NEW YORK – With four hip-hop heavies in the house, any enterprising promoter could have staged a rap concert. But the house was Manhattan Criminal Court, and the rappers — Busta Rhymes, Ja Rule, Lil Wayne and Remy Ma — were there Wednesday on separate cases ranging from assault to weapons possession.
In each case, the rappers were simply given a new court date.
Busta Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Smith, was ordered to return Jan. 23 when jury selection will begin for his trial on assault and drunken driving charges.
Rhymes, 35, is accused of kicking a fan, punching a former employee, driving drunk and driving with a suspended license.
Ja Rule, born Jeffrey Atkins, was told to come back Dec. 5. The 31-year-old rapper was arrested on weapons charges last July after police stopped his 2004 Maybach — a car that sells for up to $400,000 — and found a loaded .40-caliber handgun.
Lil Wayne, 24, was ordered to reappear in court Feb. 25. The performer, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, was arrested for illegal gun possession after he performed at the same concert in Manhattan as Ja Rule.
Prosecutors say police officers smelled marijuana coming from Lil Wayne's tour bus, and as they approached, he tossed aside a bag with a loaded .40-caliber handgun.
Grammy-nominated Remy Ma, 26, whose real name is Remy Smith, is charged with assault and witness tampering. She is accused of shooting an acquaintance over money and then trying to intimidate her. She was told to return Dec. 5.
Remy Ma, who has recorded songs with Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne, said she knew all the other rappers who were in court and considered them friends.