Article Contributed by press | Published on Friday, April 10, 2009

Guerilla Union has announced initial details for the 2009 installment of the critically acclaimed festival series ROCK THE BELLS--North America’s only hip-hop festival. Teaming with Budweiser for this year’s ROCK THE BELLS 2009 FESTIVAL SERIES, the festival features such headliners as Nas & Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, The Roots, Big Boi and Common plus many more major hip-hop artists.

The summer trek will kick off June 27 and run on consecutive weekends through August 9 in ten cities across North America including Toronto, Washington D.C., Boston, New York, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Vancouver.  Each stop will feature 25 acts on two stages, a vendor village, surprise performances and more. Exact dates, venues and ticketing information will be unveiled at a later date.  Fans are encouraged to visit to sign up for their newsletter with up-to-date information on the tour, as well as visiting media partner MySpace Music at

Anticipated performance highlights of this year’s festival series include: headliners Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley who will perform material off their June release Distant Relatives, promising to deliver the "soundtrack to global change" and they’ll focus on bringing attention to social issues in Africa; The Roots will break away from their “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” residency for some live dates; and, for the first time, KRS-One--known as the purveyor of the Temple of Hip Hop and his activism with the “Stop The Violence” campaign—will join MC Supernatural, Murs and Pete Rock as hosts for RTB, as well as serving as a performer. 

Also confirmed for ROCK THE BELLS is the long-awaited reunion of the Irish-influenced hip-hop trio House of Pain consisting of all the original members (Everlast, Danny Boy and DJ Lethal) featuring La Coka Nostra, who will perform material off their early 1990’s releases.  Reflection Eternal is another notable collaboration for Rock the Bells with the union of Talib Kweli and Hi Tek.  The complete list of participating artists for the tour follows below.

“On behalf of Guerilla Union and we are proud to announce the 2009 Rock The Bells Festival Series. Since 2003 we have committed ourselves to producing a world-class hip-hop platform dedicated to conscious, hardcore and independent movements,” states Rock the Bells founder Chang Weisberg of Guerilla Union.  “Our festival has been blessed to host so many historic performances and has been the barometer for hip-hop culture every summer.  This year will be no different.  In fact, with the current state of global affairs, including the recent election of President Obama and the difficulties facing our economy, we found ourselves having to be conscious of all the social and/or economic issues our fans may be dealing with as well as the challenges facing many artists in an ever evolving music industry.  The common DNA of all these perspectives is that there is faith that things are going to change.  Change is the universal hope for all our fans and artists alike.  With that said, who better to headline this year’s Rock The Bells than Nas and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley? Their highly anticipated album Distant Relatives is a collaboration that’s destined to be the soundtrack of people’s hopes and aspirations this summer.  Although this is a monumental combination for hip-hop, it is simply some of the most important music to be released period, regardless of genre.”

Artists confirmed for this summer’s ROCK THE BELLS 2009 FESTIVAL SERIES include:

Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley

The Roots


Big Boi (Outkast)


House of Pain w/ all original members featuring La Coka Nostra

Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli + Hi Tek)

Tech N9ne

RZA (Wu-Tang)

Raekwon (Cuban Linx II)

Sage Francis

Slaughterhouse (Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz, Royce Da 5’9,” Crooked I)


Charlie 2na (Jurassic 5)


Eyedea & Abilities



Psycho Realm

Mystic Jouneymen (Sunspot Jonz + Lucky I Am)

Mickey Facts

Tabi Bonney

Slum Village (T3, Baatin, Elzhi)



Hosted by




Pete Rock


ROCK THE BELLS, presented by Guerilla Union since 2003, has established itself as a world-class hip-hop platform by hosting legendary performances by Rage Against the Machine, Jay-Z, Nas, A Tribe Called Quest, The Pharcyde, Public Enemy, Lauryn Hill, Blackstar (Talib Kweli and Mos Def), Hieroglyphics, Living Legends, De La Soul, Busta Rhymes, Cypress Hill and Jurassic 5 as well as reuniting Wu-Tang for their last performance with ODB in 2004.  In 2008, Rock the Bells toured internationally for the first time in Prague, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki, Paris and London.