“Who doesn’t love Busta Rhymes?” was the question Shrewsbury, MA resident Kevin O’Brien certainly asked himself when deciding what to name a 40-by-40 foot island near his house that he’d been maintaining. The island was an idyllic place filled with blueberry bushes, a rope swing, and even a few beavers. “Stuff Busta would enjoy,” according to O’Brien, who says he began DJing at age 12 and that the first record he picked up was “Woo Hah!! Got You All In Check.” He should know. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem the U.S. Board on Geographic Names shares O’Brien’s enthusiasm for intricate rap gymnastics, as they rejected his application to formally rename his little slice of paradise “Busta Rhymes Island.”
The Board’s decision was based on a rule which states that in order to name a body of land after someone in commemorative fashion, that person (Busta) must have been dead for at least five years. But where’s the fun in that? I think I’m not alone in saying I hope Busta Rhymes is immortal, so I’m not waiting for the day five years after his hypothetical death when I can make a pilgrimage to Shrewsbury and pour out some liquor for him with Kevin O’Brien. In commemorative fashion. Luckily for everyone, there’s a loophole. If the island is commonly referred to as “Busta Rhymes Island,” O’Brien said in a recent interview he could use that as a basis to re-apply, even if Busta is still alive. Usage can potentially trump that pesky five year rule, but only if there is enough support from we the people.
That’s where you come in. Kevin O’Brien hasn’t given up the fight, and the least we can do is show him a little support. We have created an online petition that will be sent straight to Lou Yost, Executive Secretary of the U.S. Board on Geographical Names. All you need to do is type your name and let the Board know that the only name for that little island in the middle of Mill Pond that you will ever accept is “Busta Rhymes Island.”
Then Kevin O’Brien, who describes himself as the island’s “Cultural Advisor,” can start with the real business of bringing law and order to Busta Rhymes Island. Presumably he’ll have to decide easy things like the island’s official drink (Courvoisier, obviously) to harder things (like whether “Arab Money” will be considered canon in the Busta Rhymes Memorial Library). But he can’t start until the government recognizes Busta Rhymes Island’s right to exist. So let’s give him a boost.
(h/t 99% Invisible)