Lauryn Hill, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep and Cypress Hill — this year's Rock the Bells festival looks to be a hip-hop fan's dream.
Last year Guerilla Union invited headlining artists to play their classic albums in full for concertgoers, and it looks land they are continuing the trend for 2011. During the four festival dates, which kick off in San Bernardino, California, on August 20 at the San Manuel Amphitheater, Lauryn Hill is scheduled to play her 1998 multi-platinum, Grammy-winning The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill from beginning to end. Nas is tapped to perform his 1994 classic, Illmatic.
"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," Nas said in a statement. "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 and Pete Rock!"
In addition to Nas' and Lauryn's sets, Cypress Hill will be performing their 1993 LP, Black Sunday; Raekwon and Ghostface Killah will reunite onstage for Only Built 4 Cuban Linx ... and Mos Def and Talib Kweli will join forces to play their independent fan-favorite Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star.
The festival, which will also hit Mountain View, California (August 27 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre), New York (September 3 at Governor's Island) and Boston (September 10), will have four stages. The Rock the Bells Stage will house most headliners, while the Paid Due Stage will feature independent and up-and-coming rap acts. RZA is the curator of the new 36 Chambers Stage, while the Grindtime Now stage will feature battles.
RZA, Murs and Supernatural will play host during the fest, which includes and other notable performing acts Erykah Badu, Slaughterhouse, Mac Miller, Curren$y, Souls of Mischief and Black Moon.
Tickets go on sale to the general public on June 4; pre-sale tickets will be available on June 3.
Artists confirmed for the Rock the Bells 2011 festival are:
Ms. Lauryn Hill (performing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill)
Nas (performing Illmatic)
Cypress Hill (performing Black Sunday)
Erykah Badu (only select dates)
Mos Def and Talib Kweli (performing Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star)
Raekwon and Ghostface (performing Only Built 4 Cuban Linx)
Mobb Deep (performing The Infamous)
The GZA (performing Liquid Swords)
Mac Miller (only select dates)
Curren$y (only select dates)
Souls of Mischief (performing 93 'til Infinity)
Blu & Exile
Random Axe (only select dates)
Masta Killah (performing No Said Date)
Evidence (only select dates)
Macklemore(only select dates)