Consider this a late pass, but it looks like it's just about time to start saving up for tickets to Rock the Bells.
The annual music festival -- a sort of hip-hop Coachella -- is going into its eighth year with yet another ridiculously drool-worthy lineup. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Mos Def and Talib Kweli (as Blackstar), Cypress Hill, Raekwon and Ghostface (of the Wu-Tang Clan), Mobb Deep -- the lineup very literally reads like a "Greatest Hip-Hop Artists of All Time" countdown on VH1. On top of that, each of the aforementioned artists is performing his/her iconic, career-defining album in its entirety, including:
- Lauryn Hill's The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
- Nas' Illmatic
- Mos Def and Talib Kweli's Mos Def an Talib Kweli Are Black Star
- Cypress Hill's Black Sunday
- Raekwon and Ghostface's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx
- Mobb Deep's The Infamous
Just to add an extra dimension of mind-blowing, anticipatory stimuli, the incomparable soul-power diva Erykah Badu will also be at Rock the Bells. It's recently been confirmed that she'll be performing her debut album, Baduizm, in its entirety.
Also recently added to the bill is rapper-turned-actor-turned-White-House-poet Common, who will perform his mainstream breakout album, Be, in full. Probably more exciting to hip-hop fans is the addition of DOOM (aka, MF Doom, Zev Luv X, or Daniel Dumile). The metal-faced, almost-mythical figure has stayed elusive in recent years, which has only further cultivated the mystique surrounding him. DOOM will be making his first U.S. festival appearance ever at Rock The Bells.
Unfortunately, Rock the Bells is not making it down to San Diego this year. However, Los Angeles is just a short drive away, and obviously it's completely worth it for this billing. Rock the Bells is going down on Aug. 20. You can check out the full lineup and details at the Rock the Bells website.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog SD Raps.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by following him on Twitter or e-mailing him directly.