Lauryn Hill, Wu Tang, Snoop Top Rock the Bells Fest

KRS-One, A Tribe Called Quest, Slick Rick and Rakim to also perform albums from the late '80s and early '90s

August 20, 2010 5:46 PM ET

Hip hop's golden era will be revived this Saturday when the seventh annual Rock the Bells festival opens at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, California. (Dates in San Francisco, New York and Washington DC, will follow.) KRS-One, Slick Rick, Rakim, Snoop Dogg, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest and Lauryn Hill will all perform favorite albums from the late '80s and early '90s, with rising rappers like Wiz Khalifa and Yelawolf offering newer sounds.

"Sometimes I get mad that I don't get a chance to see the whole festival," Raekwon from Wu-Tang Clan, who will be performing their 1993 debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in it's entirety, told Rolling Stone. "I'm gonna get there early. I don't care if there's ten people in the crowd, you're liable to see my ass the ninth one in there." He added: "I've never done a show that's a whole album. It's gonna be one of the hottest shows this year."

"Wu-Tang has only done like three rehearsals throughout our whole career," said Wu-Tangs's GZA, who's most eager to see Rakim perform 1987's Paid in Full. "We will be rehearsing for this one." The first Rock the Bells festival took place in July 2004, four months before Ol 'Dirty Bastard's death. This year, ODB's eldest son Boy Jones will perform with Wu. "He has a similar vibe — and wears his hair like him," GZA said.

A Tribe Called Quest will perform their 1993 disc Midnight Marauders, possibly with a special guest. "Busta Rhymes said he's gonna get on the tour bus and roll out to L.A. to perform with Tribe," said DJ Premier. Premier is rooting for Lauryn Hill as she returns to the spotlight: "Everybody on that bill is gonna be standing on the side like little kids, hoping she rips it out the asshole and doesn't break down," he said Premier himself will spin a 45-minute set that includes a tribute to his Gang Starr partner Guru, who succumbed to cancer in April.

"As the rookie, I'll humbly take the stage but will probably be missing the most epic shit in the world while I'm performing." says Alabama skater-turned-rapper Yelawolf, who signed with Interscope in March. "I'm gonna be antsy to get off stage to watch the other acts, especially Wu-Tang doing 36 Chambers." Another up-and-comer, Wiz Khalifa, has a plan for staying focused: he'll do at least 100 push-ups and "smoke a ton of weed so I can do cool dance moves. That's my meditation."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Santa Monica”

Everclear | 1996

After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

More Song Stories entries »