Busta Rhymes Debuts Songs, Clothing Line

M.O.P. and Flipmode Squad members Rah Digga, Spliffstar perform alongside rapper.

NEW YORK — A record release party for rapper/actor Busta Rhymes' new album, Anarchy, was as much a fashion event as a rap show, including performances by Rah Digga and M.O.P., on Wednesday at the Manhattan club Exit.

The event started on a sour note when a dispute broke out between two men outside the club early in the evening. One man stabbed the other and fled the scene, according to Detective Caroline Chew of the New York Police Department.

But the rest of the night went off without a hitch. Some 3,000 partygoers watched as Loud recording artists M.O.P. opened the festivities with a three-song set, ending with their hit "How About Some Hardcore."

Spliffstar of the

COLOR="#003163">Flipmode Squad then took the stage with seven men dressed in Army fatigues and black anarchy T-shirts, evoking memories of the S1Ws, who accompanied Public Enemy onstage in years past. Busta joined Spliffstar, dressed in only a dark maroon bathrobe, his undergarments and his very visible diamond studded necklace and matching bracelet. The crowd watched as two female assistants dressed Busta piece by piece.

Once fully clad in an all-white outfit from Bushi — his recently launched clothing line — Busta performed hits from his first album, 1996's The Coming, including "Everything Remains Raw," and his classic verse from A Tribe Called Quest's "Scenario," from their 1991 album The Low End Theory.

Some Onstage Help

Busta then brought out Rah Digga, the first lady of the Flipmode Squad. The crowd was captivated as Digga performed songs from her debut LP, this year's Dirty Harriet. Among the crowd favorites were "Tight" and "Break Fool" (RealAudio excerpt).

Busta reappeared onstage to perform "Imperial" (RealAudio excerpt) with Rah Digga, and then dove into new material from his fourth solo album, Anarchy, released Tuesday. He was subsequently joined on stage by M.O.P. to perform "Ready For War" from the new album. But the highlights of the evening were Busta's performance of "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See" (RealAudio excerpt) and his new single "Get Out" (RealAudio excerpt).

On hand for the event were DJ Premiere, Treach and Vinny from Naughty By Nature, Black Thought from the Roots, Peter Gunz, Channel Live, Teddy Ted of the Awesome Two, Capone-N-Noreaga and the LOX.

A 'Crazy' Set

"Busta's stage show is always crazy," Capone said as Busta Rhymes was finishing his set.

Production on Anarchy was handled by Swizz Beats, Rockwilder, DJ Shok, Jay Dee and DJ Scratch from EPMD. Lenny Kravitz, DMX, Jay-Z, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah also lent their talents to the album.

Before venturing out on his own, Busta recorded two albums as a member of the Leaders of the New School, with Future Without a Past … and T.I.M.E. Busta's three previous solo efforts, The Coming, When Disaster Strikes and E.L.E., have all gone platinum.

Busta can be seen in the new John Singleton movie, "Shaft," co-starring with Samuel L. Jackson. He also will be in the upcoming Sean Connery film, "Finding Forrester."

The release party also doubled as a pre-party for the Hot 97-sponsored, annual Summer Jam Concert, which was being held Thursday at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in Secaucus, N.J. Eminem, Method Man, Redman, Dr. Dre, Juvenile and others were slated to perform.