New York-bred MC Busta Rhymes was arrested Wednesday night after he allegedly lobbed a strawberry protein drink at a gym employee in New York City, authorities told The Associated Press—but several gym-goers told the New York Daily News that he was provoked and that the incident wasn’t his fault.
The 43-year-old Rhymes, whose real name is Trevor Tahiem Smith Jr., was charged with second-degree assault after the incident at Steel Gym in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The drink hit the man in the head, a spokesman for the New York Police Department said.
But Rhymes’ attorney told the Daily News that the charges are “a bunch of bull.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what exactly Rhymes threw: An NYPD spokesperson described the projectile as a 17-ounce cardboard container of strawberry protein drink, but his lawyer said “it was literally a bottle of Muscle Milk.” The Daily News, however, reports that Rhymes had attempted to purchase (and then chucked) a cardboard container of chocolate-flavored Lean Body drink. Local TV station PIX11 showed an image of a chocolate Lean Body drink in their report, although they referred to the mystery missile as an “energy drink.”
Rhymes is a staple of East Coast rap, having collaborated with artists such as Diddy, Fat Joe and Jadakiss over the course of his 18-year career.