Controversy over Busta Rhymes song "Arab Money"

The king of hip hop dance jams has gotten himself in the center of controversy.  Ya, I know that’s not new for him, but this time, he has upset some of the Muslim community with his song “Arab Money.”

Watch it below, and I’ve included a few excerpts from my net search on the subject.

Here’s an excerpt from The Celebrity Cafe article “Iraqi MC Offended by Busta Rhyme ‘Arab Money‘”…

While hip-hop junkies and partygoers are currently bopping to Busta Rhymes and Ron Browz’s new hit single, “Arab Money,” one fan feels the song is nothing to dance to. Iraqi MC, the Narcicyst, is outraged by the lyrics and claims the track to be racist and degrading to his culture and the Arabic community. “Once again, Arabs are represented as these arm flailing, oil rich, loft having, private jet taking, camel toe lady bangin’, desert camel riding, bearded sand men,” said the Narcicyst, who deemed it a bigger disappointment that the song came from the hip-hop community.

Disturbed by the song’s message, Narcicyst took a break from his current project, a feature film he was shooting in Dubai, UAE, to record a response track entitled “The Real Arab Money.” According to the rapper, entertainment companies are being suspended for playing Busta’s version in the UK and most citizens have publicly announced they are heavily offended by it. The Narcicyst says he admires Busta Rhymes’s talents as an artist and in no way will stop being a loyal fan to him, but wants the MC to acknowledge this time he may have gone too far. “You would think, at a sensitive time like this, that if anyone knew what it felt like to be boxed in it would be the African-American community in America. We are of the same strife. Public Enemy #1 is now Arab/Muslim males. What did they try to do to Obama during his campaign to destroy him? They made him out to be a closet Muslim. Like that is a bad thing, to be a Muslim. It’s all one big f**k-up, as you can see, it’s deeper than the song itself, it’s the principle.”

Hip Hop DX articleBusta Rhymes Discusses Motown Deal And ‘Arab Money’” includes a quote from Busta…

A new song that’s got some people talking, for better or worse, is “Arab Money.” Speculations of a politically incorrect connotation swarmed the song at first, but Rhymes spoke on what it should be taken to mean.

“It’s called ‘Arab Money.’…’Take the Money’ or ‘Arab Money’,” he said before speaking on his interpretation of the song. “Sometimes, people like to twist things. We ain’t mockin’ the culture. we ain’t tryin’ to be disrespectful. Ain’t no racism going on right here. If you listen to the song, you see that we are actually acknowledging the fact that the Arabian culture, a middle East culture is one of the few cultures, that value passing down hard work riches that’s been built amongst the family.”

“It would be nice if a lot of other cultures did the same thing. Feel me? So, I would like for it to be like that in my culture where we could build things to the point where we got so much that we don’t need to rely on other cultures to contribute majorly in a financial way, or in whatever other way, to societies, communities or whatever governments we might live in. So, we are actually biggin’ up the culture. At the end of the day, I want to be like that. I think a lot of us want to be like that.”

Is Busta’s song “Arab Money” going too far?

Do you think it’s in poor taste or just another fun dance jam?

Here are the lyrics. Taken from Only LyricsIn my opinion, this is much ado about nothing.  All’s fair in love and stereotypes.

[Intro: Busta Rhymes]
Ron Browz, yes!
Oh, we back in the most amazin’ way
Well, lemme introduce you to the new talk
Let’s get straight to it
C’mon!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Shalai Lai Lai Halilili Hai Lo!
Hi Li Ba Lai Hey Hi Li Bai Lo!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!
Ha La Shiki Hai Lili Ba La!
Milli Ai Lai Shi Lili Ba La!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!

[Verse 1: Busta Rhymes]
Now, there ain’t no way that you could kill the beast dead
I got Middle East women and Middle East bread
I got oil well money in the desert playing golf
Dolce shorts, dashiki with a Louie Scarf
Chest cold, diamonds make a nigga wanna cough
In Dubai, 20 million on the villa loft
And then I step up in the club and then these other niggas mad as shit
The way I make the people wanna sing the hook in Arabic!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Shalai Lai Lai Halilili Hai Lo!
Hi Li Ba Lai Hey Hi Li Bai Lo!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!
Ha La Shiki Hai Lili Ba La!
Milli Ai Lai Shi Lili Ba La!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!

[Verse 2: Busta Rhymes]
Seven star hotels, Maybach, movie sick
Big bitches, knock-kneed camel-toed groupie shit
Women walk around while security on camelback
Club on fire now, niggas don’t know how to act
Sittin’ in casinos while I’m gamblin’ with Arafat
Money long, watch me purchase pieces of the Almanac
Y’all already know, I got the streets buzzin’
While I make you bow down and make Salaat like a Muslim

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Shalai Lai Lai Halilili Hai Lo!
Hi Li Ba Lai Hey Hi Li Bai Lo!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!
Ha La Shiki Hai Lili Ba La!
Milli Ai Lai Shi Lili Ba La!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!

[Verse 3: Busta Rhymes]
See, now I take trips to Baghdad dummy
While I use stacked chips and count Arab money now
I don’t need to get fresh, about to grow a beard duke
So much cake even the money look weird too
Domestic bread, and I’m broad, I’m tryna eat right
Prince Alwali, Bin Talal, Al Saul
They respect the value of my worth in Maui, Malaysia
Iran and Iraq, Saudi Arabia!

[Chorus: Ron Browz]
Shalai Lai Lai Halilili Hai Lo!
Hi Li Ba Lai Hey Hi Li Bai Lo!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!
Ha La Shiki Hai Lili Ba La!
Milli Ai Lai Shi Lili Ba La!
We gettin’ Arab money!
We gettin’ Arab money!

Comments

  1. Stereotypical rhymes made by a rapper that fits the stereotypical mainstream US hip-hop. Where Busta is talking about women and money. I believe this is a wash, not a controversy.

  2. Busta Rymes is talking to the masses and the masses think arabs have lots of money.

    The nuanced group of world aware people that know most arabs live in poverty, most likely aren’t listening to bust a rymes or Iraq MC for that matter.

    This could also be a connotation to the fact that Arabs own many of the bodegas that used to be owned by Koreans in inner city New York, where they are percieved as having money and taking from the community.

    eh, more belly aching from a misunderstood group.

  3. A story about racial controversy and not a single white guy invloved? Wow.

  4. Lyrics are written to address a particular audience, which Busta and Ron did. The problem is when the published work is viewed outside that audience. I loved the font used in the opening credits. Clever! Initially I assumed the words were in Arabic and read them from right to left. I can envision the young hip-hop crowd doing the Arab Money Dance at the club, waving moneybags in the air. Can someone tell me what Money long, watch me purchase pieces of the Almanac” means?

  5. wwj, i luv your comments! And the Font was very creative!

  6. THAY MOAN TOO DAMN MUCH, first they try and get little big planet banned now this? For F*ck sake youu should be honered that artists are looking in to other cultures for artistic inspiration!

  7. Oh hellz to the no.

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