Hip-hop’s premier music festival is back. On Tuesday, Guerilla Union held a press conference to reveal its lineup of hip-hop all-stars for Rock the Bells 2012. Freestyler extraordinaire Supernatural delivered the list of performers one-by-one with an impromptu rap, rattling off names like Wiz Khalifa, Kid Cudi, Nas, J. Cole and Mac Miller, as well as veteran acts like Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.
Lupe Fiasco’s name also appears on the festival’s flyer, but on Wednesday morning (May 16), the Chi-Town lyricist tweeted that despite what was printed, he would not be in attendance this year. “Not doing Rock The Bellz…thats a typo fam and friends…,” he wrote.
For the first time in nine years, Rock the Bells will expand its daylong festival to two days. The first show will take place August 18 at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. Last year’s three-stage setup forced fans to choose between their favorite acts, who would often perform simultaneously. “We had quite a few complaints about Mobb Deep fans having to choose between Mobb Deep and Nas,” Guerilla Union boss Chang Weisberg said as an example. “We tried to deliver three stages, but it didn’t work out. So the correction? Two stages, two days, one event.”
RTB will hit the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, on August 25 and 26 and then the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, on September 1 and 2. Coincidentally, the East Coast show falls on the very same weekend as Jay-Z’s recently announced Made in America multi-genre music festival in Philadelphia. Hov promises close to 30 eclectic acts in the fields of rock, hip-hop, R&B, Latin and dance music. The Made in America lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but already, the RTB bill is ripe with diverse rap talent. 2 Chainz, Tyga, Kendrick Lamar, Slick Rick, E-40, Too Short and A$AP Rocky will all be in attendance.
The announcement event wrapped up with performances by DJ Quik and Bone Thugs, who took the stage and rocked a few of their many classics, leaving fans ready for the main course this summer. Fans should check RockTheBells.net for venue and ticket information.