Quiet as kept, the Rock the Bells festival has become THE event for hip-hop fans every summer. The 2011 iteration of the road show just announced it’s lineup for this summer, and Lauryn Hill and Nas are the main attractions. Hill, whose wildly inconsistent performances (not to mention habitual lateness) drew the ire of many fans last year, will be looking to redeem herself on the 2011 jaunt. Hopefully we get more soulful, inspired performances like the one she did on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” a couple weeks ago.
Most of the artists on the schedule will be performing classic albums from their catalog: Hill, of course, will be performing The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Nas will be performing Illmatic. Of course, other material will be interspersed with the songs from these seminal albums. They will be joined by Cypress Hill, Erykah Badu, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah, GZA, Mobb Deep, Souls of Mischief, Black Moon, Childish Gambino (the rapping alter ego of “Community” star Donald Glover) and Black Star (Mos Def and Talib Kweli who should maybe take some down time between sets to write and record a second group album? Just saying).
The festival hits L.A. on August 20th, San Francisco August 27th, New York Septemner 3rd and Boston (fucking YAY) on September 10th. Tickets go on sale to the general public on June 4th.
Check out Rock the Bells’ website for more info.
New Yorkers have double the reason to celebrate, as the lineup for the 7th annual Afro-Punk Festival was also announced this week. The Brooklyn show, which brings together many members of the Black avant-garde, boasts a stellar lineup, including Cee-Lo Green, Santigold, Joi, Res, Gordon Voidwell, Janelle Monae and Fishbone. The event takes place on August 27th and 28th (which means that a Michael Jackson tribute of some kind-his birthday is August 29th-will certainly be a part of the proceedings), and admission to the show is FREE 99. This show sounds like it’s definitely worth a trip home for me!
Go here for more info about the Afro-Punk Festival.