Rock the Bells

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This article is about the hip-hop festival. For the LL Cool J song, see Rock the Bells (song).
Rock the Bells
MsLaurynHill2010.JPG
Genre Hip hop music
Dates Mid to Late Summer
Location(s) United States
Years active 2004 – present
Founded by Guerilla Union
Website
Rock The Bells – Official Website

Rock the Bells is an annual hip-hop festival that originally took place in Southern California only, but has since toured throughout the world. The concert features a line-up of high-profile alternative hip-hop artists, often headlined by a more mainstream artist. The first festival was held in 2004, featuring a re-united Wu-Tang Clan, who performed four months before Ol' Dirty Bastard's death. That festival is covered in depth by a documentary film also called Rock the Bells.

Festivals[edit]

Date City Country Venue Lineup
July 17, 2004 San Bernardino United States National Orange Show Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Sage Francis, Supernatural, DJ Nu-Mark of Jurassic 5, Fantastik 4our, DJ Mark Luv, DJ Icy Ice, DJ Abel.
November 13, 2004 Anaheim Anaheim Stadium Parking Lot A Tribe Called Quest, Xzibit, Cypress Hill, Jurassic 5 – Special Guest, Little Brother, The CMA, Crown City Rockers, Self Scientific, DJ Revolution, DJ Mark Luv, DJ Icy Ice.
July 30, 2005 San Bernardino National Orange Show Nas, KRS-One – Special Guest, Redman, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah (Cuban Linx), Living Legends, DJ Qbert, Guru from Gang Starr, Cut Chemist from Jurassic 5, DJ Muggs from Cypress Hill, Non Phixion, Supernatural, The Visionaries, Oh No, Med, Percee P
August 5, 2006 Wu-Tang Clan, Lauryn Hill- Special Guest, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Redman, De La Soul, Dilated Peoples, Living Legends, Aesop Rock w/Rob Sonic & DJ Big Whiz, Immortal Technique, B-Real from Cypress Hill, The Visionaries, Murs 3:16, Planet Asia, UGK, Dirty Heads w/ DJ Rocky Rock, Supernatural. Surprise performances by Black Sheep, DJ Kool and Sen Dog (alongside B-Real).
August 6, 2006 Concord Sleep Train Pavilion Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Redman, De La Soul, Living Legends, Immortal Technique, Murs 3:16, Zion I, Supernatural, Planet Asia, Dirty Heads w/ DJ Rocky Rock.

Club Tour[edit]

The concept was taken from the original, highly successful annual West-Coast hip-hop festival and transformed into a full-fledged United States tour.

Date City Country Venue
November 21, 2006 Washington, D.C. United States 9:30 Club
November 22, 2006 Myrtle Beach House of Blues
November 24, 2006 Greensboro The N Club
November 25, 2006 Hartford Webster
November 26, 2006 Allentown Crocodile Rock Café
November 28, 2006 New York City BB Kings
November 30, 2006 Boston Avalon
December 1, 2006 Providence Lupos Heartbreak Hotel
December 2, 2006 Buffalo Buffalo Ballroom
December 3, 2006 Burlington Higher Ground
December 6, 2006 Chicago House of Blues
December 8, 2006 Park City Harry O
December 9, 2006 Denver Ogden Theatre
December 12, 2006 Vancouver Canada Plush Nightclub
December 13, 2006 Seattle United States The Showbox
December 14, 2006 Portland
December 15, 2006 Sacramento Empire
December 16, 2006 San Francisco Mezzanine
December 20, 2006 Los Angeles House of Blues
December 21, 2006 San Diego House of Blues
December 22, 2006 Anaheim House of Blues
Lineup
Redman, Raekwon, Keith Murray, Supernatural, EPMD, Ghostface Killah, Pharoahe Monch, Smif-n-Wessun, Dirty Heads, DJ Kool.

2007 Festival Series[edit]

Wu-Tang Clan performing at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts on the opening night of the 2007 tour.

