Whether you’re a fan of 80’s Old School, 90’s Golden Era, or 21st Century Hipster Rap, Guerilla Union’s Rock The Bells will satisfy your hip hop jones. The annual traveling festival has announced it’s line-up for 2012, and like previous years, it features some the biggest names in hip hop, past and present. Concert goers will be able to see popular emcees like Nas and J. Cole on the main stage while the second stage will spotlight underground artists such as Fashawn and Dom Kennedy. After showcasing the reunion of A Tribe Called Quest in 2010 and the rare appearance of Lauryn Hill in 2011, this year’s headlining performances will highlight the return to the spotlight for famed femcee Missy Elliott and the re-unification of Grammy winners Bone Thugs-N-Harmony who will perform their 5-time platinum album E. 1999 Eternal in it’s entirety.
At the time of it’s release, E. 1999 Eternal, dedicated to the late rapper Easy E, was heralded as an amazing union of West Coast G-funk, Mid-West rapid flow, and an atypical use of harmony for a hip hop LP. The album’s singles, “1st of the Month” and “Tha Crossroads,” were major radio hits with the latter reaching number 1 on the Billboard The Hot 100 chart and it’s accompanying video is considered one of the greatest rap videos of all times. Bone Thugs’ affinity for equaling embracing a fast paced rhyme style and a melodic flow became the forefather to the sing/rap delivery that has taken root in much of mainstream hip hop today.
Bone Thugs will not be the only 90’s hip hop innovators to return to the stage at Rock The Bells. Co-headliner Missy Elliott makes her long awaited resurgence along with long time collaborator, superproducer Timbaland. Missy and Timbaland are heavily responsible for the evolution of hip hop and R&B music in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Their electronic, stutter-rhythmic production style featured on Aaliyah’s One In A Million and Missy’s Supa Dupa Fly influenced an entire generation of producers and artists. Fans will have the opportunity to see Miss E and Timbo revisit classic tracks like “Up Jumps Da’ Boogie”, “Get Ur Freak On”, and “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)”, and possibly a few new songs from the rumored Missy comeback album set to drop later this year.
Other hip hop legends scheduled to attend include Too $hort, Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, and Ice Cube. Seminal rap groups like Dipset, Naughty By Nature, and Salt-N-Pepa will also be in attendance. Rock The Bells is known for bringing out celebrated collaborations for rare performances. This year is no different. The Hit Squad members EPMD, Das EFX, K-Solo, Keith Murray, and Redman will all hit the stage, and Redman will join Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man to perform their 1999 collaborative project Blackout!.
The Rock The Bells Festival will take place at the Nos Events Center in San Bernado, CA on August 18-19; Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, CA on 25-26; PNC Bank Art Center in Holmdel, NJ on September 1-2.
Some acts will only be performing at select venues. For more info about line-ups, set times, & ticket prices click it.
Check out the Rock The Bells Festival 2011 Wrap Up Video: