Monday, 22 September 2008
ROCK THE BELLS...
I went to Boston & NYC early August to check my dude Master Millions (45 crew WHATTUP!!?!?)
i got there late night, he introduced me to the fam, and we hung out for a while before we hit the sack and got up waaaaay too early for a 4 hour drive from Beantown to NYC.
(by the way, it took me fuckin AGES to wake Mills up so we wouldn't miss meeting Maseo from De La Soul...that's how we were getting into Rock The Bells.)
Shout to my dude MR.REA (pronounced 'mystery') who is an up and coming dj that Mills has under his wing... he was also the driver for our excursion.
During the gruelling drive and near death situation on the road (a woman driver just hit the breaks on the motorway, no hazard warning lights, no indicator, nothing!!!! Rea had to think quick, swerve around the dumb driver, mount the kerb, swerve around the parallel SUV that was parked on the kerb, and jump back on the motorway without saying a word and kept driving... while myself and Mills saw our lives flash before our eyes...and fully scream like bitches).
The lesson for today kiddies is...keep your composure at all times...it might save your life.
By the way...MR.REA IS MY FUCKIN HERO!!!!!!!
After we calmed down, we got on with the rest of our journey and got to the hotel in NYC (well, Long Island) at 10:50 am, right on time to meet Maseo.
I go to the reception and ask for Maseo by real name as instructed, and i was informed that he hasn't checked in yet, so i get back in the car for a little shut eye and wait for him to arrive.
I try a couple of times to see if he arrived (11:30, 12:00 and 12:30)
4 hours later...
I call the reception from my mobile, couldn't be fucked to go over there again, looking like a stalker, they finally put me through to his room...no answer, so we go and find some food and get back to the hotel to meet up with him.
As i approach the hotel lobby, it looks like a legends of Hip Hop convention...Biz Markie hopped out his cream Bentley Coupe, Prince Paul, Dres from Black Sheep and De La Soul to name a few.
After an hour or so, we all get on the road to Jones Beach NY (everytime i hear that name, i think of Nas' 'One Love' '...but yo, guess who got shot in the domepiece, Jerome's niece, on her way home from Jones Beach...' excuse my digression...) in a 10 car convoy of Biz's Bentley our vehicle, and about 8 blacked out SUV's on some presidential shit...
After all the hoopla of us all getting in, we parked and got backstage, mind you this 3pm and we've already missed a few good artists including Skyzoo and Wale which i was pissed about...Immortal Technique was mid set as we got backstage.
As we got situated, stage changes etc...(i wonder why they never had a dj in between...that was my only complaint...i woulda blazed em)
De La hit the stage, absolutely rocked it running through classics at a rapid pace with their trademark call and response shit.
They brought a few friends out too (Dres, Q-Tip & The Diabolical Biz Markie) who all merked the crowd which i found it hard for other acts to top.
The Pharcyde with full original lineup blazed through their classics with the energy they bring to the game. The crowd either didn't know them that well, or they were on some straight NY shit.
Until they performed this...
Raekwon, Ghostface and Cappadonna merked the stage on some Wu Banger shit.
Mos Def took the stage and definitely did his thing, i was wondering if NYC and Hip Hop in general still had love for the dude because i've read nuff stories and a lot of hate about how he doesn't rhyme anymore, when he actually does shows, he doesn't perform his classics blah blah...
I was waiting for him to perform 'Universal Magnetic' but you can't have everything...
but NYC and my self felt his vibed out set as he rhymed, sang and even played some reggae classics inna sound system styleeee, before bringing on Talib Kweli and ripping through some classic Blackstar shit.
Then they brought on Pharoahe Monch and shut it down....
After a while, i get bored of hangin around backstage, i wasn't feeling i was getting the full experience of a proper Hip Hop show in NYC, and it was a decision whether i stay backstage, and not see the full show or go out the front and watch the show like the fan i am.
After weighing up the odds (kiss didn't pay for me to go, i used my airmiles to get there...i'll be back in NY to make more links anyway...)
So out to the front we went...i'm glad i did...i felt i was in the way anyway...even though i wasn't, but i'm not the type of dude to just hang round musicians and industry people...not a dick rider, sorry. (why am i sorry???)
Anyway, other acts on the day, Redman and Method Man who killed it with a similar set to the one at Shepherd's Bush Empire earlier this year....
BUT they brought out Keith Murray, and EPMD...at this point i was again screaming like a bitch....then a very respected legendary emcee from Mitcham Surrey...yes he's one of ours!!!!
even though thats ALL he did...i still saw Slick Rick shut it down in NYC!!!!
Nas was up next, i was debating with Millions after his performance, because i've seen Mr Jones evolve from a very bad live performer who was very shy and introverted (anyone remember the Fugees and Nas show in London in the 90's? how terrible and disappointing was he then?).
But the last few years, he has turned into a much more charismatic performer, he was even quite funny in parts.
He went in with some ILLMATIC classics...'Represent' and 'One Love' was the high point for me...then he brought on Jay...
Nas killed it in my opinion....
The main reason i used my airmiles to fly to Boston & NYC for 2.5 days was this group...
A Tribe Called Quest! Q Tip, Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and even Jarobi was there....and of course Busta and Spliff Star.
The time was around 1am...all i had to eat was the food when i got to NYC earlier in the day and a couple of bottles of water while at the venue, but i didn't care, i couldn't miss anything...i was in my element for real....
It was worth the flight...truss!
Random pics from Rock The Bells...until my camera battery ran out....
JUST BLAZE & GREEN LANTERN