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Black Eyed Peas Share Stage With the Pharcyde at Rock the Bells L.A. Stop

Since becoming superstars the Black Eyed Peas have played the Grammys and the Super Bowl, opened for the Rolling Stones, but on Saturday Will.I.Am, Taboo, and Apl.de.Ap went back to their roots during a surprise 40-minute set at the San Bernardino stop of the Rock the Bells International Festival. “It was like coming home,” Apl told the Boombox as he hung around backstage before watching headliners A Tribe Called Quest.

While Will quipped after the set, “It’s fun to play in front of haters,” he had to acknowledge the fans in front waving their hands during the closing ‘That’s the Joint, That’s the Jam’ and a freestyle rap that ended with a message for the haters, “Suck my **** (rhymes with rock).” Will told the Boombox it was the first time they’d gone back to their pre-Fergie days since the closing show of an Australian tour last year.

RTB founder Chang Weisberg loved the symmetry of having the Peas share the stage with returning hometown heroes the Pharcyde. “It’s bringing back the L.A. underground,” he said. For Pharcyde, who received an appropriate welcome, this was the show. “This is the one we’ve been waiting for,” Fatlip told the Boombox in the band’s dressing room.

Among the most memorable sets of the day was Nas, who delivered some powerful messages, including one about how he doesn’t trust presidents, he trusts people. But he added, “We should give Obama a chance.” After ending his set, he shouted out, “Rest in peace, Bernie Mac,” in honor of the late comedian/actor, who passed away Saturday.

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