Few things excite me nowadays. The smell of newly purchased, unworn sneakers. The first bite into a meal I’d been anxiously waiting on since I read it off the menu to my server. A game-winning play to end a really close, action-packed game. Needless to say, music is closer to the lower end of that totem pole.
So when I originally heard Lauryn Hill was going to perform at Rock The Bells a few weeks ago, I actually got excited at the possibility of seeing her live for the first time ever before quickly realizing that it’s 2010 and the Lauryn I followed mentally died about ten years prior. Now, after reneging on performing at Rock The Bells then reneging on that, I’m not really gassed to see her that much anymore. Premature ejaculation for the soul, I say.
However, the remainder of the headliners has piqued my interest greatly. I’ve seen DJ Premier perform plenty of times, and I’ve also seen enough Gang Starr-slash-Guru tributes in the past few months to last me a lifetime, yet Primo’s dedication to his craft and catalog has always and will always command my respect. The few times I was at an event where all four… errr… three-and-a-half members (Jarobi was only on their debut. How does that make still make him a full member?) of A Tribe Called Quest appeared I always ended up leaving prematurely, so it’s a bonus to see them perform Midnight Marauders in its entirety. I haven’t really liked a Snoop Dogg song since “The One & Only,” and that was ironically for its DJ Premier-produced beat, but seeing him perform Doggystyle is much better than seeing him do any of those songs he made when he was signed to No Limit.
Most of all, the Rock The Bells concert series has become more or less the preeminent concert for the nostalgia-ridden, aging rapster fan such as myself who stopped looking for Summer Jam moments years ago, and wouldn’t care even if DJ Khaled brought out Jesus, Muhammad, Joseph Smith and the rest of the Super Best Friends on stage at Summer Jam every year. Needless to say I care more for the music I used to plot capers to when I was used to work at Macy’s, and less for 45 various rapsters sharing three microphones and screaming back at the audience with a quasi-vengeful fury and other such Summer Jam moments.
It’s interesting to see how this year’s Rock The Bells will turn out, as its predecessor last year was infamous for one of Raekwon’s goons punching Joe Budden in his eye. I’m not anticipating more black-on-black violence to amuse me, but if this year’s lineup is any indication I won’t have secretly wish for someone to catch an eye jammie to make the show better.