Rock the Bells 2007 had 3 major venues scheduled; July 28 and July 29 in New York, August 11 in San Bernardino, and August 18 in San Francisco. These select shows were headlined by a reunited Rage Against the Machine, and co-headlined by Wu-Tang Clan. The artists appearing in the shows appeared in rotating slots over the two-show weekend in New York, and selected performances for the remaining duration of the 20 shows, which were head-lined by the Wu-Tang Clan. Five cities also had a second stage called the Paid Dues Independent Hip Hop Stage. Rage Against the Machine was the festival's first non-hip hop act to be featured.

Date City Country Venue
July 26, 2007 Mansfield United States Tweeter Center
July 28, 2007 New York City Randall's Island*^
July 29, 2007
August 2, 2007 Atlanta Hi-Fi Buys Amphitheatre
August 3, 2007 Charlotte Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
August 4, 2007 Miami Bayfront Park Amphitheatre
August 7, 2007 Dallas Smirnoff Music Center
August 8, 2007 Houston Reliant Park
August 11, 2007 San Bernardino Hyundai Pavilion at Glen Helen*^
August 12, 2007 San Diego Coors Amphitheatre (parking lot)^
August 18, 2007 San Francisco McCovey Cove (parking lot)*^
August 21, 2007 Salt Lake City USANA Amphitheater
August 22, 2007 Denver Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 25, 2007 Minneapolis The Myth
August 26, 2007 Chicago Charter One Pavilion
August 29, 2007 Clarkston DTE Energy
September 1, 2007 Honolulu Blaisdell Arena
Lineup
Main Stage: Rage Against the Machine*, Wu-Tang Clan, Cypress Hill, The Roots, Public Enemy, Erykah Badu, Rakim, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Nas, Black Star* (Mos Def and Talib Kweli), EPMD, Pharoahe Monch, Immortal Technique, Jedi Mind Tricks, David Banner, UGK, Supernatural, Rahzel, Murs 3:16.
Paid Dues Independent Hip Hop Stage^: MF Doom, Living Legends, Felt, Sage Francis, Murs 3:16, Brother Ali, Cage, Mr. Lif, Living Legends, The Grouch & Eligh, Hangar 18, Blueprint, Lucky I Am, The Coup, Blackalicious, Ice Water Inc., Sen Dog from Cypress Hill, Hieroglyphics.

New York City Dates[edit]

In July 2007, the Rock the Bells festival came to New York City, and this event became particularly noteworthy. Upon selling out the massive Randall's Island venue very quickly, the one-day stop in NYC was expanded to two days, and a number of new and exclusive guests were added to the bills. The festival included the full Paid Dues festival lineup performing on a second stage, reunited headliners Rage Against the Machine and Wu-Tang Clan, guest appearances during the show (including Scott Ian performing Bring the Noise with Public Enemy), a special performance of Black Star from Mos Def and Talib Kweli and one of the near-final performances of noted hip-hop luminary Pimp C.

New York City
July 28, 2007 July 29, 2007
Guerilla Union Main Stage Paid Dues Independent Stage Guerilla Union Main Stage Paid Dues Independent Stage

Rage Against the Machine
Wu-Tang Clan
Public Enemy
Cypress Hill
The Roots
Black Star
EPMD
Pharoahe Monch
Doom
Immortal Technique
Jedi Mind Tricks

Hosted by Rahzel, Supernatural and Hi-Tek
and featuring Mike Relm, Icy Ice, C-Minus, DJ Rocky Rock and DJ Mark Luv

Felt
Living Legends
Brother Ali
Sage Francis
Cage
Mr. Lif
Grouch & Eligh
Hangar 18
Blueprint
Lucky I Am

Rage Against the Machine
Wu-Tang Clan
Public Enemy
Cypress Hill
Erykah Badu (did not perform)
Rakim
Mos Def
Talib Kweli
Pharoahe Monch
Immortal Technique
Boot Camp Clik
UGK
Jedi Mind Tricks

Hosted by Rahzel, Supernatural and Hi-Tek
and featuring Mike Relm, C-Minus and DJ Rocky Rock

Felt
Living Legends
Brother Ali
Sage Francis
Cage
Doom
Mr. Lif
Grouch & Eligh
Hangar 18
Blueprint
Lucky I Am

2008 Festival Series[edit]

Rakim performing at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland on July 27.

2008 also marks the first year that Rock the Bells went global with four stops in Europe and one in Japan. Highlights of the series include a first time date in Toronto, plus a return to the Glen Helen Pavilion in San Bernardino where last year's show sold out with a capacity crowd of 45,000 people.

Date City Country Venue
July 19, 2008 Tinley Park United States First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
July 20, 2008 Toronto Canada Canada Arrow Hall
July 26, 2008 Mansfield United States Comcast Center*
July 27, 2008 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion*
August 2, 2008 Miami Bicentennial Park
August 3, 2008 Wantagh Jones Beach Theater*
August 9, 2008 San Bernardino Glen Helen Pavilion*
August 16, 2008 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 23, 2008 Greenwood Village Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre*
September 6, 2008 George The Gorge Amphitheatre*
Lineup
Main Stage:A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde- Special Guests, Nas, Ghostface and Raekwon, MF Doom, Rakim, Mos Def, Talib Kweli, De La Soul, Method Man & Redman, Immortal Technique, Dead Prez, Murs, Blue Scholars, Sage Francis, Little Brother, Jedi Mind Tricks.
Bigbox Culture Club Stage*:Spank Rock/Amanda Blank, The Cool Kids, Kidz in the Hall, DJ Afrika Bambaataa, Flosstradamus, Wale, Santogold, Kid Sister, B.o.B, Tyga, Jay Electronica, Devlin & Darko, Ninjasonik, Blaqstarr, Pase Rock, Plastic Little, The Pack.

2008 International Festival Series[edit]

Date City Country Venue
October 31, 2008 Prague Czech Republic T-Moble Arena
November 1, 2008 Amsterdam Netherlands Heineken Music Hall
November 4, 2008 Stockholm Sweden Annexet
November 5, 2008 Helsinki Finland Helsinki Ice Hall
November 9, 2008 London England Indigo2 @ The O2 Arena
November 10, 2008 Paris France Zenith
Lineup
Nas, Mos Def, De La Soul, The Pharcyde, Supernatural & Scratch, Epmd.

2009 International Festival Series[edit]

Date City Country Venue
June 27, 2009 Tinley Park United States First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
June 28, 2009 Clarkston DTE Energy Music Theater
July 5, 2009 Toronto Canada Molson Amphitheatre
July 12, 2009 Columbia United States Merriweather Post Pavilion
July 18, 2009 Mansfield Comcast Center
July 19, 2009 Wantagh Jones Beach Theater
August 1, 2009 Burnaby Canada Deer Lake Park
August 2, 2009 Calgary Shaw Millennium Park
August 6, 2009 Morrison United States Red Rocks Amphitheatre
August 8, 2009 San Bernardino San Manuel Amphitheatre
August 9, 2009 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
Rock the Bells '09
Main Stage Paid Dues Independent Hip Hop Stage Surprise Acts

Nas & Damian Marley
Wu-Tang Clan (New York City only)
Cypress Hill (Calgary only)
Mos Def (Toronto only)
Ice Cube (San Bernardino only)
The Roots
Common
Busta Rhymes
Big Boi
EPMD
House of Pain featuring La Coka Nostra
Reflection Eternal
Tech N9ne
Dragon Fli Empire
K'naan
Raekwon
Chali 2na
The Knux

Rza
Gza
Slaughterhouse
Slum Village
Evidence & The Alchemist
M.O.P.
Psycho Realm
Buckshot
Necro
Sage Francis
Eyedea & Abilities
Tabi Bonney
Mystik Journeymen
Mickey Factz
B. Dolan
Short Dawg
Hosted by KRS-One, Supernatural, Murs and Pete Rock

Washington, D.C.
Skillz
AZ
Styles P
Pharoahe Monch
Boston
Krizz Kaliko
Kutt Calhoun
New York City
Jadakiss
Ice-T
The Lox
DJ Premier
Styles P
Method Man
U-God

