American rapper Busta Rhymes won a court order Friday allowing him to perform at a charity concert in Britain, despite a government attempt to keep him out of the country.
High Court Justice Nicholas Stadlen ruled that Rhymes — whose real name is Trevor George Smith Jr. — could play at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The judge said he did not want to interfere with the concert, which is being given for volunteers who earned their tickets by doing four hours of community service.
“What weighs in the balance is not just what effect that would have on Mr. Smith, to which I pay considerably less regard than the effect on the 4,000 volunteers who would be disappointed if he didn’t perform this evening,” Stadlen said.
Immigration officials stopped Rhymes on Thursday at London City Airport, with his promoters saying they cited previous legal trouble in the United States.
In March a New York judge sentenced Rhymes to three years’ probation for assaulting his former driver and a fan.
In Britain, authorities initially detained him in an effort to put him on a flight back to Amsterdam, Netherlands, but the High Court ordered his release Thursday and put out an injunction preventing his removal from Britain.
Stadlen’s decision to extend the injunction should allow Rhymes to perform. Orange RockCorps, which organized the concert, said Thursday it had booked Ludacris as a replacement act, but it was not immediately clear whether he, Rhymes, or both would end up playing.
Known for eye-catching outfits and an antic performance style, Rhymes has hits that include, “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See,” “Dangerous” and “Touch It.” He also has appeared in movies, including “Shaft” and “Finding Forrester.”