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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Preview of hip-hop festival Rock The Bells

With a reputation as the biggest and baddest rap and hip-hop festival in the country, RFK Stadium is sure to be jam packed for the 10th Anniversary of Rock The Bells. The two-day festival hops over to D.C. on Sept. 28 and 29, and it’s going to be a weekend to remember.

Main headliners for Rock The Bells 2013 are Kid Cudi, Wu-Tang Clan, Black Hippy, J Cole, A$AP Mob, Wale and Jurassic 5. While it’s tricky to choose between 50 artists and counting, we picked the top 10 artists that we’re the most amped to watch.

Stream our Soundcloud playlist for the weekend.

Also be sure to watch the 2013 Official Rock The Bells trailer.

Joey Bada$$:
Currently an unsigned and independent artist, this popular Brooklyn based rapper has impressed with his collection of eclectic mixtapes. While “1999” is the debut that gained Joey Bada$$ the most recognition, his most recent release “Summer Knights” was a huge hit. Having seen him live once before, I’m hungry for more.
– Sydney Gore

Riff Raff:
Ever since Eminem went big back in 1999, white rappers have been crucified (often rightfully so) for ripping off black culture and style. That can’t be said, however, for new self-proclaimed rap icon Riff Raff aka Jody Highroller. From his famous “rap game” tweets to his collaborations with comedian Andy Milonakis to James Franco’s Riff Raff-inspired character in “Spring Breakers”, Riff Raff is one of the weirdest, most unique individuals to hit the rap game recently. His words are immaculate, his image is absurd and one thing’s for sure: this is not going to be a middle of the mall performance.
– Eli Fosl

Chief Keef:
Whether Kanye practically stole “Don’t Like” from 18-year-old Chicago rapper Chief Keef remains to be seen, but no matter what, all eyes have been on him ever since. Chief Keef’s personal life — particularly his numerous legal woes — has often taken the spotlight away from his music, but he has still managed to have hit songs within the past year, including “Love Sosa” and college anthem “Hate Bein’ Sober.” Keef is notorious for either being MIA for his concerts or getting into brawls with the audience, so I’m just waiting to see if I’ll be able to witness his antics firsthand or if he’ll elude the crowd once more.
– Jane Morice

Black Hippy:
Top Dawg Entertainment’s Black Hippy is an act you can’t possibly miss. If you’re not familiar with members like Schoolboy Q, Ab-Soul and Jay Rock, you sure know the leader of the pack, Kendrick Lamar. Separately, these Southern California artists can give a memorable and unique performances on their own. Their styles range from “groovy gangster with an attitude” to raps reminiscent of the old school Compton style. When they rock the stage together, however, these four artists merge to form one explosive unit.
– Greta Zukauskaite

Danny Brown:
Anyone who knows Danny Brown knows him for his ecstatic nature and wild, drug-crazed persona not too unlike Slim Shady. His ecstatic nature does nothing but increase with his live performances. Whether it’s because of his famous “chicken dance” stage presence or insane jester attitude, Brown live is an experience that cannot be replicated. Not only that, but Danny has a new album dropping the day after the festival, so it’s sure to be a show full of unheard material and lots of hype.
– Eli Fosl

Earl Sweatshirt:
A member of the notorious group Odd Future, the young rapper has had all eyes on him since 2010 after he dropped his debut mixtape “Earl.” Of course, Earl Sweatshirt’s debut album “Doris” was one of the most anticipated releases this summer. Now that he’s kicked his bad spell of pneumonia, Earl Sweatshirt is back in full motion and touring all over both coasts. This is a set that I won’t be missing for anything.
– Sydney Gore

Action Bronson:
Pitchfork slammed Bronson’s debut EP “Saaab Stories” for being misogynistic and derogatory. His songs often reference his culinary creations in some capacity while also rapping about his exploits with women — a win-win combination in his case. I’m looking forward to seeing Action Bronson and witnessing his stage presence in person (he is a HEFTY dude) while giggling my way through his set, seeing that I can’t seem to take him 100 percent seriously.
– Jane Morice

A$AP Mob:
Since A$AP Rocky dropped his first mixtape, “LiveLoveA$AP,” he was able to combine the chopped and screwed style of Houston rap with influences from Harlem, NY where he planted his musical roots. Hits like “Peso” and “Purple Swag” signified his stake in the rap game, and then he introduced the rest of the talented A$AP mob to the hip-hop world. Known for their ability to mix high-fashion and streetwear just as much as their “Trap Lord” hits, A$AP Mob has no problem putting on a show on and off stage. Recents hits like “Shabba” by A$AP Ferg, and throwbacks like “Full Metal Jacket” from the collaboration “Lord$ Never Worry” mixtape are tracks that will surely show the mob knows how to party.
– Greta Zukauskaite

Ratking is a New York hip-hop group consisting of Wiki, an all-star quick-versed young rapper. Hak, who uses his mesmerizing voice to sing the hooks in an almost reggae fashion but who can also spit bars. SportingLife is their producer who makes an almost unbelievably New York sound using tasteful samples and deep bass tracks. The group’s style revolves around the struggles of being a young poor person in NYC and really captures a lot of the youthful energy and anger associated with being adolescent. Their first and only EP, Wiki93 was released on XL recordings. These guys have a passion, energy and chemistry that is a rare gold in abstract hip-hop and they put on an incredible live show.
– Eli Fosl

Jhené Aiko:
Considerably one of the most underrated singers to date, Jhené Aiko is one of my favorite R&B artists. As if listening to her single “3:16am” isn’t addicting enough, the “Sailing Soul(s)” mixtape is a hidden gem in the abyss of underground music. Featured on tracks for rappers like Big Sean, Ab-Soul and Schoolboy Q, Jhené Aiko is about to blow up after having worked with Drake on a track off his new album “Nothing Was The Same.” Watching a Jhené Aiko performance is a rare opportunity that shouldn’t be taken for granted, but cherished for eternity.
– Sydney Gore

There is no denying that Wale’s fame skyrocketed after joining Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group (or as it has been self-proclaimed as of late, the “unstoppable Maybach Music Empire”). His debut major-label album “Ambition,” released in 2011, remains as one of my favorite albums to this day. The DMV native released his second album “The Gifted” in June of this year, continuing to interweave go-go influences and DC references into his songs. Most importantly, I am truly excited to see Wale perform in his hometown. It’s practically scientific fact that when an artist does a show for the fans who knew the music first, the show rocks.
– Jane Morice

Prices for general admission tickets start at $86 for single day passes and $128 for a two-day weekend pass. VIP passes are also available online. For more information on Rock The Bells, hit up Now that you’ve heard, spread the word!

As the semester comes to an end and one of the founding members leaves American University, Section 202 has decided to take a trip down memory lane. For our fans, old and new, who are wondering how Section 202 came to be, this episode is a must. Listen along as hosts Connor Sturniolo and Liah Argiropoulos reminisce about the beginning of Section 202 and how it got to where it is now.

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