Busta Rhymes, Ron Browz, Red Cafe | House of Blues | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Busta Rhymes, Ron Browz, Red Cafe Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Thu., March 5, 9 p.m. 2009

Around the turn of the decade Busta Rhymes must’ve decided that he didn’t want a legacy that could be summed up by, say, his video role costarring with an elephant. In an apparent bid for street respectability and commercial clout, he let go of the balloons that had carried him aloft—an anarchic-Muppet sense of humor and a blatant disregard for hip-hop’s musical rules—and instead latched onto tough-guy posturing, thudding to earth in a cloud of cliches. His upcoming album, Back on My B.S. (Flipmode/Universal Motown), has already spawned the minor hit “Arab Money,” which has kick-started a dance craze and stirred up some controversy—Ron Browz’s Auto-Tuned hook on the original version is terribly accented fake-Arabic nonsense. Even more unfortunately, the song’s just a thickheaded mash note to ostentatious wealth. If it weren’t for tantalizingly weird twists like the Bangladesh-­produced “I Got Bass,” Back on My B.S. wouldn’t even hint at how he earned the reputation he seems intent on squandering. Ron Browz and Red Cafe open; after the show Busta Rhymes hosts a DJ night at the Underground, 56 W. Illinois. —Miles Raymer

Price: $26.50-$28

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