Rock the Bells Indulges Our ’90s Nostalgia with Lauryn Hill, Wu-Tang Clan


Remember last month, when the announcement that Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Gorillaz, etc. would headline Lollapalooza got us excited for a whole new era of contemporary-minded summer music festivals? Remember us cheering the end of ’90s nostalgia? Well, this is not that kind of post. This morning brings the news that none other than the reclusive Lauryn Hill will be appearing as a “special guest” at one of our favorite summer tours, Rock the Bells. We’re not sure what exactly that means, but considering she’s basically the Jeff Mangum of the hip-hop world, her mere presence may be worth the price of admission.

And that’s hardly the end of the nostalgia. Taking a cue from All Tomorrow’s Parties’ Don’t Look Back series, Rock the Bells will also play host to rappers performing their classic ’80s and ’90s releases. That incredible lineup includes Wu-Tang Clan doing 1993’s Enter the 36 Chambers, Rakim performing Paid in Full (1987), KRS-One reviving Criminal Minded (1987), and Slick Rick treating the crowd to 1988’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Rock the Bells without some great newer acts. Concert goers can also look forward to performances by the Clipse, Street Sweeper Social Club (Tom Morello and Boots Riley), Murs & 9th Wonder, Brother Ali, Jedi Mind Tricks, Supernatural, and more. Check out the full line-up at the tour’s website, which also promises that additions are on the way.

This year, Rock the Bells will hit only four cities — but they’re good ones! Between August 21st and 29th, they’ll visit San Bernardino, San Francisco, New York, and D.C. Sorry, Chicago!