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2008 Rock The Bells Festival, 8/9/08

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If you put together a dream lineup for a hip hop show, chances are it would look something like this year's Rock the Bells festival. This year's incarnation featured the reunion (finally!) of one of the most acclaimed hip hop outfits in history, A Tribe Called Quest as well as the first performance in years from California's own Pharcyde. But was from top to bottom a who's who of Hip Hop both past and present. (Story continued below photo gallery)

While not as attended as last year's Rage Against the Machine fueled fest, the 16,000+ fans were treated to one of the best assemblies of Hip Hop one will ever see. For true fans on the genre the lineup was a dream as the complete spectrum of Hip Hop was on display. Nas gave a standout performance, featuring a heavy dose of his debut and certified top 10 album, Illmatic. Method Man and Redman brought their own frenetic brand of hip hop to the bill, Mos Def was on point as always with his distinct laid back song songy flow. The day featured also a special guest on the bill, that being (East) LA's own Black Eyed Peas. The hip-hop-cum-pop rap outfit performed Fergie-less (thank god!) and showed their roots as a true Hip Hop act.

Cali's own the Pharcyde, who have played in various incarnations over the past few years, turned in one of the more frenetic and energized sets of the day, this time featuring all four members. The group blew through the hits, "Runnin'" "Yo Mamma" and closing with the ever popular "Passin' Me By". Fatlip, who has oft been deemed the reason for the breakup of the group, lead the group in a version of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative," as a middle finger to all of the haters.

However it was A Tribe Called Quest who was the ultimate draw. Q-Tip first took the stage and gave a great mini solo set, aided by Mos Def but it wasn't until he was joined on stage by the rest of the Tribe crew, Phife and Jarobi , that the set took shape. What followed was a trip through the time machine, to a time when Hip Hop was truly about the music as Tribe brought out hits like "Award Tour" and "Bonita Applebaum." Showing no rust or age, the crew was as on point as they ever have been and truly met the expectations held for the set.

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A full set of photos can be viewed here.