The annual hip-hop festival Rock the Bells is expanding to two days this year and has unveiled a lineup that should have fans clamoring for a third. The festival has scored a coup by booking the long-awaited live return of Missy Elliott.
Among the established big names and acclaimed newcomers in the lineup are Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Nas, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Dipset, Yelawolf, Kendrick Lamar, 2Chainz, Atmosphere, A$AP Rocky, Murs and Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA.
You prefer old school? Ice Cube, Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, Slick Rick, Big Daddy Kane and a reunited Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will also make appearances, with the latter performing “E. 1999 Eternal” in its entirety. Likewise, Redman and Method Man will perform their 1999 album “Blackout!”
Other curiosities in the lineup include a rare performance by Deltron 3030 (Del, Dan the Automator and Kid Koala) and the highly-anticipated return of the reclusive Elliott, who along with partner Timbaland, is being touted as a “very special guest.”
After battling health problems, Elliott is finally on the comeback trail, appearing on other artists’ songs and hopefully working on her long-overdue seventh album. Her last studio album was 2005’s “The Cookbook.”
Oddly enough, Chicago rapper Lupe Fiasco is on the flyer, but has since Tweeted that it was a typo and that he won’t be appearing.
The fest will take place at three locations, with some performers only appearing in select markets. First, Rock the Bells rolls into the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif. for Aug. 18 and 19. It then moves to the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif. on Aug. 25 and 26, finishing at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Homdel, N.J. Sept. 1 and 2. The festival also announced that they will add a Miami event later in the year.
Find the complete lineup and ticketing information here.