For fans of old school hip-hop, festival season can be hit or miss. Sometimes acts get big sets on the main stage or ignored in favor of whoever the hot new TikTok star is. However, LL Cool J has continued to celebrate ‘80s, ‘90s and early 2000s hip-hop through his Rock the Bells brand and Sirius XM station. Now the rapper/actor has announced the Rock the Bells Festival, a “day of live music, interactive experiences, art exhibits and food.”
Per a press release provided to The Root, the concert is set for Saturday, August 6 at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY, and features performances from LL COOL J featuring DJ Z-Trip, Ice Cube, Rick Ross, Lil’ Kim, The Diplomats featuring Cam’ron, Jim Jones & Juelz Santana, Fat Joe & Remy Ma, Jadakiss, Scarface, Trina, N.O.R.E and Digable Planets.
“This festival is my way of showing love to the community of Hip-Hop and celebrating the incredible journey this culture has taken, going from DJ Kool Herc’s Sedgwick Avenue rec room, to the global phenomenon we all cherish today,” LL COOL J said in a statement. “Getting to bring some of the most iconic and influential Hip-Hop artists to the same stage, in my hometown and the city that started it all, is an honor and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for them.”
LL Cool J made the announcement with festival host and hip-hop legend Roxanne Shanté Monday morning on Sirius XM’s Rock The Bells Radio. Just in case you need a reminder, Roxanne Shanté is one of the pioneers of rap music, never getting full credit for her influence until recently, because of the open misogyny in early hip-hop that still exists today.
“The Rock The Bells festival is going to be different from any other festival you’ve attended, bringing great people, great vibes, and great music together to represent and celebrate the originality and greatness of Hip-Hop,” said Roxanne Shanté. “With me as your host, you are guaranteed to have a nice day making Hip-Hop memories from dusk till dawn. Plzbelieveit baby.”
I’m not a hip-hop expert, but I can tell you that a lot of old folks like me are going to be at this show reliving their youth, doing out-of-date dance moves and remembering how they totally thought LL was singing “I Need Love” to them. Oh, was that just me?
Pre-sale registration begins today at 10 a.m. ET, with general admission tickets on sale Friday, April 8 at 10 a.m. ET at rockthebellsfestival.com.