Ice-T has put together what he's calling "the most prolific and essential hip-hop festival ever" with his inaugural Art of Rap Festival. Taking place over two days in two California locales, the fest will feature co-headliners the Game and Ice-T at its July 18th Irvine date and Ice-T headlining its Mountain View gig on July 19th.
The festival will take place on two stages and feature more than 25 artists representing different points in hip-hop history. Other artists performing at both dates include Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, EPMD, Kurtis Blow, Mack 10, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Melle Mel, King T, tha Alkaholiks, Too Short and Xzibit, among others. Rakim, Warren G and Naughty Nation, featuring Naughty by Nature members Treach and Kaygee, will perform at the Irvine date.
In addition to the musical artists, the fests will celebrate hip-hop culture with spray-paint murals by Self Uno, performances by b-boys and b-girls, a car show, freestyle battles and more.
The fest takes its name from Ice-T's 2012 documentary, Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap. The film included interviews with Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Eminem, Chuck D and many of the performers on the festival. "Fans get a chance to see these guys candidly and hear how they feel about the art form," the rapper told Rolling Stone of the film the year it came out. "It's me giving back to hip-hop and doing a film that shows us in a good, positive light."
Tickets for the Irvine fest, which will take place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. PST. The Mountain View show, which will be held at the Shoreline Amphitheatre, will go on sale on May 1st at 10 a.m. PST. A VIP pass at both festivals offers access to a "Meat and Greet" barbecue with Ice-T and some of the other performers.
Full details are available on the fest's website.