2010 Festival Series[edit]

On the evening of May 24, 2010 Guerilla Union held the Rock the Bells Launch Party at Key Club in Hollywood, CA. The launch party featured surprise guest performances, and the official announcement of the 2010 season lineup. New to the festival this year is a "Classics" theme; the headlining acts will be performing the following classic hip-hop albums in their entirety: A Tribe Called Quest performing Midnight Marauders, Snoop Dogg (with Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage and RBX) performing Doggystyle, Wu-Tang Clan (entire group, with Boy Jones – first son of Ol' Dirty Bastard) performing Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Rakim performing Paid in Full, KRS-One performing Criminal Minded, Slick Rick performing The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, and DJ Premier and Lauryn Hill as special guests. Unannounced guest appearances included The Madd Rapper, Large Professor, Busta Rhymes, Skyzoo, Swizz Beatz, and Nas.

Date City Country Venue
August 21, 2010 San Bernardino United States NOS Events Center
August 22, 2010 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
August 28, 2010 New York City Governor's Island
August 29, 2010 Columbia Merriweather Post Pavilion
Rock the Bells
Main Stage Second Stage

Snoop Dogg
with Warren G, Tha Dogg Pound, The Lady of Rage and RBX
A Tribe Called Quest
Wu-Tang Clan
(with Boy Jones, ODB's first-born son)
Lauryn Hill
Rakim
KRS-One
(with Black Moon)
Slick Rick
DJ Premier

Street Sweeper Social Club
Murs & 9th Wonder
Wiz Khalifa
Clipse
Immortal Technique
Brother Ali
Jedi Mind Tricks
Supernatural
DJ Muggs with Ill Bill
DJ Rocky Rock
Big Sean
Yelawolf
Hosted by Peter Rosenberg, D. Schwartz and K-Salaam

2011 Festival Series[edit]

On the evening of May 24, 2011 Guerilla Union once again held the Rock the Bells Launch Party. Rapper Supernatural revealed the lineup for this year's edition of the festival. Keeping in the spirit of the 2010 artists, the more prolific acts on this year's festival will be performing a selection of "classic" albums in their entirety. These include Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Nas' Illmatic, Erykah Badu's Baduizm, Cypress Hill's Black Sunday, Mos Def & Talib Kweli's Black Star, Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx..., Mobb Deep's The Infamous, Gza's Liquid Swords, Souls of Mischief's 93 'til Infinity, Black Moon's Enta da Stage and Masta Killa's No Said Date. Additionally, Currensy and Mac Miller will be appearing exclusively on the west coast dates while Evidence will appear only on the East Coast. More recently, rapper Common has been added to three shows, performing his album Be.[1]

Date City Country Venue
August 20, 2011 San Bernardino United States San Manuel Amphitheater
August 27, 2011 Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre
September 3, 2011 New York City Governor's Island
September 24, 2011 (CANCELLED) Mansfield Comcast Center
Rock the Bells '11
Rock the Bells Stage 36 Chambers Stage Paid Dues Stage

Nas
with AZ, Pete Rock and DJ Premier
Ms. Lauryn Hill
Erykah Badu*
Cypress Hill
Black Star
Common*
Random Axe*
Hosted by Peter Rosenberg

Raekwon + Ghostface Killah
Mobb Deep
Genius/Gza
Black Moon
Mac Miller*
Currensy*
Childish Gambino
Masta Killa
Killah Priest
Hosted by the Rza, Supernatural and Boy Jones

Immortal Technique
Doom
Slaughterhouse
Big K.R.I.T.
Souls of Mischief
Evidence*
Blu + Exile + Fashawn
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis*
Freddie Gibbs
Roc Marciano
Hosted by Murs

  • *Denotes that the artist will be appearing only in select cities

2012 Festival Series[edit]

From early May to June, Guerilla Union unveiled the full lineup for the latest Rock the Bells festival series.[2] It was also revealed that this year's festival will consist of three, two-day weekend events, with two shows on the west coast and one in the east.

