The Hip Hop pioneer plans to bring together the genre’s most iconic performers for the milestone event. On Friday (April 14), Uncle L jumped on Instagram Live to share the exciting news with fans.
“I wanted to tell you personally [that on] Saturday, August 5th, Rock The Bells Festival is back,” he said in the video, before joking: “Well, you can’t call it a comeback,” in reference to the opening bars on his 1990 smash hit “Mama Said Knock You Out.”
While the lineup has not yet been released, he advised fans to get them early since the lineup is expected to be filled with heavy hitters.
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A separate post made the same day by LL COOL J revealed the festival’s location, Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York, and alerted fans that tickets were now available. Ticketing information can be found here.
“It’s truly an honor to bring the Rock The Bells Festival to Forest Hills, Queens for a second year. Line up announcement coming soon. We’re celebrating 50 years baby! Trust your man. You should get your tickets now. Link in bio. #RockTheBellsFestival #RockTheBells #RTB50,” he wrote in the caption.
LL COOL J founded Rock The Bells in 2018 with a focus on uplifting the culture and elements of Hip Hop. The brand uses content, commerce, merchandise and various experiences, such as the upcoming inaugural festival, to remind fans where the genre came from.
The name comes from LL COOL J’s 1985 hit “Rock The Bells” and the rap icon had to take ownership back after another company had used the name for their own festival in the mid-2000s.
Last July, the rapper explained that he founded the organization because he said that Hip Hop is not “disposable” and that “art/artists don’t have an expiration date.”
“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 COOL J said about the festival in a statement last year.
“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.”
At the end of his announcement video about this year’s festival, LL also teased that he will have some news about his much-anticipated new album. “There will be some album announcements coming soon too as well,” he said, keeping it brief.
It comes after he had presumably pumped the brakes on his upcoming 14th album due to issues with the recording process. But he later revealed he was just trolling fans.
In a series of now deleted tweets, he revealed that he was still “trying to figure this album out” and followed that up with a post that read, “just not feeling like this album is worthy of being released [facepalm emoji] I tried.”
However, LL COOL J returned hours later to clarify that the project is still moving forward and tagged Q-Tip, who’s serving as executive producer. Mr. Smith also trolled fans with a boisterous reason behind the delay with the album.
“Okay so everyone’s been asking me about the new record and my decision and I was considering not putting the album out because IT’S TOO FUCKING GOOD,” LL said in the clip. “Q-Tip you a genius baby this my favorite album I ever made. I can’t wait for y’all to hear this. Tracklist coming soon.”