Rock the bells tour

by Erika Cueva

Summertime in Southern California brings highlights to some of life’s most treasured pleasures. Reprieve from the grind of school coupled with the best weather in the country makes the season the perfect time to enjoy live hip-hop. Several years ago, Californians were given the gift of live, pounding beats at the first Rock the Bells music festival.

Rap listeners feeling left out of the summer music festival circuit, which usually caters to rock, pop and country music, found their hip-hop prayers answered when Guerilla Union organized the first summer music festival of its kind in July 2004. Event organizers reunited Wu-Tang Clan to headline the event and the rest is glorious history. Rock The Bells was an instant success and every year thereafter, legendary acts have headlined, preceded by a day’s worth of other hip-hop acts.

Rock the Bells has featured heavy hitters such as a reunited Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy, The Roots, Cypress Hill, A Tribe Called Quest, MF Doom, Dead Prez, Murs, Pharoahe Monch, Nas and many others.

The music festival has since grown to include a national and international tour, but Southern California is still its home. Rock the Bells alleviates the itch to see such incendiary live rap acts. This year’s lineup has not been announced yet but more information can be found at