The Best Buy Theater in New York City’s Times Square was packed last night (March 29) with die-hard hip-hop heads ready to see Slaughterhouse tear the house down. And they almost did. But one member was M.I.A.
Fans were disappointed to learn a quarter of the crew would not be performing after Royce da 5’9” announced the news. Joe Budden was arrested by NYPD for an unpaid traffic ticket from 2007 shortly before he was set to hit the stage. The New Jersey native appeared with his cohorts earlier in the day during a Hot 97 interview.
Apparently, the drastic apprehension was all over a $75 parking ticket, reports TMZ. Cops showed up at a pre-concert meet-and-greet and that’s when they informed Joe about the warrant for his arrest due to an unpaid traffic ticket. Although the fine was only $75 and Budden had a concert to get to, cops still arrested him, taking him back to the station and processing him there.
Still, the show had to go on. (Par-City and Flatbush Zombies were the openers.)
Joell Ortiz, Crooked I and Royce held things down in Joe’s absence. They even encouraged fans to voice their displeasure with New York’s Finest. “Joey! Joey! Joey!” fans chanted, as the other MCs did their best to work around the gaps in their set.
A picture of the venue posted on Budden’s Twitter revealed that the MC made it inside the theater. But it is not clear exactly when officers arrived or why they chose last night’s show to make the arrest. Budden has resumed Twitter activity, though he hasn’t commented on the incident yet. XXL reached out to Joe Budden’s camp for comments, but they declined.
Initially, eyebrows were raised when the remaining members of the foursome came to the stage and performed posse cuts “The Illest” and “Sound Off.” Budden’s absence was glaring after the first two songs and was finally addressed by Ortiz and Royce. “(Y’all know) it’s always some bullshit with Slaughterhouse,” said Royce before he explained the situation.
Though Budden’s absence put a small cloud over the night, his group mates did not allow it to ruin the show. Turned up renditions of “Microphone” and their BET Awards cipher verses were crowed pleasures. Joell took the lead for most of the night, soaking in the love from his hometown crowd. The three-some killed it. —Calvin Stovall