Deltron 3030 (the trio of Del the Funky Homosapien, Dan the Automator, and Kid Koala), Zion I and the Grouch, and the powerhouse duo of E-40 and Too $hort are the local names representing the Bay Area at this year's hip-hop megafest Rock The Bells, which returns to Shoreline Amphitheatre this August 25-26.
This year's lineup finds a strong balance between the contemporary (J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz) and classic (Missy Elliott and Timbaland, Nas, Ice Cube, Big Daddy Kane) in hip-hop -- though in the case of Missy Elliott and Timbaland, who are working on an album, Rock The Bells is likely to be a launchpad for some new material. The same is expected from our Bay Area ambassadors, who are all currently collaborating; in the case of E-40 and Too $hort, this might be the first opportunity to hear some of the work from their long-anticipated joint album.What could have been a formulaic festival rife for parody posters like Coachella actually made some surprising moves. This year's biggest curveball has to be the inclusion of DJ Lance Rock and Friends, best known to your little sister or cousin as the mixmaster on Yo Gabba Gabba! And where previous years have included several artists playing one of their albums in its entirety, this year there's only one album performance planned. Method Man and Redman will bring 1999's Blackout! to life, and thankfully it'll be happening outdoors -- so there won't be any smoke ventilation issues when the crowd gets to puffing. Peruse the full lineup below: