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Wu-Tang Clan, Joe Budden ‘Squash’ Beef at Rock the Bells

Hip-hop heads united at the annual Rock the Bells show Sunday at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York. The tour, which kicked off on June 27 in Chicago, has been riddled with tension between Wu-Tang Clan, specifically Method Man and Inspectah Deck, and Joe Budden, along with his Slaughterhouse crew. While some media outlets have reported that the event was a peaceful gathering, the concert did not go without some controversy.

Wu-Tang took the stage and within minutes made it clear that they “ain’t nothing to f— with.” The crew ran through classics, bouncing back and forth between some members’ solo hits, but made sure to address their “legacy.”

“Can’t nobody touch the legacy,” Meth proclaimed. “Our track record speaks louder than any of them mutha—-as.” True! And, obviously Meth’s words rang loudly in Slaughterhouse’s ears because the crew, who performed on the Paid Dues stage after Wu’s main stage performance, decided to let bygones be bygones.

It will never be a beef with Wu-Tang clan,” Royce, one-fourth of Slaughterhouse said. He then revealed the convo between Meth and Budden, saying the situation was “squashed.”

While two worlds collided and eventually kissed and made up, hip-hop was happening on the stages. Common, a newcomer to the RTB tour, worked the crowd with a little help from Talib Kweli — who wrapped up his Reflection Eternal set — and Big Boi bought a little ‘Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik’ to New York.

The evening’s host KRS-One got the crowd ready for what turned out to be one of the best “Best of Both Worlds”-esque performances I’ve ever witnessed. After a KRS speech, which included the lesson, “Rap is something we do, hip-hop is what we live,” the Teacha introduced Nas and Damian Marley.

Hip-hop and reggae royalty took the stage and rocked the house. With Pete Rock on the turntables, the Queensbridge MC performed his classic ‘The World is Yours,’ thanking the producer for the beat in the middle of the song, and shouted out the late King of Pop Michael Jackson during ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell.’ [Check the sample.] Marley joined Nas on stage and the pair meshed musical genres as the rapper performed some of his best verses over reggae tunes and vice versa.

The rapper also brought out AZ for ‘Life’s a Bitch’ and ‘Phone Tap.’ Nas handed the mic over to Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P and joined Kiss on ‘What If.’

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Rock The Bells 2009
Rapper Nas performs during the 2009 Rock the Bells concert at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on July 19, 2009 in Wantagh, New York.
Astrid Stawiarz, Getty Images

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