Rock The Bells is an ironman rap music marathon. There’s no way I can go from 12noon to midnite listening to rap music and walking what might amount to be 26.2 miles without having a bump of cocaine. Seeing just how that worked out for many in the crowd of thousands is what keeps me sneedles-free.

Think of Rock The Bells as this grab-ass buffet of multi-genred rap music, old to young, hard to soft, dumb-smart to downright ig’nant. All taking place within the confines of several football fields. It’s mind numbing when you look at the performance schedule and imagine how you will negotiate the time to see every act on every stage.

What’s also mind-numbing is standing within twenty yards of any of the headliner stages. The sound was deafening to the point where you could tell you weren’t losing just hearing but years of your life. You do it anyhoo tho’, because the music being played is the soundtrack to your life

You hear anthems which described the city around you to a tee. How it was all so simple back then. You could walk down the street with an el and a 40oz. in your hand and it wasn’t nothing. How you could slap a pulley into an ignition collar and then use a screwdriver as a car key. You hear the songs that remind you of when the world was yours.

Rock The Bells isn’t all about reminiscing tho’. If you wake up early enough you might could see some of the up and coming and should’a been-could’a been talent who’s still crazy enough to hold onto the microphone. Rock The Bells isn’t really for testing out talent tho’. I told you before its a marathon and the performers are all people who have been running the game for at least a decade.

The Paid Dues stage was reduced to a platform called ‘Grind Time’ [ll]. There were three(3) serious soundstages set up in the venue. The main stage featured NaS, Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. The intermediary stage hosted Raekwon and Ghost, Childish Gambino, Mobb Deep and BlackMoon BCC. The tertiary stage had SlaughterHouse and Souls Of Mischief.

There were other acts like Blackstar, Random Axe, Common and Big KRIT but I missed those due to my arrival on the island at 5pm. Like I said earlier, only cocaine could keep you on your feet for the entire afternoon/evening of performances. There is simply too much of a good thing at the Rock The Bells festival.

With all that said, there isn’t a thing I would change about the Rock The Bells festival. The energy of the entertainers was in the right place despite NaS forgetting lyrics, Ghostface calling for a soundcheck mid-performance, or Lauryn Hill doing her magnum opus at 45rpm. Big Noyd in the Hennessy (H.N.I.C.) jersey was the perfect throwback attire to a day of throwback rap.


9 Responses to “#ROXTHEBELLZ”

  1. Supreme says:

    Rock the Bells 2011 @ Governor’s Island was one of the worst concerts I ever been to in my life. Yo there was MUD in the V.I.P.!!!!!! Straight up & down son, mud on the fucking ground in “V.I.P”. V.I.P. ran out of vodka, nothing was comped or free other than a Rock the Bells backpack that I gave to my son, there wasn’t any free Rock the Bells t-shirts left ( not that I would’ve rocked that shit but I’m saying though…), the drinks in V.I.P cost the same as the drinks at the other stands, there was 3 stages with different artist all performing at the same time so if you wanna see Rae & Ghost then you gotta miss whoever else is performing on one of the other stages at the same time, Slaughter House was performing at the same time as Lauren Hill on different stages( what if you like both ), the stages were like 1 mile apart from each other, people were laying in the dirt on the ground, you had to take a 6 mile hike just to get inside this shit, never mind the fact that you had to take a ferry to get to & from this abandoned scientific experiment gone wrong looking government owned island, man this shit was done wrong by the wrong Event Planner. What’s even more fucked up is that people paid $199 for V.I.P tickets, luckily I got mine for free….still I’m saying though, shit was a trainwreck

  2. Supreme says:

    Oh yeah, the only real real real dope shit was seeing Nas bring out AZ & then when he brought out all those niggas for Live at the BBQ…

  3. nerditry says:

    What’s the last rap anthem? Me neither.

  4. TED says:

    more importantly, what’s that ghost’s rocking on stage, helly hansen?

