Paid Dues Fest 2011 Review
San Bernardino played host to the sixth annual Paid Dues Festival, the largest Independent hip-hop concert in Southern California. With three stages, there was no cshortage of entertainment options throughout the day to excite the many thousands of fans from throughout the West Coast and beyond.
One of the crowd favorites was E-40, best known for “Tell me When To Go,” which reached #35 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 charts. This best-selling artist brought with him his usual cast of family members, including his son, Droop-E, and sister, Suga-T. Playing on the mid-sized Dues Paid stage, the crowd went back further than the artists could see as the darkness of night had long since set in. Paying homage to Nate Dogg, E-40 covered Snoop Dogg featuring Nate Dogg’s Smoke Weed Every Day.
Earlier in the night, Murs brought the crowd alive by playing songs beyond the hip-hop genre of the day, including Walk Like an Egpyptian from the Bangles and Rage Against the Machine’s Bulls on Parade, as well as many others. Fans in the front of the crowd were especially thankful of the numerous pictures Murs was glad to take with them after his show.
This event was sponsored by Monster, with their caffeine-filled drinks (incredibly popular in the Inland Empire) flowing like water in the VIP and media areas. The food vendors were also well selected, though the lines were long, unless you opted for the VIP upgrade. Those who did fork out for the VIP section found themselves with plush couches, free alcoholic drinks, a private food vendor with no line, Paid Dues branded backpacks and, most importantly, VIP meet and greet with many of the headliners of the show, including Dead Prez (featured to the right), Asher Roth and many more. Whether fans paid regular price or VIP, a portion of the proceeds from Paid Dues went to benefit Habitat for Humanity.
Numerous artists also performed on the GrindtimeNow stage, including headliner Slaughterhouse. This indoor stage was set to a unique backdrop- a mixed martial arts octagon inside an eight-foot high chain-linked fence. Several artists admitted that they’ve never performed on such a stage before. The pitch-black indoor setting also allowed for interesting lighting, despite the daylight outside.
While the artists came from up and down the West Coast and across the nation, many have roots and insight into inland Southern California that they were happy to share. Mestizo of Machina Muerte (Facebook/Twitter) grew up in El Monte and formerly resided in Rancho Cucamonga. His fellow Machina Muerte crew member, Isaiah Toothtaker (Facebook), is a purveyor of the inland tattoo culture given his Tucson, AZ tattoo shop, Staring Without Caring.
Other artists were glad to open up on their poetic thoughts, including Opio of Hieroglyphics, whose crew, Souls of Mischief, is best known for the hit From 93 to Infinity. Hailing from Oakland, his disappointment with the acquittal of a BART police officer for “murder[ing] in cold blood” the young, unarmed Oscar Grant was clear. He described Jay-Z as his favorite mainstream hip-hop artist and plans to release a solo album entitled Vultures Wisdom Volume II this summer.
Paid Dues marks but one of four hip-hop concerts every year at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds in San Bernardino promoted and organized by Guerilla Union based in Pomona. The other three festivals are Rock the Bells, which played host to Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang Clan and Ms. Lauryn Hill this past year, Cypress Hill’s Smoke Out, which featured Incubus in 2010, and Spring Gathering, only in it’s second year, which will host Snoop Dogg, Cypress Hill and Travis Barker in June 2011. Guerilla Union promises an equally strong lineup when Rock the Bells and Smoke Out return to the Inland Empire later this year.
Paid Dues Fest 2011 Photos
Paid Dues Fest 2011 Preview
The Paid Dues Festis coming soon to San Bernardino’s National Orange Show (NOS) Fairgrounds on April 2, 2011. This year marks the sixth year for the show, with a lineup that is being promoted as the most ambitious to date. Paid Dues bills itself as an independent, all-day, all ages hip hop music and lifestyle event.
The Dues Paid Stage will feature all west-coast artists, with highlights including E-40 and Murs. The full lineup features:
E-40 (“Tell me When to Go“), Murs, Andre Nickatina, NipseyHu$$le, The Shock G Trio featuring Humpty Hump and DJ Fuse, Eligh, Mistah F.A.B., Visionaries, Black Hippy, Dom Kennedy, U-N-I, King Fantastic, Skeme, Casey Veggies, Droop-E, Noa James
The Paid Dues Stage also includes an impressive lineup:
Mos Def & Talib Kweli (“Get By“) are Black Star, Immortal Technique, Bun B, Sage Francis, Asher Roth (of “I Love College” fame) & Nottz are Rawth, Heavy Metal Kings, P.O.S., Dead Prez (“Hip Hop“), Krizz Kaliko, Binary Star, Tabi Bonney, Eternia, Sab The Artist aka Musab
The Grind Time Now Stage will integrate emcee battle elements for the first time, with artists including:
Slaughterhouse, DJ Muggs vs. Sick Jacken + Bambu + Planet Asia, DJ Exile vs. Blu & Fashawn + Grieves w/ Budo, Opio of Hieroglyphics, Chino XL, Invincible, Machina Muerte, Intuition, Dee-1, Blame One, DJ Freshh
This line up is full of hip hop stars and legends, but we are really looking forward to Lil B the Based God (“Freedom,” “Remember the Name,” “Pretty Boy “) who has built plenty of buzz online over the past year. The Based God brings his swag to the festival setting as a warm up for his Coachella appearance a few weeks later.
Come back to ThingsToDoInlandEmpire.com for full coverage of the Paid Dues Festival!
Categories: Entertainment, Music & Concerts, Rap & Hip-Hop, San Bernardino, The Inland Empire concertGuerilla Unionhip-hopPaid Dues Festivalshow