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RTB 2012: DJ Lance Rock, Watsky, and Pusha T

And we are off. For those who came when the gates open, this is how we start Rock The Bells 2012 in the Bay, with DJ Lance Rock and Friends doing a DJ set on the main stage. Meanwhile on the 36 Chambers stage, we have Watsky. Put it this way, if you put the Watsky in a lineup with all the artists here, he’ll stick out, to say the least. Skinny and still possessing his babyface and adolescent awkwardness, he’s exactly the type of rapper that would expect to namedrop Woody Allen. He’s also one to wear his awkwardness on his sleeve.

Words: Kevin Lee, Pictures: Waylan Choy / August 25, 2012


And we are off. For those who came when the gates open, this is how we start Rock The Bells 2012 in the Bay, with DJ Lance Rock and Friends doing a DJ set on the main stage.

Meanwhile on the 36 Chambers stage, we have Watsky. Put it this way, if you put the Watsky in a lineup with all the artists here, he’ll stick out, to say the least. Skinny and still possessing his babyface and adolescent awkwardness, he’s exactly the type of rapper that would expect to namedrop Woody Allen. He’s also one to wear his awkwardness on his sleeve. One of his first songs he performed was “Seizure Boy”, a detailed account of his childhood seizure episodes during gym class, where he recounts how he faced death and the embarrassment of going through conniptions in front of the girl he likes–at the same time. Watsky however is not some green kid but a skilled, honed performer, an alumnus of the Brave New Voices spoken word circuit that also gave rise to Los Rakas and other emerging artists Bay artists. He shows off his skills with a mid-set a capella with the occasional doubletime, name drops Richard Scarry, and punchlines with chatspeak. By the end of the set, he plays “IDGAF” (maybe his one confrontational track) and weaves a bit of Pink Floyd in there (“We don’t need no education”). Funny dude, completely unlike his followups (like Pusha T and Naughty By Nature) but he brought the budding crowd into the action. Dissing the LA Dodgers surely didn’t hurt.

Pusha T followed on the 36 Chambers stage after the requisite break, and his set would be of far more familiar territory for the audience, as he opens with his collab with Kanye that was on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and continues with the Clipse classic “Grindin’”. But when he started to play his new solo material, especially “Exodus 23:1”, he brought on a new intensity.

posted: August 25th, 2012, 4:44pm



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