Volumes: Rock the Bells 2010

If you’re reading this, and you are even remotely interested in hip-hop, listen up. This year, the seventh annual Rock the Bells festival is taking place Saturday, August 28 at Governor’s Island, and it’s going to be immense. I don’t mean to say that it will just be a fun time, and I don’t mean to say it will just be entertaining. Immense is the word I used, and I wholeheartedly mean it.

What makes this year so special? For one thing, the line up is crazy good. Snoop Dogg is headlining, but if that doesn’t quite set you over the top (which I completely understand), he’s also joined by some hip-hop old guards like Wu-Tang Clan (all original members, mind you), KRS-One, Rakim, and the act I’m personally most excited for, A Tribe Called Quest. Add onto that some other acts that have been making huge waves in the underground hip-hop scene for a while, and you’ve got a recipe for a great time.

But I said immense, right? What makes this year’s Rock the Bells immense is that it is “in commemoration of the greatest albums in hip-hop history.” And as such, each of the bigger acts are going to be performing  album sets. That is, they will each perform one of their more critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums. This means you can see Snoop’s Doggystyle performed in its entirety. You can see KRS-One performing Criminal Minded. You can see A Tribe Called Quest perform Midnight Marauders. Or, you can take part in what will surely become history, and watch the original members of the Wu-Tang Clan, with ODB’s first born son Boy Jones, perform Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) in it’s entirety. I think I’m tearing up a bit at the mere idea of it.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), a.k.a. 36% of NYC Culture.

Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), a.k.a. 36% of NYC culture.

And then there’s Ms. Lauryn Hill being featured as a “special guest,” performing some stuff off of her solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. If you’re unfamiliar, that’s the album with that song that went “thaat thing, thaaaat thing, thaaaaat thiiIIIiiIIiing.”

Tickets are a little pricey ($99 for General Admission), but if you factor in how significant these sets are, it’s a fair deal. You can buy tickets here. Buy them sooner rather than later, because the prices will probably go up the closer the festival gets.

-Andrew Limbong

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