New York rap veteran Nas recruited longtime friend/collaborator Lauryn Hill to grace the stage at a Rock The Bells New Jersey concert over the weekend months after her publicized tax woes heated up the Internet.
According to reports, Nasty Nas and Hill performed tracks including 1996’s thumping “If I Ruled The World” smash.
Hill, 37, came on the scene midway through the set of headliner Nas for “If I Ruled the World (Imagine That).” It was the same 1996 song that Hill joined the rapper for at Hot 97’s Summer Jam back in June (they were both surprise guests). At the MetLife stadium show, which came before news of Hill’s tax debacle, the South Orange native gave a quick medley. At Rock the Bells in Holmdel, however, Hill’s guest spot was nearly a full set. And this was not a diminished Lauryn Hill. She glided on stage in long grapefruit-colored culottes and a leathery black jacket, letting Nas fall to the side after their duet as the crowd roared for her, and for “Fu-Gee-La” and “Lost Ones” and “Doo Wop (That Thing).” (NJ)
Nas also leaned on Houston’s Scarface to come through and grace the stage.
While Jay-Z was just down I-95 casting a wide net with his Made In America festival, Nas helped to produce a more intimate affair. Crowd favorites like Illmatic selections “Represent,” “It Ain’t Hard to Tell” and Main Source’s “Live at the Barbecue” were early treats. DJ Green Lantern mixed things up behind the boards, while Nas did the same on stage, bringing our Scarface for the Geto Boys’ “Mind Playing Tricks on Me.” The pair quickly segued into their DJ Khaled collaboration, “Hip-Hop.” “And if I cried two tears for her,” ‘Face sneered. “That would be the most that I would give to her.” (XXL Mag)
A day prior, New Jersey natives Redman and Naughty By Nature performed.
On Saturday, the first day of the hip-hop festival, N.J. locals Naughty By Nature and Redman graced its two stages. Another local emcee, Joe Budden, performed alongside his group, Slaughterhouse, just a few hours before Hill on Sunday. (Star-Ledger)
Earlier in the summer, Hill made headlines for her tax-related woes.
In addition to failing to pay a $1.8 million tax bill from the federal government, Lauryn Hill also failed to pay $440,000 in taxes to the State of New Jersey. A week before a judge ordered Hill to pay the $446,386 in unpaid state taxes, she was charged with failing to file federal tax returns in 2005, 2006, and 2007–a federal crime. The Fugees singer pled guilty and now faces three years in prison. (Business Insider)
Check out footage of the performance below: