Busta Rhymes received the Lifetime Achievement accolade, presented by Marlon Wayans and Swizz Beatz, on “culture’s biggest night,” where he gave an uplifting message in his acceptance speech and became emotional when reminiscing on the accolade.
“I was thinking about everyone I mentioned. “I was thinking about the ones I couldn’t get to because I don’t have enough time,” Rhymes said. “[And] I’m looking at my kids all together for the first time at such a prestigious moment in my life.”
On Sunday, some of the artist’s six children were in the crowd, and Rhymes revealed that it was their love and support that impacted him the most.
“I’m not going to lie, one thing I didn’t want to say on stage is that, as I look at my kids, there were times when I had to leave home to do this s**t to make sure they were straight.” And I felt guilty for a long time because I may have missed a graduation. That is to say, I may have missed a birthday. “I may have missed teaching my child to ride a bike,” he realized. “However, as they grew older, they realized.” And I’m thankful because seeing how proud they are of me today made me feel like I had let them down in the past.”
“It was difficult to look at them so happy and feel like I still had work to do to make them happier,” he continued.
The 51-year-old singer, known for his rapid-fire delivery and sophisticated rhymes, was shockingly frank and emotive during his acceptance speech, as he got real about his career and the arc of his life.
“OK, OK. As a result, I’m going to wear it on my sleeve. “I really want to cry,” Rhymes said, earning a standing ovation from the audience. After a brief pause, he recounted a story of how he got his career began about three decades ago, and how his love for the craft is still alive and well in his heart.
“I’m going to say that I am grateful for the blessing that has been bestowed upon me, this gift that I have been given, and this fire that continues to burn as a passion in my soul, that allows me to get into any situation — from the stage to collabing with whoever — and making sure that I am far from the weak link,” he explained. “Because I enjoy walking away from a situation and saying, ‘I busted a!”
“It’s just me trying to do my duty to continue to advance the culture and contribute in a significant way,” he added. “I see so many people in here who I’ve known and grown with for a long time; you’re watching me grow, and I love you and I know you love me.”
The poignant address was followed by a brief video package that showcased Busta’s successes in music, film, and television, with artists like as Diddy, Pharrell Williams, Janet Jackson, Dave Chappelle, and others reflecting on the performer’s remarkable legacy.