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Rock the Bells 2013 Lineup Includes Resurrected Ol' Dirty Bastard, Eazy-E and More

After seeing the late Tupac Shakur resurrected via hologram at Coachella 2012, Guerilla Union founder Chang Weisberg was floored. His cell phone immediately started blowing up with friends being like, "Yo! You seein' this?!?," but he could't take his eyes from the stage. The way Weisberg tells it, having Dr. Dre on stage already was super cool, but Tupac rapping up there too was mind-blowing.

For the 10th anniversary of Guerilla Union's Rock the Bells, Weisberg and co. will bring back to life -- so to speak -- both Eazy-E and Ol' Dirty Bastard. They won't be holograms, though. America's premiere hip-hop festival is calling it an "Original Virtual Performance" based off of the Pepper's ghost illusionary technique and powered by the company Gig It, who recently brought the first and only virtual 3D concert game to Facebook.

Weisberg has been known to put many twists into Rock the Bells lineups. In years past, performers have taken on their iconic seminal and classic albums in their entirety, or a rap group here or there has reunited for a one-off performance, but the "Original Virtual Performances" are a first.

The lineup isn't too shabby either.

Common, Kid Cudi, Big KRIT, Danny Brown, Earl Sweatshirt, Tyler, the Creator, Flatbush Zombies, Hit-Boy, Immortal Technique, Mimosa, Jhene Aiko, Juicy J, E-40 & Too Short, Dom Kennedy, Lecrae, Rakim, Dilated Peoples, Talib Kweli and TechN9ne will all perform. Rock the Bells lands September 7-8 in San Bernardino, Calif.; September 14-15 in Mountain View, Calif.; September 28-29 in Washington, D.C.; and October 4-5 in Rutherford, N.J.

Did we forget anything? Black Hippy aka Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul will be there too.

That it? Nope! A recently reunited Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Jurassic 5 and Wu-Tang Clan will also hit the stage. Eazy-E returns alongside Bone Thugs and Wu-Tang Clan will bring back Dirt McGirt during their stage time. More artists will be announced in the next month.

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Malcolm X’s Daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, Speaks On His Legacy And Netflix Docuseries

In commemoration of the 55th anniversary of his assassination, Malcolm X’s daughter, Ilyasah Shabazz, spoke out on her father’s legacy and the popular Netflix documentary, Who Killed Malcolm X? 

Speaking with Democracy Now on Friday (Feb. 21), Ilyasah praised the filmmakers behind the six-part docuseries for their work in attempting to uncover, “Who killed our father? Who took the life of a very young man who challenged the moral compass of world nations.”

Ilyasah was just two years old when her father was assassinated in front of her, three of her sisters and her mother, Betty Shabazz, who was pregnant with twins at the time. A week before Malcolm’s murder, the family’s home was firebombed.

Ilyasah has no memory of her father’s assassination which took place on Feb. 21, 1965, inside Harlem's Audubon Ballroom. Malcolm was preparing to give a speech in the venue and invited his family to sit in the front row.

“I’m really grateful that I don’t have memory as my older sisters I’m sure can recollect, being 6 years old and 4 years old, the trauma and chaos and understanding that our father never came home,” she said. “And especially to my mother who was a young woman that actually saw bullets just tear my father’s body apart.”

The interview details the days leading up to Malcolm's death, including France banning him from entry into the country three weeks before his assassination. Malcolm who was only 39 years old when he died, traveled to Europe during the first week of February in 1965. He was turned away at the airport in France without explanation and subsequently forced to fly back to London where he delivered what would become one of his final speeches at the London School of Economics.

“He realized this was bigger than the Nation of Islam,” Ilyasah explained of Malcolm being banned from France. “The Nation of Islam itself did not have the power to keep him [out of France] and France did not want history to include that Malcolm was assassinated on their land. And so that speaks volumes, and my father understood that his life was not just challenged by the Nation of Islam. It was much bigger than that.

“It’s important to look at the work that he was doing,” she added. “Challenging world powers, challenging world nations for taking control of an [unequal] distribution of the world’s wealth.”

Ilyasah also dismantles the notion that her father “miraculously became Malcolm X” after he went to prison by detailing how his upbringing shaped his interest in political activism.

“He was always a leader,” she said. “He was always compassionate, he was always a learned young man. His parents instilled specific values in him and his siblings. The importance of self love, compassion, [and] care.”

Watch the full interview in the video above (Ilyasah’s portion begins at 12:17).

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Gregg DeGuire

Jhene Aiko Reveals Release Date For ‘Chilombo’ Album

Jhene Aiko announced the release date for her third studio album and what appears to be the album artwork on Friday (Feb. 21). The album titled, Chilombo, after Aiko’s sur name, is slated to drop on March 6 and promises to be some of her “realest” work to date.

“Just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO #phew realest s**t I ever wrote,” the Grammy-nominated tweeted on Monday (Feb. 17). Aiko described the album as an compilation of her previous work. “If sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO.”

just typed out all the lyrics to the free flows that are #CHILOMBO 👏🏼 #phew realest shit i ever wrote....

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

if sailing soul(s), sail out, souled out and trip had a baby #CHILOMBO 🌋

— Chilombo (@JheneAiko) February 17, 2020

Last month, Aiko dropped the track “P*$$Y Fairy (OTW),” which is expected to be on the album. Aiko’s last album, Trip, was released in 2017.

See the Aiko's latest album artwork below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

"Chilombo" March 6th 🌋

A post shared by Jhené Aiko Efuru Chilombo 🌋 (@jheneaiko) on Feb 21, 2020 at 6:00pm PST

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Jojo Announces ‘Good To Know’ Album And Tour

Jojo has a new album, Good to Know, dropping this spring and will be hitting the road for a headlining tour kicking off in April, the singer announced on Friday (Feb, 21).

The album title encompasses all that Jojo has learned “in the past few years,” she explained in a statement. “Every piece of feedback, criticism (internal or external), whatever it is — it’s all just information. And it’s all good! I’ve been lucky to have the space to reflect on my own journey up to now, and I hope people can take comfort in the fact that I am not anywhere near perfect, and I will never sugarcoat anything. We're all constantly living and learning and that’s what makes this life fun.”

The 'Good to Know' tour launches at Seattle’s The Showbox on April 21, and wraps May 30, at First Avenue in Minneapolis. Presale tickets will be available beginning Monday, Feb, 24. Additional tickets go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 28.

Click here for more information.

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