Thursday, 4 December 2008

DJ Suspended Over Busta's 'Arab Money'; Busta Replies To Critics

Busta Rhymes continues to face adversity in the United Kingdom, as the airing of the rapper’s latest single “Arab Money” has resulted in a popular DJ’s suspension.

Global Radio owns and operates Galaxy Radio, which broadcasts Steve “Smooth” Sutherland’s show in Manchester, Yorkshire, Birmingham, York Shire, the South Coast, the North East and Scotland.

Sutherland - a veteran DJ who has earned two MOBO Awards for Best DJ - aired “Arab Money” on Saturday (November 29) during his “Steve Sutherland Show.”

A representative for Galaxy said the station received a number of complaints about the track, which resulted in Sutherland's and a producer of the show’s suspension.

“Galaxy would like to apologize to all our listeners for the airing of this song. It was never Galaxy’s intent to offend its listeners and never will be,” the company said in a statement. “A full internal investigation has now commenced. Galaxy would like to apologize for any offense however unintentionally caused.”

Busta Rhymes addressed the song title with in an interview Monday (December 1), prior to Sutherland’s suspension.

“The most irrelevant thing can be justified as a reason to fire somebody nowadays,” Busta told “Ain’t nobody safe. This recession has f***ed the whole game up and everybody is on they eggshells when they walk around. So I just feel like, that’s really more so what it’s about than anything else and until I start to get some direct awareness of the Arab culture having an issue, ya know, we’re going to continue to move forward with our campaign.”

The song has also drawn criticism from some Muslim Hip-Hop fans, who wrote to and explained the reason that the song may be offensive to some listeners.

“In ‘Arab Money Remix Part 1,’ in the chorus you used (‘Bismillah Ulrahman Ulrahim Alhamdullillah rab Ulalamen) which is a Quranic verse from the first Surah (chapter) in the Holy Quran,” a Muslim reader named Khalid wrote to

“As an Arab and a Muslim it's prohibited to sing or cite a Quranic verse in combination with music and most Muslims will find this disrespectful," Khalid explained. "I'm afraid this misunderstanding will be interpreted as an offensive and disrespectful way by some people and I trust that you wouldn't upset and disrespect your Muslim and Arab fans.”

Busta, who frequently uses terminology familiar with those who follow the Five Percent Nation, which is an offshoot of The Nation of Islam, agreed he was not out to offend anyone with his latest single.

“I really only respect the Arab culture,” Busta Rhymes stated. “I ain’t really trying to pay no attention to, ya know, these little people in political positions and executive positions that ain’t Arab culture oriented people because a lot of the times, what are you really showing all of this concern for? Is it really concern for the people or concern for your job?”

Despite Rhymes’ sampled transgression, Khalid was sure that the rapper’s Muslim fans would forgive him.

“If someone did a sin without knowing it is a sin, he/she will be forgiven by Allah,” Khalid said. “Mr. Busta, if you are looking for a hot Arabic verse you want to use in the ‘Arab Money Remix Part 2,’ please contact me.”

Rhymes recently recorded a remix for the controversial song that features high profile artists Akon, Sean "Diddy" Combs, T-Pain, Ron Browz, Swizz Beatz and Lil Wayne.