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2023 Rock The Bells Festival

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty


 

It was just last year that hip-hop legend LL Cool J — even the word “legend” seems like an understatement given his pioneering track record in rap! — reclaimed the long-running Rock The Bells Festival that he helped to inspire with one classic song off his 1985 debut album, Radio. After a nine-year period from 2004 to 2013 where the festival ran with no involvement from him, LL took the organizers to court in 2018 following the festival’s infamous four-year hiatus. Well, the multifaceted Rap Renaissance Man got his way, and it was definitely for the best as he’s been doing a stellar job at curating a lineup of emcees both male and female, solo stars and groups alike, that each compliment his unwavering legacy in the game.

All of that and so much more was proven to be true in NYC this past Saturday (August 5), where Rock The Bells Fest 2023 once again took over Forest Hills Stadium in LL’s hometown of Queens, New York with a who’s-who of elites from ’90s and 2000s hip-hop culture, including Run-DMC, Ludacris, the dynamic duo Method Man & Redman, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane, Swizz Beatz, Salt N Pepa, Rakim, Slick Rick, Boot Camp Clik, MC Lyte, Yo-Yo — happy birthday again, queen! — pioneering femcee MC Sha-Rock, Monie Love, Black Sheep, Roxanne Shanté, Jungle Brothers, Brand Nubian, Cold Crush Brothers and Lost Boyz.

…see, told ya!


 

RELATED: Recap: LL Cool J Revives Rock The Bells Festival In NYC With A Star-Studded Lineup Of Rap Legends

The weather was on everyone’s side all day as NYC’s clear and sunny summer sky made way for each performer to do their thing uninterrupted in between DJ sets by legends Kid Capri, DJ Red Alert, DJ Hurricane and DJ Hollywood. Also on deck to serve up hosting duties was iconic Yo! MTV Raps VJ Ed Lover, who at one point gave a speech to the attentive crowd that had everyone feeling nostalgic for things like beepers, customized voicemails and house parties with actual dancing until 4AM. Thankfully, the gathering felt like one big return to form for all in attendance at the packed Forest Hills Stadium.

Highlights included Run-DMC defiantly performing every single second of their set by not letting anyone rush them off — well, that is until one guy attempted to “pull a Lil Mama” by bum-rushing the stage — Method Man and Redman proving that spitting is what they do best with a display of nonstop masterful lyrical prowess, Swizz bringing out Beanie Sigel and his new star Scar Lip while simutaneously paying homage on his back to the late DMX, Slick Rick celebrating 36 groundbreaking years of relevancy with his debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick and lastly Queen Latifah bringing out a few legendary ladies of rap (Monie Love, Yo-Yo, Remy Ma, Rapsody, MC Lyte, Renée Neufville of Zhané) while simultaneously schooling us all on how deep her Flavor Unit roster goes — past clients included Outkast, Monica, SWV and even LL Cool J himself! Big Boi was in the building to represent for the former group, while Treach and Vin Rock of Naughty By Nature came out to show love as well for their sister in beats, rhymes and business.

LL Cool J’s headlining set was show-stopping as per usual, complete with pyrotechnics, B-boys, The Roots filling in as his stage band, an assist on the turntables by DJ Z-Trip and a standout performance of “4, 3, 2, 1” alongside Meth, Red and Black Thought rapping the late DMX’s verse. Not surprisingly, Canibus unfortunately didn’t make it to the reunion.


 

 

Overall, it was quite a ‘rapper’s delight’ for us to experience Rock The Bells Fest for a second year in a row, and we absolutely can’t wait to see how it grows in the coming years as well. Those who couldn’t make it to NYC this past weekend will have another opportunity for a similar experience in a city near you, as LL Cool J also has The F.O.R.C.E. Tour coming up with many emcees that performed at RTB on the bill in addition to various others. That tour kicks off in Baltimore, Maryland this Friday (August 11). As with many rap-related activations this year, it’s all in celebration of 2023 being the 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

So far, so fun!


