Guerilla Union announced the full line-up for their 2012 Rock The Bells Festival Series during a launch party/press conference at Hollywood’s House Of Blues on Tuesday evening (May 15), revealing headliners Kid Cudi, Nas and Wiz Khalifa, alongside special guests Bones Thugs-N-Harmony and Missy Elliot + Timbaland.
Additionally, the concert organizers revealed that this year, the festival has expended to a two-day period for each stop (San Bernardino, CA; Mountain View, CA; and Newark, NJ).
Things kick off in San Bernardino, CA on August 19 and 20 at the NOS Events Center. The festival will then make its way to Mountain View, CA on August 25 and 26 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre; and will wrap on the east coast in Newark, NJ on September 1 and 2 at PNC Arts Center.
Over the last several years, Rock The Bells has built a reputation of reuniting some of hip-hop’s most seminal acts, as well as having artists perform their most influential albums in its entirety. This year is no exception.
All members of Hit Squad and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will be reunited on the festival. Hit Squad, the east-coast collective — comprised of EPMD, Redman, Das EFX, K-Solo, Keith Murray, and DJ Scratch — disbanded in 1993 following the success of their fourth album, Business Never Personal. Now they reunite for the first time years.
Despite rumors of inner turmoil and members public leaving the group over the past few years (specifically Krayzie Bone), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will make their way to the stage with all five members for the first time in over 20 years, performing a special tribute to the late Eazy-E, as well as their breakout album, E. 1999 Eternal in its entirety. The LP includes the Grammy award-winning hit “Tha Crossroads”, and other hit singles like “1st Of Tha Month.”
“It’s like a dream for us to do this. We amongst legends,” Krayzie Bone told BallerStatus.com on Tuesday. “Legends have done this tour, and we just feel like we’re being accepted as legends and have been asked to be a part of it, so it’s like: why not? It’s not like we mad at each other like we’re ready to kill each other, know what I’m saying?
“Not at the moment,” Wish added, garnering laughs.
“We all brothers,” Krayzie continued. “We come from the same place, we come from the same struggles. We understand what Bone meant to the hip-hop industry, and we doing this for our fans as well. We wanna show our fans we can come together as grown men and still rock the house.”
Redman and Method Man will close out one of two stages at this year’s festival, performing their 1999 debut album Blackout! in its entirety. And, West coast legend Ice Cube will perform songs off both AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Death Certificate — the two albums that catapulted the gangster rapper into mainstream fame.
Another interesting addition to this year’s line-up is DJ Lance Rock, of the wildly popular Nick Jr. series, “Yo Gabba Gabba.” We wondered how the Gabba Land would fit into a hip-hop festival, DJ Lance Rock says hip-hop is already an element the show has. “Hip-hop fits into ‘Yo Gabba Gabba,’ so we’re just gonna try to bring Gabba land to hip-hop. We’ll have to see. We’re gonna bring some of our friends, so we’ll see what happens. It’s gonna be very true to the show, but very true Rock The Bells as well,” he told BallerStatus.com.
Pre-sale for the 2012 Rock The Bells series will begin on Friday (May 18) at 10am PST – 10pm PST. The general on-sale starts on Saturday (May 19) at 10am PST. Fans must visit RockTheBells.net for exact line-ups per city.
RZA and MC Supernatural will play host at each show. Below is the full list of acts on the bills:
Big Daddy Kane
DJ Lance Rock and Friends
E-40 and Too Short*
Eligh, Grouch and Zion I
Hit Squad Reunion
Missy Elliott and Timbaland
Naughty By Nature
Redman and Method Man
Slick Rick & Doug E Fresh
* notes performance on select dates only