Rock the Bells '12
San Bernardino Mountain View Holmdel

Nas
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
Kid Cudi
Wiz Khalifa
J. Cole
Atmosphere
Common
Ice Cube
Method Man & Redman
DMX + Eve
Jadakiss
Wu Block
(featuring Raekwon + Ghostface Killah +
Jadakiss + Sheek Louch + Styles P)
Dipset
Kendrick Lamar
Currensy
Sean Price
Deltron 3030
Hit Squad
2 Chainz
Tyga
Pusha T
Immortal Technique
E-40 & Too Short
DJ Quik
Naughty by Nature
Salt-N-Pepa
Big Daddy Kane
DJ Lance Rock & Friends
Yelawolf
Murs + Fashawn
Prodigy
Zion I + Grouch + Eligh
Schoolboy Q
Ab-Soul
Future
Dom Kennedy
Watsky
Jay Rock*
Hosted by Rza & MC Supernatural

Nas
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
Kid Cudi
J. Cole
DMX + Eve
Mac Miller
Atmosphere
Common
Ice Cube
Method Man & Redman
Wu Block
(featuring Raekwon + Ghostface Killah +
Jadakiss + Sheek Louch + Styles P)
ASAP Rocky
Dipset
Kendrick Lamar
Deltron 3030
Hit Squad
2 Chainz
Tyga
Pusha T
Immortal Technique
DJ Quik
Mix Master Mike
Naughty by Nature
Salt-N-Pepa
Big Daddy Kane
DJ Lance Rock & Friends
Yelawolf
Murs + Fashawn
Slick Rick
Zion I + Grouch + Eligh
Schoolboy Q
Ab-Soul
Dom Kennedy
Action Bronson
Watsky
Jay Rock
Hosted by Rza & MC Supernatural

Nas
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony
J. Cole
Big Sean
Common
Ice Cube
Method Man & Redman
DMX + Eve + Jadakiss
Wu Block
(featuring Raekwon + Ghostface Killah +
Jadakiss + Sheek Louch + Styles P)
Dipset
Currensy
Sean Price
Deltron 3030
Hit Squad
2 Chainz
Tyga
Pusha T
Immortal Technique
DJ Quik
Mix Master Mike
Naughty by Nature
Salt-N-Pepa
Big Daddy Kane
DJ Lance Rock & Friends
Yelawolf
Murs + Fashawn
Prodigy
M.O.P.
Slick Rick
Zion I + Grouch + Eligh
Schoolboy Q
Ab-Soul
Future
Dom Kennedy
Action Bronson
Watsky
Jay Rock
Hosted by Rza & MC Supernatural

2013 Festival Series[edit]

On May 14, Guerilla Union held a launch party in Los Angeles. At that event they announced performances by Black Hippy, Big K.R.I.T., Brother Ali, Chase & Status, Common, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony (including a virtual performance by the late Eazy-E), Currensy, Danny Brown, Dilated Peoples, Dizzy Wright, Dom Kennedy, E-40, Earl Sweatshirt, Hit-Boy, Hopsin, Immortal Technique, Jhené Aiko, Joey Badass and the Pro Era, Juicy J, Jurassic 5, Kid Cudi, Lecrae, Logic, Mimosa, Rakim, Riff Raff, Snow Tha Product, Talib Kweli, Tech N9ne, Too Short, Tyler, The Creator and Wu-Tang Clan (including a virtual performance by the late Ol' Dirty Bastard). This years it will be hosted by Murs and Hot 97's Peter Rosenberg. This year there will be eight dates, four of which take place on the west coast and four on the east coast.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tickets and Lineups The Boston show originally scheduled for September 10 was postponed until September 24 before being officially cancelled. Problems cited include: weather and scheduling conflicts.
  2. ^ 2012 Lineup
  3. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/05/rock-the-bells-2013-to-feature-hologram-performances-of-ol-dirty-bastard-and-eazy-e/

^ Tickets and Lineups The Boston show originally scheduled for September 10 was postponed until September 24 before being officially cancelled. Problems cited include: weather and scheduling conflicts.

External links[edit]