 

Take a look below at more pics from the day and night at Rock The Bells Festival 2023:

 

 


The post Rock The Bells Fest 2023: LL Cool J Stuns In NYC Again With Help From Queen Latifah, Run-DMC, De La Soul + More appeared first on Black America Web.

Rock The Bells Fest 2023: LL Cool J Stuns In NYC Again With Help From Queen Latifah, Run-DMC, De La Soul + More  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com

1. Rock The Bells Festival 2013

Rock The Bells Festival 2013 Source:Zion Reid / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

2. Daytime at Rock The Bells Festival 2023

Daytime at Rock The Bells Festival 2023 Source:Keenan "HIGz" Higgins / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

3. Slick Rick

Slick Rick Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

4. Buckshot Shorty of Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik

Buckshot Shorty of Black Moon and Boot Camp Clik Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

5. Steele of Cocoa Brovaz

Steele of Cocoa Brovaz Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

6. Rockness of Boot Camp Clik and Heltah Skeltah

Rockness of Boot Camp Clik and Heltah Skeltah Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

7. Lord Jamar, Grand Puba and Sadat X of Brand Nubian

Lord Jamar, Grand Puba and Sadat X of Brand Nubian Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

8. Monie Love and Roxanne Shanté

Monie Love and Roxanne Shanté Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

9. LL Cool J

LL Cool J Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

10. LL Cool J and Scar Lip

LL Cool J and Scar Lip Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

11. Mr. Cheeks of Lost Boyz

Mr. Cheeks of Lost Boyz Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

12. Chi-Ali of Native Tongues Crew

Chi-Ali of Native Tongues Crew Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

13. Swizz Beatz honors the late DMX on his jersey

Swizz Beatz honors the late DMX on his jersey Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

14. Beanie Sigel and Swizz Beatz

Beanie Sigel and Swizz Beatz Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

15. Method Man and Redman

Method Man and Redman Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

16. Salt N Pepa

Salt N Pepa Source:Zion Reid / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

17. Beanie Sigel

Beanie Sigel Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

18. Grand Master Flash

Grand Master Flash Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

19. Mike Gee of Jungle Brothers and Cool DJ Red Alert

Mike Gee of Jungle Brothers and Cool DJ Red Alert Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

20. Rakim

Rakim Source:Keenan "HIGz" Higgins / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

21. Drez of Black Sheep

Drez of Black Sheep Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

22. Rock The Bells Festival

Rock The Bells Festival Source:Keenan "HIGz" Higgins / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival rock the bells festival

23. Mike Gee of Jungle Brothers and Kelvin Mercer of De La Soul

Mike Gee of Jungle Brothers and Kelvin Mercer of De La Soul Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

24. Remy Ma, Papoose and daughter Reminisce MacKenzie

Remy Ma, Papoose and daughter Reminisce MacKenzie Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

25. MC Lyte and Queen Latifah

MC Lyte and Queen Latifah Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

26. Queen Latifah performs with a stage full of rap queens

Queen Latifah performs with a stage full of rap queens Source:Zion Reid / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

27. Kid Capri

Kid Capri Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

28. Ludacris

Ludacris Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

29. MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Yo-Yo

MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, and Yo-Yo Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

30. Big Boi of Outkast

Big Boi of Outkast Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

31. Grandmaster Caz, Grand Puba, Papoose and Torae Carr

Grandmaster Caz, Grand Puba, Papoose and Torae Carr Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

32. Steele and Rockness of Boot Camp Clik with Method Man

Steele and Rockness of Boot Camp Clik with Method Man Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

33. Black Thought of The Roots

Black Thought of The Roots Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

34. Run-DMC

Run-DMC Source:Zion Reid / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023 

35. LL Cool J

LL Cool J Source:Getty

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023

36. The night at Rock The Bells Festival 2023

The night at Rock The Bells Festival 2023 Source:Keenan "HIGz" Higgins / REACH Media

Rock The Bells Festival 2023
Forest Hills Stadium, Queens, New York
August 05, 2023