Yesterday, Internets Celebrity Dallas Penn sent out this tweet early in the afternoon, so I tried putting him in contact with the right people over @ Guerilla Union who would be able to get him not only inside the festival, but hopefully, close enough for him to be able to do his thing for les internets, and possibly get footage of this historic day.
Sadly, it didn’t happen, but he did manage to find his way in on his own. Below is an account of the events going on both inside and outside the concert (after the jump.) accompanied by the above video for people who aren’t into reading his long-ass blog drop.
Previously: Rock The Bells @ Governor’s Island, NY (PICS)
Your homey Derek wasn’t able to put me on the list. But since I took this godforsaken ferry to this island I wasn’t about to be shut down for a lack of a credentials. Here’s my recap of the shit I did get to do at Rock The Bells…
Rock The Bells is the most gonzo retarded way to experience a rap concert. Its an all day buffet of some of Hip-Hop’s most longstanding, established acts along with some of the most notoriously obscure.
Obscure in the sense that only Dart Adams would know of all the artists on the Paid Dues stage. But even the upcoming and underground acts on the second stage of this festival had hardbody followings. I still haven’t listened to Wiz Khalifa but my homeys that caught his set tell me a star was born on Governor’s Island.
I was too busy trying to get backstage during the Lauryn Hill set. The backstage area was a zoo filled with the who’s who of (old head) Hip-Hop. If you released a record in the 1990s this was like your class reunion. Provided you were still alive of course. I was a little frightened that the A Tribe Called Quest set was going to be a Phife memorial since there was a grip of folks walking around with t-shirts with his face emblazoned on them. It turns out that the shirts were only promo for his new album. Whew. Nowadays the biggest news from my era of the culture is usually the death of an artist.
The ATCQ and Wu-Tang sets were my reason for venturing out to the festival. I can’t do these all day concert events any longer especially if I’m not using any drugs and I was going into this one completely sober. I needed to have all my wits about me since I didn’t have a press credential or even a ticket for that matter.
Nation hooked me up with a contact from the concert promoters but the contact ended up being an intern with no juice so I was stuck outside of the venue. You have to cross New York Harbor in a ferryboat to get to Governor’s Island and I wasn’t about to quit at this point. What I should have done was to ride the big homey 88 Keys coattails when I had the chance. With the closing of Fat Beats the culture will be looking for a new model on how to Percee P the game. I’m nominating 88, who had his Polo Sport backpack filled with CDs for sale.
It really didn’t look like I was going to get inside of the concert. I got desperate as I heard Lauryn Hill open her set on the main stage. It was time for me to make a move. And right on cue I saw my opening which was one of the event coordinators bringing in some of his peoples. I slipped in with that mini entourage and that put me into the festival. Rock The Bells makes money hand over fist on tickets, merchandise and concessions. This is the only way the promoters could afford to pay for acts like Lauryn Hill. Excuse me, MISS Lauryn Hill. I fux with Lauryn Hill, but at what point is she gonna allow people to call her MRS? She does have like nine kids.
The next step was to establish the easiest route to the backstage area. I did this by walking as close as possible to the front of the stage. Along the way I had to chop it up with a few heads who hollered at the kid. Hip-Hop discussions abounded as did recaps of the previous acts. Everyone lauded Slick Rick. KRS-1 not so much. I have a feeling why too. KRS-1 stay preaching to motherfuckers. Just do the hits old man, school doesn’t start until after Labor Day (at least here in NYC). I also ran into Torae. That is one cool dude. Mental note is for me to download, er, purchase ‘Double Barrel’.
I found my route to the backstage area and as I dove in I bumped into NoHa from DuckDown Records. How sick is it that DuckDown Records is still around doing their thing? Part of the reason is the work ethic of Buckshot and DruHa along with the grind of Sean Price, Rock, Smif N Wessun and the other acts associated with the label. From day one DuckDown has given street cred to backpack rap fans and now they are the leaders in creating quality boom bap dinosaur rap. Jurassic bastids.
I don’t want to waste your time with telling you about all the people who were backstage. Its meaningless to say anything more than the line EVERYBODY and they momma. Shout out to Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s mom, and Phife’s mom and my mom. My mother wasn’t at Rock The Bells but I just wanted to shout her out because I love her and there is nothing in the universe more Hip-Hop than loving your mother and smacking earth, wind and fire from the mouths of bitches.
Here’s my recap from the two acts that I saw at the Rock The Bells festival… The A Tribe Called Quest set was official tissue. And most importantly, Phife Dawg is very much NOT dead, no matter what TWitter says. The Wu-Tang set was hoodniggafabulous. Thousands of dudes crowded the stage and smoked weed during their performance. Ason Jones eldest son put down a fitting tribute to his father. Hip-Hop is not dead. Rock The Bells, and all the white who bought tickets, merchandise and concessions are saving Hip-Hop.