*sigh* Rock The Bells is upon us again.
I was in attendance at last year’s rock the bells (shout out to Danny for the last minute ticket). All that you’d want in a hip hop show was on Randall’s island…I guess. Supernatural hosted, freestyling his way through the hot summer weather to keep us entertained. There was the triumphant return of the Clan, as well as Rage. they also had Cypress, The Roots, J.M.T., Technique, the list goes on.
It was just too…strenuous in my opinion.
The heat, the swelling crowd, the standing and more standing, the volume as crazy as that it. You want the sounds to crank but after standing in front of a wall of 60 (I counted) speakers for 8 hours…too much for me. You damn near have train for it like a marathon.
After that I unofficially swore off concerts and vowed to never go to another Rock The Bells unless I was on the stage. I’ve pretty much done that…except for 2 very noteworthy experiences:
eMC & Kanye West.
I’ll be honest (it’s the best policy you know). I was gonna write about this a while ago. I’m just getting around to it. I should have made the time earlier because if Ace, Words, Punch and Stricklen are coming to your area…you owe to yourself to go see them tear it down. The energy is frenetic, their chemistry together is a sight in itself, there’s choreography, concept tracks are acted out in front of your face, AND you’ll get to hear some of their most memorable solo moments to boot (mine is Ace ripping crooklyn dodgers).
Be careful though.
I saw them in a spot called The Philadelphia Room (bet you can’t guess where that is) and the venue is exactly as the name implies…a room. Therefore the stage isnt really elevated. Being in the front meant standing in the direct line of emcee fire. It’s a good thing I’ve played a lot of fighting games in my time. I had to use all the dodging and parrying I learned in Street Fighter, Soul Caliber and Virtua Fighter to avoid the barrage of flying limbs and spittle. It was a Shaw Bros. flick set to hip hop music…great.
When all’s said and done, eMC live up to the title of their LP. It’s quite a show.
On the other end of the spectrum is Kanye West. One of the most loved and hated figures in hip hop today.
Kanye may not have an off switch for his mouth but that guy can sure as hell put on a show. I recently visited some friends in Nevada. Little did I know Reno was to be the place that would change my perception of what a concert could be.
Not that you guys don’t know what happens already but I’ll tell you: I covertly snuck and slid my way up front for ‘Ye’s set (it’s a long story, I’ll tell you sometime). The lights dropped and that stage lit up and told a story unlike any I’d seen in a rap concert before. The presentation was phenomenal. The energy throughout was phenomenal. A huge set, fire flares and lights and rising platforms, smoke and huge projection screens.
I can’t speak for those unfortunate Bonnaroo people but my experience was life altering as an emcee. I enjoyed every second of it.
Actually…not every second. There was a drunk and (not) hot girl who fucked with me the WHOLE time. Grabbing my hands and screaming at me to “sing the song!” because she knew I knew it. Even on sentimental songs…like “Hey Mama” (which was similar to the award show reworking that we’ve all been touched by). Speaking of “Hey Mama” wtf was up with those mtv The Hills rejects behind me that insisted that it was “gay” for Kanye to take a moment to express his pain and celebrate his deceased mother in song? Some people think callous, narrow minded jokes are somehow hilarious. I guess ’cause you “went there”.
Seriously dog…you’re playin’ yourself.
I could sit here and psychoanalyze those funny style types about that all day but anybody with a shred of human decency can see how that’s fucked up even if you don’t dig the man’s antics.
Grow up dickface.
He ended the extravaganza with a serious bang and a motivational speech that left us all swooning. The lights came up and it was like leaving a great movie. As me and my graduating class walked out of the venue and back into our regular lives we were given souvenirs to remember the night by…complimentary copies of “Thank You and You’re Welcome“. We just oughta had got copies as much as the tickets cost, word.
I would highly recommend this show as well. It’ll make you wanna rock a stadium like B.I.G. said in The Show.