Posted in hiphop | music | pictures on July 30, 2007

Mysteriously, Hip Hop Wes found himself with backstage - AND ONSTAGE - access at this year's Rock the Bells festival in NYC (Saturday July 28, 2007). Here are some of the photos he took....

Redman & Flavor Flav
Rock the Bells

the crowd @ Randall's Island
Rock the Bells

more below....

Method Man & RZA (Wu-Tang Clan)
Rock the Bells

Ghostface, Rae, Rza, & more
Rock the Bells

Rza & Raekwon
Rock the Bells

Sen Dog (Cypress Hill)
Rock the Bells

B Real (Cypress Hill)
Rock the Bells

The Roots
Rock the Bells

The Roots
Rock the Bells

B Real (Cypress Hill)
Rock the Bells

Ends up he didn't have a great view for Rage - so no pics of them, but there are a few more shots of the crowd and the artists you see above - @ his Flickr. More Rock the Bells in this week's Hip Hop post too.

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Comments (58)

I'd like to see crowd pics or video from the Rage performance. Absolutely f-cking insane... Rage killed it!

Posted by feelthebuzz.net | July 30, 2007 12:12 PM

rage blew me away on sunday. missing a couple of favorites, and the set seemed like it could have been longer, but all and all it was killer.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 12:35 PM

Agreed, Rage definitely killed it. Wu-Tang and Black Starr were awesome too.

Posted by Tremags | July 30, 2007 12:39 PM

rage 7/28 was pure energy.

Posted by Jp | July 30, 2007 12:50 PM

i went to the sunday show and even though it rained a lot in the beginning, it definitely added to the excitement of the show. out in the field some big dudes were mud wrestling and it seemed like they were getting more cheers than Rakim who was on stage at the time. but Rage was effin' amazing!!! Totally blew me away and such a dream come true to see them live, in front of the stage in the mosh pits! Definitely one of the best moments in my life so far.

Posted by wondermarq | July 30, 2007 12:54 PM

i went to the sunday show and even though it rained a lot in the beginning, it definitely added to the excitement of the show. out in the field some big dudes were mud wrestling and it seemed like they were getting more cheers than Rakim who was on stage at the time. but Rage was effin' amazing!!! Totally blew me away and such a dream come true to see them live, in front of the stage in the mosh pits! Definitely one of the best moments in my life so far.

Posted by wondermarq | July 30, 2007 12:55 PM

seeing rage was one of the best moments in your life so far huh?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 12:57 PM

Why are there no black people at this show?

Posted by anonymous | July 30, 2007 1:00 PM

Why were there no black people at the show?

I blame The Roots. Black people don't listen to The Roots.

Posted by anonymosdef | July 30, 2007 1:05 PM

when white college kids and other mainstreamers have totally devoured a culture, the original devotees either refuse to support or no longer can afford to participate in that culture.

see williamsburg/hipster trolling.

Posted by chris | July 30, 2007 1:16 PM

tickets were like 100 bucks, what black people spend that on a show?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 1:19 PM

Actually, it seemed mainly a rock&roll crowd.

I saw more minorities ironically enough at Ozzfest a few years a back, and almost as many metal t-shirts at Rock the Bells

Posted by Reg! | July 30, 2007 1:30 PM

very true - black people wouldn't spend $100 on acts that we've seen for far less money back before white people got past their fear of other races and finally figured out how good these groups / artists are.

we have more sense than that.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 1:33 PM

Crackers are the main devourers of washed-up acts or reformed groups like this bill--black folk ain't into nostalgia as much. Look at that bill--nothing relevant in years!!!

Posted by eggshells | July 30, 2007 1:39 PM

Let me try to explain my observation that summed up Rock the Bells for me:

During Cypress Hill's classic sing-a-long "Hand on the Pump" the lyrics go...

"Saw'd off shotgun, hand on the pump, suckin on the 40, puffin on the blunt, got my shotgun, NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED la la lal la la la la"

When B-Real pointed the Mic to the crowd for the "NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED!!" part (which is usually the loudest part of their show) the crowd went silent. Not because they didn't know the words...

... but because everybody there was a middleclass white kid that didn't want to offend anybody.

sweet scene.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 1:53 PM

This was basically a Rage Against The Machine concert. None of the acts other than Rage would've drawn more than a Webster Hall show.

