David and Gray

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

David: Rock the Bells NYC (Recap)

Like I promised here is the recap to Rock the Bells NYC. This was my forth year in a row and once again it was another great experience. I didn't get to see everyone, but from everyone that I did see I was very impressed with every performance.

Slick Rick
Slick Rick was actually my very first concert that I ever attended in my life and it took place at Higher Ground in South Burlington, Vermont. He wasn't the craziest performance of the whole concert and his stage presence isn't the greatest, but for a hip hop head like myself none of that mattered. Slick Rick's style and history in rap itself was enough for me to enjoy his set of his debut album, The Adventures of Slick Rick, which was released back in 1988. Who else can rap like they're having a conversation with you and sound so dope at the same time? Plus he was accompanied by DJ Premier, one of hip hops greatest DJs.

Big Sean
This was the first time I had seen Big Sean. He performed on the smaller stage and wasn't a main act for the concert, but he was definitely one of the people I wanted to see the most. He performed most of his leaked singles off of his newly released, Finally Famous Volume 3 mixtape, and made use of the whole stage and interacted with the crowd. Overall it was a good performance.

I saw Rakim for the first time at Rock the Bells New York City back in 2007 so I knew a little what to expect. He was performing Paid in Full, another debut album released by Eric B. & Rakim. His performance was okay stage presence wise, but it was good to just chill out, relax, and listen to one of hip hop's most famous albums of all time.
Shortly after KRS-One hopped on stage and performed, Criminal Minded. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures from his performance, but without a doubt he's one of my favorites. He was one of the hosts last year and I also saw him perform at Higher Ground in South Burlington, Vermont, a few years ago. Everything KRS says makes you think and respect hip hop so much more. One of the reasons why he's called, "The Teacha."Another good performance.

Brother Ali
This was actually my first time seeing Brother Ali even though he seems to be at Higher Ground in South Burlington, Vermont, every year. I've never been a huge fan of his music, but I did enjoy his performance on the second stage. His stage presence and interaction with the crowd was good and he also gave some nice shout outs to everyone performing on the main stage which I liked.

Murs & 9th Wonder
I saw Murs last year at Rock the Bells NYC, but this was my first time seeing 9th Wonder DJ and also rap for one song on "Asian Girl." Most of the songs performed were off of, Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition and Fornever. I've always been a big Murs fan so every song he performed I knew and could sing along to. Also both Murs and 9th's presence on stage was great and there overall performance was a good one.

Ms. Lauryn Hill
I've heard a lot of bad things said about Lauryn Hill's performance, but honestly she was one of my favorites. Minus the sound crew screwing up a bit I loved her and her band. She was singlehandedly the reason why I bought tickets for this years concert. Also I was hoping Wyclef Jean and Pras would make an appearance on stage to reunite the Fugees, but unfortunately that didn't happen. Probably would have been tough especially for Wyclef to show up with his election for Presidency in Haiti (though he was recently rejected a few days ago by Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council because he did not meet the residency requirement of having lived in Haiti for five years before the Nov. 28 election).
In other news though Lauryn Hill was amazing to me and is also a major influential person in my life so without a doubt I enjoyed her performance. She also brought out short cameos on stage to say hello to the crowd from Mary J. Blige, Beyoncé, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Chris Rock, Jerry Wonder, & John Legend, who all attended as fans to support Ms. Lauryn Hill herself.

Wiz Khalifa
This was my first time seeing Wiz Khalifa. He was the main act on the second stage and also the biggest crowd drawer for that stage. If you're a Vermonter like myself you know how much Wiz is played in young peoples households, iPods, and cars (myself being one of them). So pretty much every song he performed I knew and was singing along to. Most definitely my favorite performance on the second stage and most definitely the most weed influenced performance as well. Unfortunately it was cut short for me right as he performed my favorite song, "Ink My Whole Body," because A Tribe Called Quest was starting on the main stage.

A Tribe Called Quest joined on stage with Busta Rhymes & Swizz Beatz
This was my second time seeing A Tribe Called Quest, the first time being at the 2008 Rock the Bells (probably my all time favorite year). Tribe probably was my favorite performance for the whole night performing mostly songs from, Midnight Marauders. They jumped around a bit as well and brought out people like Swizz Beatz and Busta Rhymes (see photo above). In my mind their stage presence and interaction with the crowd was the best for the whole concert.

Wu-Tang Clan (all original members with Boy Jones, ODB's first born son)
I've lost count how many times I've seen Wu-Tang Clan, but it's always rare when you get all their original members and ODB's first born son Boy Jones. Their stage presence isn't that great except for Method Man and Redman, but otherwise Wu-Tang always has a huge response from the Rock the Bells crowd. Another great performance from the night.

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg was the final act to the night and was also the first time I had ever seen him perform live. His stage presence isn't that amazing, but it was a good performance with the addition of funny cut scenes on the big screen behind him and also a few of the things he had to say on the mic. Doggystyle is also one of my favorite albums of all time so I was rapping along and jamming to a lot of his songs. Snoop was also accompanied with Daz Dillinger and Kurupt from, Tha Dogg Pound, and The Lady of Rage so it added to an even better show.

Vader the Villin & Will Kiendl
And that is my recap to Rock the Bells NYC. Special thanks to Will Kiendl & Vader the Villin for coming along on the trip as well!


rachelp09 said...

great post. wish i could have made it!

JeremyWho? said...

I was there and it was my first time at Rock the Bells. Looks like you guys had a good time just like I did! Snoop Dogg was my favorite.

Anonymous said...

nice :)

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