If I were to describe Rock the Bells 2010 in the bay area this year in less then 10 sentences I would fail. Why? Because there aren’t enough words in the English Dictionary that would describe this Hip-Hop Phenomenon that took place this weekend. The International festival series, promoted by Guerrilla Union, teamed up with exclusive artists to bring a successful show to the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View this past Sunday. I can only speak for myself that legends Lauryn Hill, Snoop Dogg, and A Tribe Called Quest were the highlights of my evening. There were 17 artists on the lineup and about a few sets that I could tell you rocked the crowd of over 50,000 spectators sprawled out on the grass, in the bleachers, and between the two stages. I will tell you this; Hip Hop was definitely alive and kicking this weekend.
The Bay Area is known for its melting pot, but I didn’t realize the effect Hip Hop had on its fans because there were all different shades, cultures, and textures that were showing love. The Paid Dues Stage gave mad respect to the up and coming artists like Wiz Khalifa and Big Sean where they shared the stage with well known Immortal Technique, Murs and 9th Wonder and Yelawolf (who surprisingly bounced back after chocking on a bug mid-performance).
The Main Stage was in constant rotation with Rakim, Slick Rick, KRS-One, and a Tribe Called Quest where they performed hit songs “Bonita Applebum”, “Electric Relaxation”, “Award Tour”, and “Can I Kick it”. Not to mention Wu-Tang Clan brought out Busta Rhymes that brought we right back into 1994.
Although Lauryn Hill’s music will always be timeless, I felt her set was rushed and off tune and it made it hard for us to sing-a-long and for her to hit her notes to the legendary songs. Mind you it was 75-degree weather and she wore a trench coat ensemble with a glittery hat just to highlight her randomness. She did managed to bring out her L-Boogie with an etchy acapella of “Fugee-la-la” but overall I was happy to have the experience of a lifetime to be in the presence of such a legendary woman.
I’ll show you her in San Bernadino cause I feel she sounded better.
The suspense was killing me but I managed to keep my eyes open and bundle up for Snoop Dogg’s set where he performed hits from the Doghouse with Lady Rage and he semi-afro puffs. As always he brought out his character and made sure to have us entertained between songs. With the greenery flowing, Skits, an actual Dog mascot, and his low rider bike Snoop claimed his fame as headliner going overtime just to please his fans.
From the artists bloopers, to the diversity of Hip Hop, Rock the Bells Festivals always manage to leave every Hip Hop lover satisfied that they spent 12 hours of their time, over seventy dollars of their hard earned money, to enjoy a priceless experience of exclusive legends in today’s Hip Hop Culture.