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.