Episode 105 of 99% Invisible isn’t actually called “Busta Rhymes Island.” It’s called “One Man is An Island.” But wouldn’t you have preferred the former?
99% reporter Sean Cole was working on a radio story that required a quick one-on-one with Busta Rhymes. So he did a Google search for the ’90s hip-hop mogul and added the keyword “Boston.” There were no tour dates, no publicists, no relevant, useable information of any kind. What did turn up (see image above) is why we have yet another enticingly clever episode of 99%.
Dateline: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts 2000ish. Some dude decides to name his favorite little atoll after his favorite rapper, the aforementioned Busta Bus. (I know an island is not necessarily an atoll.)
What we get, some 15 years later, lucky listeners, is a thoughtful deliberation on the legalities of naming a place after a person. And as is usually the case with a 99% story, there’s more complexity there than one would assume.
In fact, this snack of a podcast is so perfectly brief, you can listen to it right here: