Busta Rhymes Island

Proposed name for an island in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

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Busta Rhymes Island is a proposed name for an otherwise unnamed island in Shrewsbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts.[1][2][3][4] The name refers to the rapper Busta Rhymes. The island is located in Mill Pond in Shrewsbury and measures 40 by 40 feet (12 m × 12 m).[5] The island was named in 2005[2] by Shrewsbury resident Kevin O'Brien who began frequenting and caring for the upkeep of the island. O'Brien stated he wanted it to be called Busta Rhymes Island as it had "Rope-swinging, blueberries, and ... stuff Busta would enjoy."[6][4]


O'Brien has attempted to register the name with the United States Board on Geographic Names. However, the name was refused, as the rules require the person commemorated to have been dead for at least 5 years, and the rapper is still living.[6] O'Brien has since attempted to have the name adopted officially through a rule related to local usage of a name and local geographic activists have named the Island on Google Maps.[7][8][9][10] A petition has been created for the board to formally recognize the name.[11]

In popular culture

The island and the campaign to officially name it Busta Rhymes Island was the central topic of an episode of 99% Invisible which explored the naming of places.[5] The island is also included in the book The 99% Invisible City as an example of informal geonyms.[5][1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Mars, Roman (March 13, 2014). "One Man's Mission to Name an Island After Busta Rhymes". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Reed, James (March 13, 2009). "Busta Rhymes Island is for real - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. Boston Globe. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Plaisance, Mike (November 12, 2018). "'Busta Rhymes Island' is a place you could find in Massachusetts -- sort of". MassLive. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Espinoza, Joshua (March 7, 2018). "People Freaked Out After Learning 'Busta Rhymes Island' Has Existed for Years". Complex. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Ferro, Shaunacy (March 12, 2014). "Massachusetts Has A Busta Rhymes Island". Co.Design. Fast Company. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  6. ^ a b "Busta Rhymes Island". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  7. ^ Cole, Sean (March 11, 2014). "One Man Is An Island". 99% Invisible. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  8. ^ Dwyer, Dialynn (March 16, 2018). "Busta Rhymes Island exists in Massachusetts on Google Maps but not in real life. Here's why". Boston.com. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  9. ^ Bentley, Coleman (March 7, 2018). "Google Maps recognizes lone hero's campaign to rename island after Busta Rhymes - Golf Digest". Golf Digest. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  10. ^ "Shrewsbury 'Busta Rhymes' island got viral on Twitter Moments | Shrewsbury Post". The Shrewsbury Post. March 7, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
  11. ^ McAlone, Nathan (April 3, 2014). "Petition The Government To Formally Recognize 'Busta Rhymes Island'". Complex. Archived from the original on November 10, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2016.

External links

  • 99% Invisible episode 105: One Man is an Island
  • Busta Rhymes Island on Google Maps
  • Busta Rhymes Island on OpenStreetMap
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Islands and peninsulas of Massachusetts