Rock The Bells organizers, Guerilla Union, held a press conference at Los Angeles’ Key Club on Tuesday night (April 7), where they announced the line-up of this year’s Rock The Bells tour.
Headliners Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley will be joined by the likes of Common, Big Boi, Wu-Tang members RZA and Raekwon, new rap supergroup Slaughterhouse, M.O.P., Pete Rock, the original members of House of Pain, Necro, Tech N9ne, and K’Naan, among others. Rap legend KRS-One will be serving as host, alongside Supernatural.
The line-up was revealed during the press conference with a nearly 8-minute freestyle by MC Supernatural.
Both Nas and Marley will be on the tour promoting their recently revealed collaborative project Distant Relatives, which Nas told MTV will offer social commentary on the U.S. and the Motherland.
“As an American, we have so much even in a so-called recession that a neighborhood like Queensbridge or Red Hook is Beverly Hills compared to the way people are living in Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Ghana,” he said. “So obviously if we making records with that theme, there’s gonna be things I want to build on. I think Africa has a lot to teach us.”
Rock The Bell’s North American run will kick-off on June 27 and run through August 9, hitting several of the nation’s biggest markets along the way. Some of the stops include Toronto, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, and Denver. A full list of dates, cities, and venues will be announced at a later date.
Last year’s event saw Nas bring out Jay-Z during the Long Island, New York, stop. This year, he’ll have a partner — in Marley — for all his shows.
“We’re super blessed to be a part of something like Rock The Bells, working with all these artists,” said Guerilla Union founder, Chang Weisberg.
“There’s a lot of great music this summer, fresh music. Definitely, starting with the headlining talent with Nas and Damien, the Distant Relatives record, which will be out this summer. This record is not only a phenomenal collaboration for hip-hop. This is probably one of the records this summer, regardless of genre. I really can’t emphasize how much we appreciate when there’s great music like this to promote.”
Stay tuned for official dates for the upcoming Rock The Bells tour. For more information, visit GuerillaUnion.com.