Rock the Bells is one of the most anticipated hip-hop focused music festivals, featuring the best rap artists both up-and-coming and established legends. This year Rock the Bells will kick off in the Los Angeles area on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater before heading out to San Francisco on August 27 at Shoreline Amphitheatre. Headliners include Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu and Cypress Hill.
The festival moves to the east coast for a show in New York on September 3 at Governor’s Island before wrapping in Boston on September 10.
Ms. Lauryn Hill Headlines
Rock the Bells is best known for featuring a number of headliners who perform their most influential albums in their entirety. This tradition continues with Ms. Lauryn Hill performing her landmark, multi-platinum selling, multi-GRAMMY winning album “The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill” and Nas performing his breakthrough debut album “Illmatic” with special guests AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier.
"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!" Nas says about performing Illmatic this summer.
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.
The Main Stages
Rock the Bells will feature three main stages this year. The two returning stages are the Rock the Bells Stage 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.
- Ms. Lauryn Hill
- Cypress Hill
- Erykah Badu
- Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star
- Raekwon & Ghostface
- Mobb Deep
- The GZA
- Immortal Technique
- Mac Miller
- Souls of Mischief
- Black Moon
- Childish Gambino
- Blu & Exile
- Random Axe
- Masta Killah
- Freddie Gibbs
- Roc Marciano
Locations and Dates
- August 20: San Bernardino, CA - San Manuel Amphitheater
- August 27: Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
- September 3: New York, NY – Governor’s Island
- September 10: Boston, MA
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