This year’s Rock the Bells promises some soon-to-be-made fond memories, with a lineup that includes Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, the Roots, Nas, Mos Def, Public Enemy, MF Doom, Hieroglyphics, Blackalicious, and the Coup, along with hosts Supernatural, Rahzel, and Hi-Tek. For once, the West Coast is representing.
It all happens Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. at the just-announced locale of the McCovey Cove Parking Lot (3rd St. at King, near AT&\T Park in San Francisco. $76 general, $151 VIP. Tickets go on sale March 31 at 10 a.m. LiveNation.com or Ticketmaster outlets. – Rachel Swan
Now, we know what you’e thinking. It would be virtually impossible to top December’s Rock the Bells tour at Mezzanine, the famous nostalgia-based hip-hop showcase that typically features an 80-to-90-pecent East Coast lineup, including: a) At least one above-90th-percentile rapper (Redman) who promises to deliver an above-90th-percentile performance (in December, Redman stole someone’s hat, asked if anyone in the crowd had weed, and graciously turned the stage over to the cousin (aka “The Dude”) who’d been caught sleeping on his floor in the memorable Redman Cribs episode we blogged about b) A few less-than-90th-percentile rappers guaranteed whose performances outpace their recorded sound. Among them freestyle whiz Supernatural, who always manages to get a crowd pumped up with that one-trick pony in which he asks the crowd for words and then slips them into his rhymes (the trick: pick words like “phone,” “bone,” “hot,” “Iraq,” or, as rapper Mims recently proved, “attire”) c) Several above-90th-percentile rappers (ie Ghostface and Pharoahe Monch) guaranteed to deliver subpar performances. At Mezzanine, Monch showed up with two Vegas-style soul singers who were so over the top, they left people scratching their heads wondering, is this supposed to be like, ironic, or something?)