rhymes variant https://t.co/4Jt8hQuoUZ
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) August 24, 2021
ready for that busta rhymes and pete rock mixtape Back On My Bullshit Pt 2 https://t.co/cKkfKmwz1U
— Mango Fett 🇵🇸 • ☭ (@fwmj) August 24, 2021