On Tuesday (March 7), Busta Rhymes made his first TV appearance since the shooting death of his friend and bodyguard Israel “Izzy” Ramirez a month ago.
Rhymes appeared on BET’s “106 & Park” to debut his “Touch It” remix video. It was just outside the set of the cameo-filled clip that Ramirez was killed (see “Police Want To Question Busta Rhymes About Fatal Shooting At Video Set” ).
A very serious Busta told host Big Tigger that the concept of the video was to promote unity in hip-hop and that the production had nothing to do with endorsing violence.
“Everything is good except for what’s going on,” Rhymes said. “I want to start this show off by sending a big shout-out to the children of Israel Ramirez. I want to give a big shout-out to his wife. I want people to really understand that the focus primarily on shooting this video was to present the balance. For a while it has just been a whole lot of extra unnecessary beef. I’m about feel-good energy in music.”
Weeks after the fatal shooting, a tape surfaced that allegedly captured an altercation on the set between the G-Unit’s Tony Yayo and Swizz Beatz and members of the Ruff Ryders camp (see “Recording Of Argument At Busta Rhymes Video Set Surfaces” ). The shooting is not audible on the tape, but the chaotic aftermath is, as well as pleas for someone to call 911.
Rhymes said it was important that his video air to honor his friend.
“It was a beautiful day. I felt it would be an injustice in the demise of my good friend if we didn’t show the world that what we was doing in no way shape or form was advocating violence,” he said.
The video, which features such guests as Lloyd Banks, DMX, Missy Elliott and Mary J. Blige (see “Mary J. Blige Unveils Alter Ego ‘Brook’ In Busta Video” ), includes a dedication to Ramirez at the beginning of the clip.
Police are still investigating the shooting and have not named any suspects.