One Man's Crusade To Officially Name A Island (... After Busta Rhymes?)

In 2018, Twitter went nuts over the collective discovery of a tiny island off the Boston suburbs that, according to Google Maps, was named Busta Rhymes Island. Busta isn't even from Massachusetts, so why the honor? It turned out it was all the work of tech support professional and wedding DJ Kevin O'Brien. He's lived near the island since 2005, which was known before its viral moment mostly as a place for local teenagers to get drunk. O'Brien took to canoeing out there to clean up after the kids and have drinks with his own friends and family, eventually creating his own little slice of paradise with a rope swing, blueberry bushes, and other "stuff Busta would enjoy."

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That's apparently the only reason for the name. O'Brien's just a devout admirer of Mr. Rhymes and is convinced that he would appreciate the recreation and healthy snacks flourishing on the 40 ft.-by-40-ft. island. But O'Brien has taken his hobbies of microcolonizing and nomenclature to new heights by lobbying the U.S. Board of Geographic Names to make the name official. Sadly, he was denied on the basis of their rule against naming geographic features after famous figures until they've been dead for at least five years, and although various petitions have circulated to force the Board's hand, he's had to settle for geotagging the location on Google Maps, to be found by amused Internetgoers.

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He hasn't given up, though. According to Massachusetts state law, O'Brien can take official ownership of Busta Rhymes Island after maintaining its upkeep for 20 years. At that point, he can name every rock on the island after a different word in "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See" if he wants ...

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... no matter how much the local parks and recreation department would rather not acknowledge it. In the meantime, he and his supporters encourage people in the Boston area to ask for directions to Busta Rhymes Island. If enough comply, it can be considered in "local usage," a factor that the Board takes into account in its decisions. Think of it as a modern spin on "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?"

Top image: Google Maps, Elektra Records

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