Public Enemy added to Rock the Bells fest lineup
The hip hop group will join Rage Against the Machine and Wu Tang Clan at the August event.
By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
March 26, 2007
click to enlargeRock the Bells, the hip-hop festival scheduled for Aug. 11 in San Bernardino, already had a head for history with Rage Against the Machine and Wu Tang Clan leading the bill, and now organizers say that the rap pioneers of Public Enemy will also be on stage, celebrating their 20th anniversary of recording their rhymes with a reason.
The festival, at the National Orange Show Events Center, is shaping up as one of most staggering rap rosters in memory with two stages that will also feature Cypress Hill, the Roots, Mos Def, EPMD, the Coup, MF DOOM, Jedi Mind Trick, Murs and Sage Francis.
"It's a historic lineup," said Chang Weisberg, founder of Guerilla Union, the festival organizers. "To have Rage come back right now, where the country is politically, and be on the same bill with the Wu Tang Clan, it's a moment that represents the possibilities of hip-hop."
The festival will also hit Randall's Island in New York City on July 28 and McCovey's Parking Lot (near AT&T Park) in San Francisco on Aug. 18. That San Francisco show will have Nas as an added headliner; he will join Wu Tang on 15 more Rock the Bells dates in other cities to be announced soon, but Rage will not be part of that extended run.
For Rage, the Rock the Bells bookings extends their limited reunion run (they will close the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on April 29) and stokes fans' hope of new music and future touring. The signature L.A. band split in 2000 after creating a bracing and political blend of metal, funk and rap.
The Clan, meanwhile, will be performing off of "8 Diagrams," the upcoming album that is the first new music from the esteemed New York rap collective since "Iron Flag" in 2001. By all accounts, it was the Wu Tang reunion at Rock the Bells last year that set the stage for that album.
In the 1990s, Wu Tang elevated hip-hop artistry and personality and Rage added political charge to the music scene — Public Enemy did both and did it first. The group formed early in the 1980s in Long Island, N.Y., and their 1987 album debut, "Yo! Bum Rush the Show," began a searing presence on the rap scene.
Tickets for all shows go on sale March 31. For details check www.rockthebells.net.
i think my neck is gonna hurt the day after after all the head knotting!