On August 6, 2022 iconic Rapper, LL COOL J, brought timeless Hip-Hop to Queens! Held at the Forest Hills Stadium, the ROCK THE BELLS FESTIVAL featured an awesome lineup of legendary Hip-Hop acts including LIL KIM, ICE CUBE, BUSTA RHYMES, SCARFACE and FAT JOE. On one of the hottest days of the summer in New York City, more than ten thousand fans came out to show their love for classic Hip-Hop.
“ROCK THE BELLS” began as the title of LL COOL J’s smash hit from his debut album “RADIO“. The name was used without permission for a Hip-Hop festival organized by a company who put on shows from 2004 to 2013. LL filed and won a lawsuit against the promoters to rightfully regain the rights to the title and trademark.
In 2018 he launched ROCK THE BELLS RADIO on Sirius XM, a channel dedicated exclusively to Hip-Hop fans who want that classic Hip-Hop sound. ROCK THE BELLS is is the Home For All Things Classic and Timeless Hip-Hop. It is the bridge between OG’s and those inspired by their groundbreaking influences on the culture. And fans had the opportunity to experience that timeless magic up close and personal at the festival.
Blessing the stage were Queens natives N.O.R.E., HAVOC of MOBB DEEP, The LARGE PROFESSOR and ONYX. Long Island native BUSTA RHYMES. DIPSET, JADAKISS, FAT JOE and REMY MA represented for Harlem, the Bronx and Yonkers. LIL’ KIM and DIGABLE PLANETS showed up for Brooklyn. SCARFACE, TRINA, RICK ROSS and ICE CUBE put it down for Texas, Miami and L.A. legendary DJ’s DJ MISTER CEE, DJ SCRATCH, KID CAPRI kept the crowd active in between sets. A high point of the show was the Golden Era Mixtape segment featuring every rappers favorite rapper, KOOL G. RAP, BRAND NUBIAN, MILK D. and the ULTRAMAGNETIC MCs.
The performances were sensational! Raw energy filled the stadium as the crowd sang each nostalgic song word for word. The 90 degree heat did not stop the entertainers from giving fans their best, and it certainly didn’t stop the fans from dancing and partying. LL COOL J brought the house down with an amazing set featuring his DJ, Z-Trip. He reminded us why he is the G.O.A.T. of Hip-Hop as he ran through his extensive catalog of number one hits like, “Around The Way Girl“, “Doin’ It“, “Hey Lover“, “Mama Said Knock You Out“. He closed the show with the song that started it all…”LL COOL J is hard as hell. Battle anybody I don’t care if you tell. I excel. They all fell. Gonna crack shells, Double-L must ROCK THE BELLS!” What an awesome show!
Houston rapper, BUN B, was given the task of curating the first-ever Hip-Hop-themed food court, “Trill Mealz Food Court”. The food court was comprised of various eateries owned by rap artists: BUN B’s ‘Trill Burgers’, NAS’ ‘Sweet Chick’, MIA X’s ‘Team Whip Them Pots’, E-40’s ‘Goon With The Spoon’, JADAKISS & STYLES P’s ‘Juices for Life’ and GHOST FACE KILLAH’s ‘Killah Koffee’. There were even Hip-Hop snacks and ROCK THE BELLS waters. This event was 100% Hip-Hop!
Once again, the G.O.A.T. has made history while showing his deep love and passion for Hip-Hop. His selfless dedication to preserving Hip-Hop’s legacy and keeping classic and timeless music relevant is something artists and fans across the globe appreciate. And the borough of Queens showed her appreciation for LL. He was presented with a proclamation by Council Speaker Adrienne Adams and the “Key to Queens” by Queens Borough President Donovan Richards for his undeniable impact on Hip-Hop and popular culture, which he achieved during his decades-long career as a rapper, songwriter, producer and actor.
We thank you and we salute you LL COOL J!
No worries if you missed the festival last weekend, tune into ROCK THE BELLS RADIO, Channel 47 on Sirius Xm, to hear the performances! www.rockthebells.com
For every ticket sold, ROCK THE BELLS donated a portion of the proceeds to the Universal Hip-Hop Museum in the Bronx. Thank you to all who attended!