Even though it’s a bit foggy, I remember the first time I saw Trevor George Smith Jr., aka Busta Rhymes, on my TV screen. The iconic rapper took the world by storm with his eclectic style and multifaceted talent in the late 80s to early 90s. He would also unintentionally be the first domino that catapulted me into the world of horror. What was once a seed grew into a majestic tree through years of pruning and was first watered by Busta’s unforgettable music video for “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See”.
Cowering over the menacing musical production, my mom never fails to remind me how I, as a four-year-old, peeked through my hands as I watched the Dungeon Dragon in full red-faced makeup with the matching outfit as a charismatic demon. As the video progresses, I soon saw the rapper do semi-normal activities, such as getting his teeth brushed by a beautiful woman to the viewer walking to a dance scene that would make Eddie Murphy proud. Who can forget the scene where Busta was getting chased by an elephant?If you’re not familiar, the 1997 song, accompanied by a music video that is a masterpiece in its own right, stands the test of time by being the product of true innovation in Hip-Hop.
Fast forward to 2002 when Halloween: Resurrection was released. As a collective, the movie was known as the worst Halloween movie of the franchise. And by no means is Halloween: Resurrection a cinematic masterpiece. But still, it’s a Y2K delight that’s aged well with time, especially with the chokehold of pure nostalgia that era has on most of the internet. As a long-time fan of the franchise, the rapper once called this chapter of Michael Myers’ journey “the most flavorful Halloween story,” and I’m inclined to agree. The humor that Freddie Harris, Busta Rhyme’s character in the movie, brought was a welcomed change, at least for the nine-year-old that somehow found her way serendipitously into the franchise.
Busta Rhymes was not the only Hip-Hop figure that made a pit stop in this cinematic universe. LL Cool J played a security guard at the posh school where Laurie worked in 1998’s Halloween H20 (hey, Big Elly!). Besides, the iconic Michael Myers slasher franchise has a cult following, with its beginning dating back to 1978. Seeing Laurie Strode continuously fight for her life over the years as a teenager well into motherhood, the audience roots for Laurie to one day defeat her evil brother. Still, after seven movies, the film needed some razzle-dazzle, and Mr. Freddie was the secret sauce this movie required during this era. A scene that stands out is when Freddie shows up at Michael’s childhood home dressed up as the murderer himself. Without spoiling the whole movie, let’s say Freddy met Michael Myers alone, spoke to the killer in a way only a parent should, and lived to tell the tale.
Many critics may disagree that Halloween: Resurrection is worth the one hour and 34 minutes of viewing time. And they’re not 100% wrong, especially for viewers who don’t have a sense of humor. But if you haven’t watched the movie yet, remain open-minded and let it be known that those of us who can appreciate it for all its nuances exist. I mean, come on. To see Freddie Harris take on Michael Myers and survive was significant on multiple fronts. From seeing a Black protagonist of a horror movie survive and thrive in one-on-one combat to making it to the end as a pivotal story shifter should not go unnoticed, especially when battling an enemy that infamously cannot die.
As an adult, rewatching the “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See” music video, I can confirm that several scenes are indisputably creepy. Still, the sheer creativity of it all has to be respected. And despite the nostalgia that allows us to view past events with rose-colored glasses, this video inadvertently jump-started a winding road to a world created from the overarching question, “what’s the worst thing that can happen right now?” So the next time you want to give a horror movie a try, remember to unplug from reality, leave one light on in the near vicinity and be willing to keep an open mind to the storytelling. And a toast to Busta Rhymes, an originator and a true artist who keeps on giving.