I Heart Hip Hop!!!!

Rock The Bells = The best hip hop show on earth!

Jay Electronica, Murs, The Cool Kids, Supernatural, De La Soul, Mos Def, Redman & Method Man, Nas, Rakim, Pharcyde and A Tribe Called Quest all performed at the Rock The Bells concert Sunday, July 20 @ Arrow Hall. As I list them, I’m still baffled at the fact that I saw all of them. My best friend, Linh aka Boogi and I went VIP and even though I was still struggling with a bout of bronchitis that started the week before (and I still am!), I was extremely excited and hype! The next day at work, I was sitting at my desk tired as hell with sore feet and legs from standing, jumping around and dancing from about 2pm all the way ‘til after 11 pm but the hype from the show had kept me smiling and in good spirits.

The good thing of paying extra to being a VIP was a few freebies we got. We each received a Rock The Bells shirt and backpack and 2 drink tickets. The VIPs had their own section with easy access to the bar and refreshments. Boogi & I liked the fact we were sectioned off from the rest because there was less crowding but what we didn’t like was we thought we’d be a lot closer to the stage than where we were. I did see some of the artists come out to hang out in the VIP lounge. I saw Fat Lip & Tre from Pharcyde and I really got to talk to Jay Electronica who was sweet as hell and really cool. I’m actually pretty proud of myself because I wasn’t that shy! One of the other perks was a meet and greet with ATCQ. This was the piss off of the whole night. When the time came, a whole crowd of us bunched up to meet them. This is where the pushing and shoving started. Boog and I were smushed right in the middle of all these dudes, it was almost claustrophobic! We were almost to the front when they announced that it was over and they had left to get ready for their performance! They were there for about half an hour to 45 mins! Not even half of us were able to go in. It was so fucked up! I was really disappointed about that. I was so looking forward to meeting them, Q-Tip especially.

The show was an experience in itself! Most of the time, I was standing there, watching in awe. In between acts, I looked around at all the different people in the crowd. You can really feel that you were at something special. The energy was crazy and I’m happy to say that there was no violence whatsoever. I read somewhere that the organizers had trouble finding a venue here. Originally it was supposed to be held right in Toronto and it was going to be outdoors; somewhere like the Amphitheatre but apparently the city board had a problem with it. It seemed like they didn’t want a big hip hop show like Rock The Bells in the heart of the city and speculation is that it was because of the possible risk of violence involved with hip hop. A few years back, 50 Cent had a show out here and there was a shooting associated with the concert. Obviously, no one on the board had any idea that there is a difference between 50 and the cats that came for RTB. The show was held at a place out by the airport indoors which actually turned out well because it was pouring rain that day.

The performances were amazing for the most part. There were some sound problems. The worst was with Rakim. He almost walked off the stage because of the sound. When he did perform he was great but you can tell his performance was cut short because of it. I managed to sneak my camera in and took some pictures and videos. While some may think I took a lot, I really didn’t. I was too busy enjoying myself. In a way, I kind of regret not filming Jay Electronica, Murs, Mos Def and Naz though. The vids I did take are probably no more than 3 mins long each because I did get caught filming a couple of times and I was too hype to film anymore! It was so hard to keep still and I’m actually surprised that you don’t hear me rapping along! LOL! I will post a vid or two here but the rest you can see on youtube: I have a few pictures too but I'd have to resize them to post them here and if I did that, they would look tiny so hopefully your my friend on facebook or can find my links to your right!

While the whole show was great, my high points were:
  1. Meeting Jay Electronica. Dude was just so cool and easy to talk too! Very affectionate as well…got a lot of hugs and kisses. LOL. Check out my pic with him!

  2. The Pharcyde. Nuff said. Pharcyde, Pharcyde, Pharcyde! I’m still in awe that I saw them! The fact that all 4 original members reunited for the tour was amazing. Seeing Fat Lip and Tre when they were mingling around the VIP area was really cool too.

  3. A Tribe Called Quest. Even though I didn’t get to meet them like the VIPs were supposed to, seeing them live is unexplainable. Having Q-Tip come out and do his solo stuff first was crazy. Plus having Phife, Ali and Jarobi there with him was great. I am so proud that I saw my favorite hip hop group off all time LIVE!

It’s been about a month now and I still smile every time I think about it. I’m still heavily listening to Murs, Jay, Tribe, Pharcyde and the rest of the performers that I saw. It’s a habit of mine that every time I go to a concert after, I’d be listening to nothing but that artist for at least a week after but I have a feeling after this…it’ll be awhile!

The Pharcyde ~ Runnin'

A Tribe Called Quest ~ Bonita Applebum

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