Rock The Bells 2011 finally made its way to New York City. The line-up on the main stage started with Random Axe. This year was a huge year for them and they owned the stage like veterans. You already know they blew the house down. Then came Black Star. Shout out to Mos Def for showing tha Lady Blogga love ( yes, yes y’all he knows the name). Looking like he just stepped off a Broadway stage, Mos Def and Talib Kweli showed the new school how its done. Then reppin’ the left coast was Cypress Hill. Bringing their old school “Insane in the Membrane” along with their new tracks. As usual, they repped it well.
Next up were the ladies…
Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill were the ladies Rockin’ the Bells this year. It was dope to see this women juggling their work and family as they both had their offspring in tow. RTB never had any women on the bill until Jasmine Solano opened in 2009 and Lauryn Hill headlined last year. IT’s ABOUT TIME GUERILLA UNION!!!
Erykah Badu killed her set. Performing in khakis, a jean shirt and some dope ass gold boots, she went old school to new school… east coast to west coast and did the damn thing. She is flawless in person and her performance was top notch. Singing all the classics from Baduizm with some others sprinkled in, she had dudes screaming her name and singing her chorus… And not many women can do that without exposing themselves. Lol
Next was Lauryn Hill. While some people believe she killed her set, others seem to think she stunk it up. Opening with “Lost Ones” and “Ex Factor” she definitely stepped her set up from last year’s performance. Coming with the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill library, she moved through her set at a slow pace at first. Dragging out the tunes too long at some points, she finally picked up the pace and moved along.
Ms. Hill came equipped with an elaborate set and entourage. She had about 5 or 6 different stylists and assistants and she yelled at all of them for something. She seemed very demanding in her requests. She even felt the need to come off stage and get spruced up while the crowd waited. Yea, go figure.
Closing with traditional FuGee classics Ready or Not and FuGee La, Pras joined her on stage for a mini-reunion. Although it was 2 out of 3, They brought the FuGees alive. This by far was the best few minutes of her performance. Lauryn ended with Killing Me Softly and even blessed the crowd with the presence of her children, minus the newborn. She is still dope and I hope she continues her quest for a comeback. While she’s proven she can still rock the classics, we need her in the studio with new material… ASAP