  5. Bang says:

    Where the Bang fanboy footage at? I got people who don’t believe I can get all up on the internetz, yo! (This comment is Rated L for Lulz)

  6. chef says:

    supreme… sounds like you’re a spoiled little bitch. nigga i lived in mud who gives a fuck about stepping in it. enjoy some fucking hiphop and have fun.

  7. Supreme says:

    @ CHEF

    1. No need to disrespect me, you don’t even know me homie & I was simply giving my opinion about the event for those that weren’t there. Funny how YOU found a “need” to respond to my comment.

    2. Since you wanna get on some immature shit & deal with a whole lot of faggotry, ya mother’s a spoiled little bitch that unfortunately didn’t have enough common sense &/or money to get an abortion before she had you & decided to raise you in mud. That’s one nut that scandalous bitch should’ve swallowed like she normally does. See, she’s what we call a Dumb Bitch where I’m from.
    How’s that for immature ignorant shit nigga?

    3. I’ll open hand slap the shit out you…in real life

    4. It’s kind of hard to ” enjoy some fucking hiphop and have fun ” when the concert’s held on a fucking obstacle course with mud on it nigga. I gotta step over muhfuckas with a caveman mentality laying in the dirt & shit. This ain’t Lallapalooza, this ain’t Woodstock…bitch.

    5. I’ll open hand slap the shit out you…in real life.

    6. Maybe when you get a little older, wiser & more mature you’ll understand what the true meaning of V.I.P is & expect to get treated accordingly when & if you ever get to V.I.P status.

    7. Word to Allah & on everything I love, I will open hand slap the shit out you…in real life.

    8. You wasn’t even there soooooooooooooooooo…shut the fuck up.

    9. Shallah Raekwon already wrote the blueprint for the name ” Chef ” so don’t act like niggas been calling you that shit for years. You a shark nigga, nigga.
    Gay vampire shit, you a biter & you suck…peep the double…ahh, never mind.

    10. Take my dick out ya mouth & put it back in ya mothers. I’m a O.G. so I don’t have to say pause & no homo.


    & if you live in NY “Chef”, come over that George Washington bridge or through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel so I can show you what that 973 be ’bout nigga.

    Internet thuggery at it’s finest, now go wipe that cum off your mothers cheek you bitch ass nigga

  8. Tone Riggz says:

    I like the idea of Rock The Bells but that shit is definitely too much of a good thing. They should reduce the lineup and have all of the acts all on one stage. The lineup is incredible but you’re going to have to decide seeing certain artists over other artists. At a minimum of $100 or so, I want to see everybody on the damn bill at a reasonable distance. The dope thing about NYC though is that most of those artists have shows in NYC throughout the year, so you can always catch whoever you missed at RTB.

  9. JaiSlayer says:

    Internets what up!!!! I hit RTB 2011 and I had VIP tickets and the dude Supreme is 100% correct. I did not get the bag, shirt or drinks. I did not like the fact that you had to walk a mile and a half to get to the next stage. I had to hustle from the 36 Chamber stage after Mobb to the main stage to catch Lauryn Hill. I chilled for like 30 minutes, then hustled back to catch Rae & Ghost. Then I had to hustle back across that large ass field to catch Nas. I was tired as hell and I’m in good shape.

    At least the VIP tixs got you to the front of the line for the ferry and there was not a line to get into the event. Also, chilling backstage watching Black Moon and Mobb Deep tear down the stage was dope.

    I had a great time cause I love hiphop, but I don’t know if I’m attending next year. The sun, the long distance between stages, the sun, standing all day, $10 dollar burgers, $5 pepsi and the fcuking sun wore a brother out.

    I forgot to mention, Nas running out of breath and forgetting lyrics, like he was running from stage to stage to catch rap acts, has to stop. This is my 4th Nas show and it has been the same thing every show. How you forget the lyrics to “Memory Lane” smh. I’m out. Peace.

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