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Rock The Bells 2012’s (youthful) lineup and dates announced

May 15, 2012

It wasn’t so long ago that Rock The Bells was a revivalist show, about reliving the past. I mean, hell, the name: “Rock the Bells”. Last year’s edition was all about legends, and by legends, we mean established stars (people that’ve been around the block) performing classic albums (stuff that’s been around for over ten years) in their entirety—Doggystyle, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Illmatic and so forth. All great stuff really, but the backwards looking nature of the show might have implied hip-hop has already gone through its brightest moments long ago.

That’s going to change. This year’s RTB, presented by our buddies at Guerilla Union, will now be headlined by the new generation of hip-hop stars. Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi this year will share the headlining duties along with esteemed veteran Nas, who with Life Is Good coming next month will focus on new material. Filling out the top of the bill are twenty-somethings J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco, Mac Miller, and Kendrick Lamar. Now lest people start thinking this was going to be a new jack festival, we still have plenty of legends to justify the “Rock the Bells” name, with Ice Cube, Dipset, Method Man and Redman (performing Blackout in its entirety, so the concept of performing whole albums isn’t dead at all), a reunited Hit Squad–EPMD, Das EFX, Keith Murray, and K-Solo–and special appearances from Missy Elliott and Timbaland, and a reunited Bone Thugs-N-Harmony on the bill.

And that’s just the top of the bill. We have more names for you–do check out the flyer after the jump–but we should mention the venue and dates–and here’s another twist–we’ll be seeing more than one day of RTB at each venue. San Bernadino’s Nos Events Center will host RTB on August 18 to 19, Shoreline Ampitheatre in the Bay Area will be August 25 to 26, and the Tri-State area will have RTB in Holmdel, New Jersey at the PNC Bank Arts Center for September 1 to 2. We’ll have more information as to what to expect each day and when tickets are on sale and will post it once we get our hands on ‘em.

UPDATE: Shoreline Ampitheatre tickets presale will go down this Friday, May 18, from 10 AM to 10 PM Pacific time. Special presale password is “HISTORY”. Check out Live Nation for tickets. We’ll have more info here and on our Facebook page when it comes available.


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