The place was crammed all day but didn't fully pack out till mid Wu Tang, in preparation for Rage. Anyone who was waiting as I did for nearly two hours for the buses off the island knows that this was a Rage Against The Machine show - primarily.

Posted by anonymosdef | July 30, 2007 1:56 PM

it was primarily a Rage show

and they did fucking own it

but i mean wow

Wu Tang and Cypress

Rakim and Blackstar

they really did engage the crowd

for prob among the few who wouldve gone w or w out Rage

it was a transcendant day

not to mention Public Enemy

who prob had the set of the day aside from Rage

Posted by 21 | July 30, 2007 2:03 PM

This show reminded me of all the reasons why Rage Against The Machine are amazing.

Posted by yoyoyo | July 30, 2007 2:04 PM

"very true - black people wouldn't spend $100 on acts that we've seen for far less money back before white people got past their fear of other races and finally figured out how good these groups / artists are.

we have more sense than that."

"Crackers are the main devourers of washed-up acts or reformed groups like this bill--black folk ain't into nostalgia as much. Look at that bill--nothing relevant in years!!!"

"When B-Real pointed the Mic to the crowd for the "NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED!!" part (which is usually the loudest part of their show) the crowd went silent. Not because they didn't know the words...

... but because everybody there was a middleclass white kid that didn't want to offend anybody."


These are some of the dumbest statements I have heard in a long time. They are all completely generalized and wrong. Please stop being stupid.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:06 PM

Doom definitely didn't play for the hour that was listed on the program on Sunday. But he did bring Talib on to do Old School as the closer of the set. So that was good.

And I think I almost died in the mosh pits during the Rage set. I saw some drunk asshole get off about six or seven punches to the head of some poor kid right as the Rage set was starting. That pretty much set the tone right there.

Posted by IA | July 30, 2007 2:08 PM

anonymosdef is right on.

The three most obvious things about this crowd were:
a) they were not NYC
b) they were young
and
c) were there to see Rage.

It would have been a much better hip hop fest had they left off rage and brought this somewhere smaller.

NYC cats don't really need to shell out the cream for hip hop in the summer. You get some classic shit for free all the time. This summer alone is what, Ghost, KRS-1, BCC, Lauren Hill, Nas, Brand Nubian, Biz Markie, Slick Rick, dead prez, etc. And that's the free shit. Throw in some reasonably priced SOB throwdowns (with special guests) and the occasional BB Kings headliner and it's no wonder these people didn't come out.

That said, it was nice to see many of these artists that I hadn't seen before. I packed in a hell of a lot of quality hip hop that I had wanted to see in a day.

And it was funny as hell to see Immortal Technique shout out "Where Harlem at?"
The answer being "over there."

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:20 PM

is that what the arcade fire show will look like, or will it be at icahn stadium?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:21 PM

@ anon 2:06pm:

great, now you see how stereotyping works. i hope the irony isn't lost on you.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:30 PM

anyone got pics from the YYY's show at STereo from Saturday night? i saw a lot of camera phones up. but very few people there also.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:32 PM

"When B-Real pointed the Mic to the crowd for the "NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED!!" part (which is usually the loudest part of their show) the crowd went silent. Not because they didn't know the words...

... but because everybody there was a middleclass white kid that didn't want to offend anybody."


These are some of the dumbest statements I have heard in a long time. They are all completely generalized and wrong. Please stop being stupid.

It happened, give me another explanation, and its not because people didn't know the words...


Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:54 PM

Re: Anon 2:21, Rock The Bells WAS at Ichan Stadium on Randall's Island, wasn't it? I drove by on the Triboro last night and heard Rage ("People Of The Sun," I think).

But yeah, if that second pic is what being in the Arcade Fire crowd will be like, ugh, forget it.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 2:54 PM

HIP HOP IS DEAD

Posted by watnow | July 30, 2007 3:08 PM

went on saturday, and i must say, most of the crowd was definitely just there to see rage. the crowd at the paid dues stage was so thin the entire time... that made it pretty obvious that people weren't really there to check for real hip-hop. people clearly just valued rage so much that $100+/ticket was reasonable.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 3:23 PM

rage was good as ever. the set was as tight as when i saw them in around 2000 during the battle of LA tour. But people seem to be neglecting the hightlight of the day. SCOTT IAN SHOWED UP DURING PE'S SET FOR BRING DA NOISE!!!!

