Rock the Bells
“Rock the Bells” may be one of the greatest hip-hop shows of the decade with their stellar line-up of hip-hop legends and real hip-hop essence. With groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Method Man and Redman, The Pharcyde reunion, and Nas, this was a show that people will talk about for years to come. WHO?MAG writer Will Hernandez was there and gave us an exclusive write up on the event.
Rock the Bells (Miami, FL show 8/2/08)
by William Hernandez

On that hot, humid Saturday afternoon, Rock the Bells concert took place here in Miami, FL. Fortunately, this year I was able to get press passes and not regular tickets like last year’s Rock the Bells. Arriving late, I got a chance to check out the newly reunited Pharcyde perform. They started with their 1995 hit “Runnin'” and went through all their hits including Fatlip doing his solo track “What up Fatlip?”. Those guys had energy running around all across the stage. After that, Redman and Method Man came up and did all their hits including the classic “How High” backed up by DJ Dice and DJ Mathematics of the Wu Tang Clan. In meantime, they had DJ Green Lantern spin for a while until NAS came through. When I saw his car arrive, security cleared everyone out of the way for the man. I though for a minute it was Barack Obama coming to Rock the Bells, not an artist. His set was some what disappointing going through all the hits and taking off his shirt for the ladies, which went crazy for him after he did it. Then Q- Tip came on stage and did a couple of his solo hits and some new songs from his up and coming album. Then he introduced the legendary DJ Scratch of EPMD who cut those records like a mad man and did his famous hockey mask while cutting up Big Daddy Kane saying “I’m going to play Jason”. Then Phife Dawg, Jarobi, and Ali Shaheed on the turntables rocked the remainder of the hour with the medley of hits. All in all, it was a great show representing real hip hop. When asked about his thoughts about it, host B Real of Cypress Hill said “It’s one of the best thing to happen to hip-hop. Hip-hop always had a bad look when it comes to festival shows. Only certain hip-hop groups would get invited to play festivals. So now that Rock the Bells represents a hip hop festival, this shows that hip hop can hold it’s weight and do it all on it’s own as it’s always done in the past.”