FOR THOSE WHO DONT KNOW
And for those who were there and wanna reminisce...
Tonight's Rock The Bells show at Jones Beach, NY was hands down the craziest, most amazing hip-hop show I've ever been to.. To make a long story short, it seemed like EVERY dope living MC and group from the Last 20 years of New York hip hop blessed the stage... Let's start from the beginning and move towards the climactic ending..
Let's just forget about the "second stage" completely... Only styed there for Wale and Murs.. both good sets, but then the main stage opened.
Dead Prez - After some sound issues, they took the stage and ran through their patented revolutionary-politically laced tunes, highlighted by "Turn Off The Radio" and "(Its bigger than) Hip Hop)"... good show from a
Immortal Technique - You know, Imo Tech is take it or leave it with me. He has some good material, but i dont listen to him much. He does put on a good live show. Drops some dope accapellas, and his political and social rants in between songs were actually pretty humorous this time.
De La Soul - This is the first Time I had ever seen De La, and they were great. They had so much energy which I did not expect, and they got the crowd really hype, Partly because of their classic old school guests... Dres from Black Sheep came out and took us back with "Flavor of the Month" and "This or That" which the crowd went nuts for. The majority of the crowd was probly like 23-30, not as many young heads like last year, probly because of the mostly "golden age" lineup. So they appreciated a guy like Dres showin up. Then Q-tip came out to rock "Buddy" which was great, but kind of expected because Tribe was headlining. THEN, to close out the set, who comes out but Biz Markie himself, rocking "Nobody Beats The Biz" and "Just a Friend", which had the entire crowd singing along.
The Pharcyde - This was a treat. I've never been too big of a fan, but they have their place in hip hop history, a very dope West Coast group with a completely different style than anything beign done out west at the time. And being re-united for the first time in years was very big. They sounded a bit rusty and the instrumental tracks were too lound, but it was cool to hear hits like "Passin Me By", "Runnin" and "Drop"
Raekwon and Ghostface - Standard Rae and Ghost fare. They ripped through the classics like CREAM, Can It All Be So Simple, Ice Cream, Criminology, their verses from Triumph, the usual ODB tribute by playin "Shimmy Shimmy Ya". But they also rocked some less widely known tracks but some of my favorites like "Knowledge God" and "Rainy Dayz". I always got love for the Wu, and Rae and Ghost are two of the Clan's best live acts, so this was a good set.
Mos Def - I think Mos was late, there was about a 40 minute wait before his set and he basically ran on stage still wearin his jacket and backpack and started rocking. And rock he did. He has mad energy, didn't sing TOO much (which he tends to do) and made up for bein late by playin for longer than his given set time, and he basically told the stage crew to fuck off when they were tellin him to wrap it up. He brought out Talib Kweli to do the Black Star thing as expected, which was dope. Crowd was really feelin it. Then they brought the house down by bringin out Pharoah Monch and he screamed through "Simon Says". Crazy
Method Man and Redman Consistenly, two of the best performers in hip hop history. They had the crowd goin absolutely nuts. Crazy energy! I love seein these dudes live rockin the mic. In the middle of their set they brought out EPMD nd Eric and Parrish did "You Gotsta Chill". And with the show being in Long Island, this was a definite crowd pleaser. In between their songs, they would drop some old school beats and spit a few lines here and there..and when it came time to do "Ladi Dadi", out comes Slick Rick himself. And when they usually end their set with "Da Rockwilder", they stayed out for an encore, which turned out to be "Rapper's Delight" along with their final guest of the night, none other than Keith Murray..
NAS - So NAS comes out with a live band. And this wasn't on some Roots, chill-type live band steez, this was straight up hard rock. Which was dope at first, but they didnt do a good job at re-creating the sound of his hits from Illmatic, and a couple of the other songs he did with the band. Nas made up for it tho, with putting literally everything he had into what he was spitting, he didnt leave anything on stage. ..Anyway, so after the first few song with the band he got down to business and started rockin straight from the records, which were being spun by DJ Green Lantern . He blazes through "Nas Is Like", "Hate Me Now", "If I ruled the World", "The Message", "Made You Look".. So after a string of bangers, with basically no stopping in between theres a little pause, Nas catches his breath and takes a drink, throws on a Mets cap..and then.. the intro to "Success" starts playing and at that point the entire place musta been thinking "Wait a minute..no way.." and from behind the stage in that unmistakeable voice we hear "NAS!! Let This Bitch Breath!! and who th fuck else comes strollin onto the stage but Jay-Z, Jigga Man, Hov himself. Needless to say, the crowd is going absolutely bonkers! They rock "Success" and "Black Republicans"and then Jay makes his exit.. fucking insane, I never would have expected that at such an underground-centric show like Rock The Bells. Wow. So when the crowd (finally) calmed down, Nas closes out his set with "One Mic"
A Tribe Called Quest - The Tribe set begins with Q-Tip doin some solo stuff with Mos Def along as his hype man. He played two songs from his new album "Rennaisance". They weren't bad, but he gave the crowd what they really wanted by rockin "Vivrant Thang", "Breathe and Stop" and "Let's Ride". Cool, but definitely just an appetizer for the main course of Tribe. So when Q-tip's solo shit ends, the place goes completely dark and then you hear the famous intro to Midnight Marauders start and the place goes crazy, again. Then when the lights come on, you got all the members of Tribe on stage, for the first time in NY in 10 years! They immediately start rippin through classic after classic after classic, feelin like it was 93 all over again.. But then the real fun started when the unmistakeably Bass line of Scenario starts and then the beat drops. The song is movin along, when it's time For Busta's verse, and with all the special guests to this point, of course, here's comes Busta Rhymes like a fuckin cannonball runnin out on stage kickin his verse from Scenario, and then they go right into "Put Ya Hand where My Eyes Could See".. After that, they close the set out strong with "Check the Rhime", "Electric Relaxation" and "Award Tour"... and by the end of Award Tour a bunch more dudes came out to the stage just to party...So the whole night ended with Tribe, Busta, De La Soul, Mos Def, Kweli and Consequence all on stage together..
This was the illest show I've ever seen