Posted by anon | July 30, 2007 3:35 PM

Sidestage is the only way to see shows. GenPop sucks!

Posted by Whiskas | July 30, 2007 3:51 PM

i was on the 4 train heading downtown when i encountered the crowd getting on at 125th street.
at first i was confused when i saw tons of white kids on the platform. then i figured that the show was that day.

but yeah, i'm glad i'm not the only one that noticed the lack of brown at the show. sure, i wasn't there to help the ratio out, but were these kids really into the music?

besides the obvious lack of a parallel there is with hip hop and their lives...but were they all that into rage? these kids looked like they were leaving a dave matthews mixer. so odd to me.

was it just a cool thing to do that weekend?

Posted by Rach | July 30, 2007 3:55 PM

i was also at this show on Saturday. Yes i LOVE Rage, but i wanted to see so many other acts. I've loved the Roots, Wu Tang, Sage Francis, Cypress Hill, Blackstar, Felt and most of the acts on this bill forever. It definately was mostly a Rage show, which definately impacted the way the crowd reacted. Method Man was constantly telling the crowd that the energy we give to them is the energy we will recieve. And the crowd didn't seem to be that into it. However I had a brilliant day. Rage, Wu, Cypress Hill, Brother Ali, Blackstar and The Roots KILLED.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 4:46 PM

What's with all the racism from both blacks and whites in these comments? Clearly we should be beyond that. If a bunch of white kids want to shell out cash to get drunk and go to a festival, let them. Who cares? Everyone has seen all of those bands on multiple occassions, so no need to be jealous and there is NEVER a need to be racist. Why would a white person want to say the word "nigga", I think it's a good thing they shut their mouths, at least they weren't being racist. I also thought the 7/28 show was pretty good all around... although roots were a little disappointing.

Posted by james | July 30, 2007 4:52 PM

Yes because music is not universal. White kids should listen to one type of music and drink out of certain water fountains and black kids should listen to their own type of music and drink out separate water fountains. If you are white you cannot enjoy black music today the way white people have enjoyed soul, R&B, jazz, blues and rock played by black artists since forever. White people have never attended concerts by black artists until the hipsters in Williamsburg started doing it this year.

This is a really fucking idiotic, backward argument.

Posted by will | July 30, 2007 4:59 PM

no kidding.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 5:23 PM

$100 is well worth it for 6+ really great acts—including a couple of reunions.

oh, and hipsters were as much a minority as blacks/hispanics—the majority of the crowd were frat boys who liked to show off their porcelain white beer guts by not wearing shirts.

and the 103rd footbridge is an awesome discovery. and the footbridge on the triboro got you back to 125th faster than the buses.

Posted by anon | July 30, 2007 5:29 PM

"tickets were like 100 bucks, what black people spend that on a show?"

lots of black people paid exactly that to see lil wayne two weeks ago. it's the festival aspect, the roots, and most importantly rage that made this white.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 6:02 PM

why is it white people's fault that they have better taste in hip hop than black people?


....obviously i'm kidding but when you blame white people for being there... the argument can go the other way also. who cares who was at the concert?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 6:51 PM

why is it white people's fault that they have better taste in hip hop than black people?


....obviously i'm kidding but when you blame white people for being there... the argument can go the other way also. who cares who was at the concert?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2007 6:52 PM

hah-- a little late to the party but uh, yeah:

more black people on stage or in the audience?

NOTE: 99.99999999% it's white folks who don't like that kind of question, or think "we should be past it" already. uh-huh.

Posted by The Original Spinderella | July 30, 2007 7:31 PM

Again, this is some of the dumbest arguments i have seen on here and that is saying a lot. There unfortunately was nothing ironic in them.
Now for the person saying no white people were singing along to B Real saying NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED, i dont know where you were but there were plenty of white people screaming it out where i was. And the crowd was loudly chanting along to Wu Tang's SHAME ON A NIGGA WHO TRIES TO RUN GAME ON A NIGGA.
Plus maybe Sat's show was sparse at the paid dues tent but Sun was live out there. Tons of kids at Doom's set going wild.
Such a great day and the idiots make it out on here that no black people went to this show. There were plenty of black faces in the crowd that i saw as well as asian, puerto rican and others. Was the majority white, yes but so what. Grow up and start making new arguments and not throwing out the same tired old bullshit.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 3:19 AM

And you know it is so sad cause Hip Hop is such beautiful powerful music and Rage Against The Machine's music has so much in common with it. It is so sad the connections this show was trying to make is lost in the nonsense of racial bickering.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 3:22 AM

I'm confused.....was this a white people only event?
I must say, I didn't get to RSVP at going. Outrageous!

