Busta Rhymes has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2023 BET Awards — and he took the opportunity to impart some OG wisdom on the rap game during his rousing acceptance speech.

Taking the stage to rapturous applause and a standing ovation inside Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater on Sunday night (June 25), the 51-year-old rap legend reflected on his trailblazing career while calling for more unity and positivity in Hip Hop.

Busta’s powerful speech began on an emotional note as he became overwhelmed with the love and adoration from inside the room. “I’ma wear it on my sleeve: I do want to cry,” he said before removing his sunglasses and wiping the tears from his eyes, prompting more cheers of support from the audience.

From there, the Brooklyn, New York native looked back on his remarkable yet at times turbulent journey to stardom, admitting he was “scared” when his former group, Leaders of the New School, broke up in the mid ’90s, which left a young Busta with a mouth to feed and an uncertain path ahead of him.

“I ain’t never wanted to be a solo MC,” he revealed. “I ain’t like the responsibility of making a full song. I’m good with getting to the 16 bars and busting everybody’s ass and getting up out of there.”

Undeterred by his fear, Busta shrewdly snuck his way into New York City recording studios where artists he admired were working and came carrying a secret weapon that he knew would make them let him stick around: weed.

“I made sure that when my weed was moving around in that studio, I would quickly whip up a 16-bar verse before the weed came back to me,” he recalled. “And I was able to do that quick enough for them dudes to want to hear my verse. When they asked me what was I doing, I said, ‘Let me go in the booth and do it. I ain’t telling you my rhyme until you let me in the booth.’

“I’d go in the booth and I’d spit, and come out the booth; they couldn’t hear the song without the ‘rah rah’ no more. I did that three, four times a week … By default, I pioneered the feature.”

Busta Rhymes teared up once more while talking about his genuine, loving nature and paying tribute to his “best friend” Spliff Star and longtime collaborator DJ Scratchator, both of whom were stood behind him.

The Flipmode Squad frontman capped off his speech by channeling his inner Hip Hop pastor, urging his rap peers to “stop these little petty beefs,” record executives to promote more than just negative stereotypes and OGs to set an example so that younger generations want to follow them.

“We gon’ stop these little petty beefs that we be doing in rap. Y’all messing up the bag, y’all messing up the energy,” he said. “I don’t like when I talk to these dudes that run these streaming platforms and they be talking about we turning the consumer off … We gon’ stop that, we gon’ love each other and we gon’ get to this money.”

“Executives, start promoting everything that can be great in the music, too. It ain’t just gotta be about the ass-shaking and how much drugs we sold and how much dudes we tied up, how much drugs we doing, you know what I’m saying?”

Addressing his fellow OGs, he added: “You still gotta look the part, you still gotta be the part because you don’t want the young G to say, ‘OG, you telling me how to do something but it don’t look like it work for you no more.’ A lot of us OGs look good!

“It’s important. We want y’all to pull up and we want to give you the information because when I needed it, [Big Daddy] Kane let me come to his million-dollar crib, EPMD let me used to come to their crib and see all of their real estate, Chuck D used to sit me down and give me the jewels.

“I got the arm put around me to school me and show me how to be groomed and well-raised. Learn what to do, and take it and apply it and do it, secure the win. Y’all gotta do that now and we gonna do it with y’all ’cause we still bustin’ ass!”

Proving he hasn’t lost a step, Busta Rhymes also performed an electrifying medley of some of his greatest, most tongue-twisting hits including “Scenario” and “Gimme Some More” alongside his trusty hypeman Spliff Star.

There was no shortage of star power on stage as M.O.P. and Remy Ma joined them for “Ante Up (Remix),” Swizz Beatz and Rah Digga assisted with “Touch It (Remix)” and Coi Leray popped up for a mash-up of her single “Players” and Busta’s “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” which her song samples.

Paying tribute to Hip Hop’s Jamaican roots, Bus-a-Bus closed things out by launching into a brief dancehall set with help from Super Cat, Cutty Ranks, Dexta Daps and Spice.

SOURCE: hiphopdx.com