Nursing a musical hangover/headache (fest folk know what I mean), my excursions to Rock the Bells (RTB) LA and SF draw to a close. Although I decided spur of the moment to attend LA’s last week, attending RTB SF’s been a fun tradition since ‘09. Love the main venue (assigned seats, no pit), weather (20 degrees cooler, makes a diff in an outdoor fest), Bay Area hip-hop culture (you have to experience it for yourself) and it takes me longer to get places in LA with traffic than it does to fly to The Bay.
Although there are other hip-hop festivals around,it’s rare to find one that brought together 50+ live acts and enabled me to meet 12 of these acts (Rapsody, 9th Wonder, Freddie Gibbs, Dilated Peoples, Casey Veggies, Deltron 3030, Doug E. Fresh, Joey Badass, Dom Kennedy, Hopsin, Dizzy Wright and Slick Rick), something I truly treasure (I wouldn’t believe it either if I didn’t have the proof). Sure, I could whine about the lines to get in, the lines in the parking lots, the rocks, dust and dirt messing up my new kicks, the expensive food and drink but the memories and good times outweighed the rest. Three days (one in LA and two in SF) flew right by.
Arriving around 2 PM in Mountainview each weekend day, I focused more on the sets instead of the meet and greets this time so I saw Brother Ali, Immortal Technique, Curren$y, Tyler The Creator (first time seeing him live), ASAP Mob, Common and Kid Cudi the first day. On Sunday, I ran back and forth to view IAMSU, Dizzy Wright, Dilated Peoples, Dom Kennedy, Joey Badass (really enjoyed his set), Lecrae, Deltron 3030 (said hi to Del at the Hiero booth), Black Hippy, Slick Rick and Wu Tang Clan complete with a perfectly cued OBD, ending the night in a great mood with a tight show, sans laptop tech difficulties of the previous week. Congrats and here’s to another 10 years.