Hip hop is dead.

Posted by Gwai Lo | July 31, 2007 8:11 AM

Also...this is the truest post in this whole section:

"when white college kids and other mainstreamers have totally devoured a culture, the original devotees either refuse to support or no longer can afford to participate in that culture.

see williamsburg/hipster trolling."

Well said, Chris

Posted by Hok Gwai | July 31, 2007 8:13 AM

"Now for the person saying no white people were singing along to B Real saying NIGGAS GETTIN JUMPED, i dont know where you were but there were plenty of white people screaming it out where i was."

And why were there no black people at the show again?

I was on the other side of the Mason -Dixon, thanks.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 8:17 AM

i went to weezy, i didn't want to go to rock the bells cuz i figured it'd just be a lot of white kids.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 10:08 AM

I heard method man was crowd surfing. How come there werent any pictures of that?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 10:47 AM

"Also...this is the truest post in this whole section:

"when white college kids and other mainstreamers have totally devoured a culture, the original devotees either refuse to support or no longer can afford to participate in that culture.

see williamsburg/hipster trolling."

Well said, Chris

Posted by Hok Gwai | July 31, 2007 8:13 AM"

Actually this was one of the more dumb and wrong statements and to agree with it shows you to be as foolish

What are you basing any of this on? Do you think this is the only hip hop event in town? You do realize that there are shows like this almost all the time just not as huge. But in small clubs, basements, street corners etc. To say that the culture is smothered by white people to the point of black people not being able to or not willing to support or be involved in it is so fucking stupid and incorrect. It shows you have absolutely no idea about hip hop in the past or in the present.

And please people stop saying there were no black people at the show. For christs sake

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 12:34 PM

I would guess that the economic viability of some people to support a show like this has nothing to do with the desire to want to support a show like this. I love maseratis and i want the brand new maserati. Unfortunately the cost is too much for me to be able to buy it. This idea that this show was not supported by a certain race of people because of white people's immersion in it is such a simplistic view of the entire situation

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 12:41 PM

"Also...this is the truest post in this whole section:

"when white college kids and other mainstreamers have totally devoured a culture, the original devotees either refuse to support or no longer can afford to participate in that culture.

see williamsburg/hipster trolling."

Well said, Chris

This is a load of shit.

who the hell do you think buys all of these hip hop records??


white kids in the suburbs. hip hop would be nothing without them. You think that Russell Simmons made all of his millions from inner-city youth buying cdr's on the street.

give me a break. know your fact before posting naive self promoting comments

Posted by julian | July 31, 2007 1:17 PM

Front row for Rage 7/28... was unreal. Best experience in a long time.

Posted by mike | July 31, 2007 1:48 PM

the entire show was great, but rage really rocked it. morello is a phenomenal guitarist. anyone know why erykah badu was a no show?

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2007 4:48 PM


Allhiphop.com just posted their review. Looks like they agree:

http://allhiphop.com/blogs/reviews/archive/2007/08/01/18342784.aspx

Posted by Anonymous | August 1, 2007 2:13 PM

"but were these kids really into the music?

besides the obvious lack of a parallel there is with hip hop and their lives...but were they all that into rage? these kids looked like they were leaving a dave matthews mixer. so odd to me.

was it just a cool thing to do that weekend?"

Yes, there were a lot of white folks...more hippies than I expected - I was there Sunday. I was most surprised at Wu's set. I was the only person of color where I was standing and every single person was singing along to Wu's songs and throwing up the W. I think there were equal amounts of people there to see THE WHOLE SHOW or even leave before Rage and just to see Rage. Either way, it was an awesome day - despite the rain and the assholes - and worth every penny.

Posted by Lindsay | August 1, 2007 4:23 PM

I hope you don't mind, I used one of your Randall's Island pics in my blog. Let me know if it's a problem. Great great pics.

Posted by Neil | August 4, 2007 3:27 PM

fuck yeah rage killed it the pits were insane!!
and wu was incredible

Posted by Joel Rackliffe | February 14, 2008 3:47 AM

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