Hip-Hop’s Brightest Meet Up at Merriweather

Rock The Bells brought some of hip-hop's best to Merriweather Post Pavilion. Psst, we got to hang with Big Boi of Outkast!

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Alfredo Flores
Hip-hop stars including Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Nas and Common took the stage during the Rock the Bells hip-hop fest at Merriweather Post Pavilion.
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Grupo de Armas y Tácticas Especiales, GATE
Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne is one of the best in underground hip-hop. He sat down with us to discuss the hip-hop scene in his native KC.
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Alliyah S
“We try to bring the rock energy when we’re on stage,” said Tech N9ne, seen here with bandmate Krizz Kaliko—also a label mate at Strange Music, and a KC native. “Our appearance demonstrates that and our fans appreciate that energy we bring.”
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Alfredo Flores
“I’m the king of KC rap,” boasted Tech N9ne. “We like to celebrate rap, just kick it. We have fun on stage and just play real cool.”
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NBC via VOD
Krizz Kaliko up close and personal
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Alfredo Flores
Chicago native rapper Common, also an accomplished actor who was most recently seen in "Terminator: Salvation," performs at Merriweather.
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Alfredo Flores
Common debuted in 1992 with the album “Can I Borrow a Dollar?” and maintained a significant underground following into the late 90s, after which he gained notable mainstream success through his work with the Soulquarians.
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Getty Images
His first major label album, “Like Water for Chocolate,” received widespread critical acclaim and moderate commercial success.
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Alfredo Flores
Common's 2005 album “Be” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rap Album.
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AP
Common’s latest hit single, "Universal Mind Control," features Pharrell, who also produced the track. The song has a futuristic electronica sound that brings to mind old-school rap classics like "Planet Rock" by Afrika Bambaataa.
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John Audley
Big Boi is a rapper, songwriter, record producer -- and, of course, he's best known as one half of the alternative hip-hop superstar duo Outkast.
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Alfredo Flores
In contrast to his more sedate, philosophical partner André 3000, Big Boi's on-record and stage persona enjoys partying. Big Boi can be identified by his rapid-fire delivery, a style which has become more distinct since the album ATLiens.
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PIXABAY
“Life is great right now," Big Boi told us. "My first solo album ('Sir Luscious Left Foot') is done. We’ve got a new label situation. It’s a whole tidal wave of new stuff coming out.”
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Alfredo Flores
“Rock the Bells is the truest form of backpack rap that you can get to," Big Boi told us. "All of these guys are true lyrists, and are perfecting the art craft of hip-hop. Glad to be part of it all for the first time.”
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Alfredo Flores
Big Boi talks to NBC 4 backstage after his set at Merriweather.
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Big Boi talks of Outkast. His new album features the single "Lookin For Ya" with Andre 3000 and Sleepy Brown.
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Instagram / French Montana
“Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty” is the name of the upcoming solo album from Outkast member Big Boi.
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Alfredo Flores
Big Boi of Outkast backstage after his set at Merriweather.
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Telenoticias
Busta Rhymes
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Alfredo Flores
Grammy-nominated rapper Busta Rhymes was given his nickname by Chuck D of Public Enemy after former NFL wide receiver George "Buster" Rhymes
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PIXABAY
Busta Rhymes fans capturing the moment
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Busta Rhymes possesses one of the most recognizable delivery in the rap game, a halting, ragga-inspired style with incredible complexity, inventiveness and humor.
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Telemundo San Antonio
Busta Rhymes formed Leaders of the New School in 1990 and released two albums with the group before breaking out with a 1996 solo hit single, "Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check."
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Instagram / Fat Joe
Nas is heralded as one of New York's leading rap voices. Nas expressed an outspoken, self-empowered swagger that rallied the streets of his city and elsewhere.
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NBC Bay Area
Nas’ critically acclaimed debut album “Illmatic” was released in 1994 and would go on to be widely hailed a classic.
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NBC Bay Area
Busta Rhymes getting close and personal with fans
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Telemundo San Antonio
Nas has proclaimed himself "Nasty Nas," "Nas Escobar," "Nastradamus" and "God's Son."
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Mezcalent / Getty Images
Nas is the self-appointed King of New York battled numerous adversaries for his position atop the epicenter of East Coast rap, none more noteworthy than Jay-Z.
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Alfredo Flores
Nas
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Alfredo Flores
Nas
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Telemundo San Antonio
Tech N9ne with friend after show
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Alfredo Flores
Nas and his large following at Merriweather
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Telemundo San Antonio
Nas
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AP
Big Boi of Outkast
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Nas
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Alfredo Flores
Nas
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