Cream of Elite

Sporting perhaps the greatest hip-hop bill ever, Rock the Bells enshrines rap's history—and foreshadows its future

Another remarkable return is that of Nas, once known in the Queensbridge projects as Nasty Nas. While his 1994 debut, Illmatic, is a classic, Nas has struggled to remain relevant with each subsequent album. After getting served on Jay-Z's "Takeover," Nas finally seems to be improving on his one-hot-album-every-10-years average—though 2006's Hip-Hop Is Dead was tight, unfocused, open-eared and overblown. Even so, the title does suggest a possible new motto for Rock the Bells: Hip-hop is dead; long live hip-hop.


ROCK THE BELLS AT HYUNDAI PAVILION AT GLEN HELEN, 2575 GLEN HELEN PKWY., SAN BERNARDINO; WWW.ROCKTHEBELLS.NET . SAT., 11 A.M. $76-$151. ALL AGES.

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