Music

LL Cool J Relaunches Rock the Bells Festival, with the Help From Ice Cube, Scarface, & More

LL Cool J is bringing festival Rock the Bells to Forest Hills Stadium in Queens on August 6th, with spots from Ice Cube, Lil Kim and more.

LL Cool J is reintroducing Rock the Bells festival to Queens, New York in August. On Monday, the hip-hop heavyweight announced the festival’s return with an all-star lineup including Ice Cube, Lil Kim, Rick Ross, Digable Planets, The Diplomats, Jadakiss, Fat JoeRemy Ma, Scarface, Trina, N.O.R.E. and more.

The day-long festival will be held on August 6th in LL’s hometown of Queens at Forest Hills Stadium.

“This festival is my way of showing love to the community of hip-hop and celebrating the incredible journey this culture has taken, going from DJ Kool Herc’s Sedgwick Avenue rec room, to the global phenomenon we all cherish today,” LL said in a press release for Rock the Bells. “Getting to bring some of the most iconic and influential hip-hop artists to the same stage, in my hometown and the city that started it all, is an honor and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for them.”

In 2018, LL filed a lawsuit against the team behind the original Rock the Bells festival, which ran from 2004 to 2013, claiming that founder and promoter attempted to trademark the name in 2004. The festival was named after LL’s 1985 song “Rock the Bells” from his debut album Radio. In 2019, LL won the lawsuit and became exclusive owner of the trademark.

LL recently spoke with Billboard about the upcoming festival. “The energy and the goal has always been to elevate hip-hop culture and classic hip-hop culture and not allow all of these talented artists that we have be pushed to the sidelines just because at the current moment they might not have a song at the top of the Billboard charts,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that they’re not valuable. … So the same way that the Stones get treated, Paul McCartney gets treated, and Bob Dylan gets treated, I wanted to see these artists treated that way.”

LL also talked about his upcoming album, which will be produced by Q-Tip. LL said:

“… for the record, I can’t tell people what it is, but I can tell people what it isn’t. What it isn’t is me and Q-Tip in a time warp. What it isn’t is me and Q-Tip chasing trends. You can use deductive reasoning from there and figure out the rest.”

Registration for pre-sale tickets for Rock the Bells festival are now available. General admission tickets will be released on Friday, April 8 at 10 AM ET/7 AM PT.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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