There are all kinds of perks when working for TransWorld. Just one quick glance around our offices and you can see autographed decks we never gave away, homemade art from pro skaters, cardboard boxes full of T-shirts and hardware, a stack of skate mags from around the world we don’t even subscribe to, and so on. But every once in a while, an opportunity comes through that strikes a chord close to home. This time it would be VIP/backstage/photo passes to the Rock The Bells festival boasting Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg, and the entire Wu Tang Clan among many other artists. As unabashed hip hop fanatics, we didn’t pass this one up.

Upon arrival in the sweltering city of San Bernardino, we headed straight to the VIP Heineken lounge and started in on $12.50 beverages. Hell, if we didn’t pay for tickets, we figured we’d drink that much in brew. Mike Carroll, Brian Anderson, Sam Smyth, and Nick Tershay had a similar notion and were enjoying themselves when we rolled in. Sam informed us that KRS-ONE had just finished and Lauryn Hill was up next. The cast of characters in the VIP (Barney) zone were photogenic enough for us, so we waited out the heat to the parade of these wonderful IE dancers. Yes, something special was in the air.

Words, Photos, & Video By Blair Alley


Fashion risks in the VIP.

Once we heard the announcers call out Tribe Called Quest, we knew it was time to brave the sun and crowds and get our asses to the VIP area stage center to witness Q-Tip and Phife play Midnight Marauders all the way through. Little did we know our passes would get us right up front about ten feet from the Queens duo with not a lot of photographers in our way. Amazing. The next few hours can only be described as pure 90s hip hop heaven as the entire Wu took the stage complete with ODB’s first born son, Boy Jones, and performed 36 Chambers start to finish. If you’re a Wu Tang fan like most of us skaters, words cannot describe the feelings of elation we felt as the Clan bounced about with baseball bats, Ghost let loose his lazer beam vocals, and Method Man goofed off with a carton of O.J. (?)


On point all the time, Phife and Tip.

After Shaolin’s finest, LBC loc Snoop Dogg closed out the night performing Doggystyle in its entirety complete with a cinematic intro and interludes and cameos from Lady Of Rage, Nate Dogg, Warren G, Kurupt, Daz, RBX, and more. Major shout outs to our man X and the whole Rock The Bells family. Be sure to check the remaining stops in New York and Washington D.C.


Phife stayin’ healthy.


Midnight Marauders, start to finish.


Oh shit.


Method Man on deck.


The GZA!


ODB’s son lookin’ just like his pops!


Tical does his best MJ impersonation.


Raekwon still cheffin’.


Pretty Toney.


This photo sums up how we felt. The entire Wu in our faces with bats performing their first album all the way through.


Meth shows the importance of getting your vitamin C.


Ghost and GZA.

Lady Of Rage come out just before…


Aw, hell!


Tha Doggfather!



Kurupt & Nate Dogg. Seriously, go see this show if you can!