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photo by The Chris That Eats Like A Meal

Any hip hop fans out there?

I’m a bit out of the loop on recent hip-hop trends as I have largely succombed to a rock-oriented live music existence over the past 7-8 years. But when I saw the lineup announcement for the Rock the Bells hip hop festival, I was in awe at just how many big names in hip-hop’s past and present were represented:

Wu-Tang Clan
Rage Against The Machine
Nas
Cypress Hill
the Roots
Public Enemy
Mos Def
Sage Francis
EPMD
Jedi Mind Tricks
Immortal Technique

So far, this “world class hip hop platform” (as the main site describes it) is slated for three dates this summer:

Sat 07/28/07 @ Randall’s Island, New York, NY
Sat 08/11/07 @ the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, CA
Sat 08/18/07 @ the Covey Cove Parking Lot in San Francisco, CA

Also, there are some additional artists that will make appearances at one or more stops:

MF Doom
FELT
Hieroglyphics
Living Legends
Blackalicious
the Coup
Murs
Brother Ali
Cage
Mr. Lif
Grouch & Eligh
Hangar 18
Bluepring
Lucky I AM

Some of these names take me way back to my early music-buying days…Public Enemy? EPMD? Cypress Hill? I’d be curious to see what these groups sound like these days. And I’d be remiss not to mention the addition of the reuniting Rage Against the Machine, which adds an interesting dimension to the lineup.

Believe it or not, I grew up on hip-hop. The majority of my first tapes and CDs were hip-hop until I was about 14-15 and started to branch out more into rock (a trend further advanced by my picking up the guitar). I don’t know if I’m quite ready to make the plunge back into the hip-hop world, but something like this might be a cool way to do it.

Anybody been to previous Rock the Bells festivals?