The lineup for the Rock The Bells 2011 festival has been announced, and this one's a crusher! Headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and Cypress Hill, with Raekwon & Ghostface, Mos Def & Talib Kweli as Black Star and many many more!
This year’s festival will head to four major North American markets, kicking off in the Los Angeles-area on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater before heading to San Francisco on August 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. The festival will then move to the east coast for a show in New York on September 3 at Governor’s Island, before wrapping in Boston on September 10.
Massively influential albums will be laid out in their entirety for the first time in the history of hip-hop entertainment this year, a continuation of last summer's tradition of blowing minds by the thousands. Ms. Lauryn Hill will perform her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, while Nas will perform his breakthrough debut album Illmatic with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier.
Yes, you read that correctly. Illmatic is really coming out to play in its entirety.
Nas says about performing Illmatic this summer, "For years people have been asking me to do Illmatic in so many ways, from stage plays to movies to books, but the time wasn't right. Where music is going now, the time is right. This will be my biggest production and it only makes sense to do it on the best rap tour which also happens to be a brand I've built and am a partner in. Can't wait to kill it with my comrades AZ, Premo & Pete Rock!"
Full album sets can also be expected from: Cypress Hill performing their 1993 multi-platinum album Black Sunday, featuring modern rock radio mainstay “Insane In The Membrane”; Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star performing their 1998 self-titled debut album; Raekwon & Ghostface teaming up for critically acclaimed, platinum selling Only Built 4 Cuban Linx and more.
"I am excited that this year's Rock The Bells will continue its rich history and tradition by presenting the best and most ambitious festival programming in Hip Hop,” says festival co-founder and Guerilla Union head Chang Weisberg. “The bar has been set high and this year's line-up will certainly stake its claim. With ten of the biggest records in the history of the genre and the freshest new talent bubbling from the underground, this summer's Rock The Bells is another dream come true."
Rock The Bells will feature three main stages this year. The two returning stages are the Rock The Bells and the Paid Dues Stage, which will feature independent hip-hop acts that performed at the Paid Dues Festival this past April in San Bernardino and new artists-on-the-rise. Paid Dues Festival creator Murs says, "I am excited that I once again have the privilege of hosting the Paid Dues Stage. We will have the honor of showcasing some of the best talent in independent hip hop as part of the worlds largest and longest running hip hop festival… the Paid Dues stage is gonna be the one to watch this year."
The 36 Chambers Stage is a new addition to the festival and will primarily feature members of the Wu-Tang Clan as well as artists selected by stage curator and Wu-Tang Clan mainstay RZA. A fourth stage will also be added to most markets, which will feature battle-style performances.
Artists confirmed for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES include:
Ms. Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill +
Nas – Illmatic +
Cypress Hill – Black Sunday +
Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star +
Raekwon & Ghostface – Only Built for Cuban Linx +
Mobb Deep – The Infamous +
The GZA – Liquid Swords +
Souls of Mischief – 93 ‘til Infinity +
Blu & Exile
Masta Killah – No Said Date +
+ notes full-album sets
* notes performance on select dates only
The RZA + MURS 3:16 + Supernatural
ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES Tour Dates
08.20 San Bernardino, CA – San Manuel Amphitheater
08.27 Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
09.03 New York, NY – Governor’s Island
09.10 Boston, MA
The Guerilla Union pre-sale for the ROCK THE BELLS 2011 FESTIVAL SERIES will go from June 3 at 10am PST – 10pm PST. The general on-sale starts on June 4. Fans are advised to visit www.rockthebells.net for the exact lineup per city and are encouraged to sign up for the Guerilla Union newsletter for important announcements and up-to-date information regarding the tour.
Check out our coverage from last year's Rock The Bells, where Lauryn Hill, Brother Ali, KRS One, A Tribe Called Quest, WuTang Clan, Snoop Dogg and more made history.
Photo: Johnny Firecloud