Ice-T Curating Hip-Hop Festival featuring Game, Rakim, EPMD

By Brian Ives 

Ice-T is curating a hip-hop festival that he says will celebrate all eras of hip-hop with the Art of Rap festival, named after his documentary The Art of Rap.

The two day festival will take place on July 18 at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheater in Irvine, Calif., and July 19 at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif. Ice-T will co-headline July 18 with The Game, and headline the show on July 19.

Related: Interview: Ice-T Puts The World On Blast

Other artists performing at both dates include Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Afrika Bambaataa, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Doug E. Fresh, EPMD, Kurtis Blow, Mack 10, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Melle Mel, King Tee, tha Alkaholiks, Too Short and Xzibit, among others. Rakim, Warren G and Naughty Nation, featuring Naughty by Nature members Treach and Kaygee, will perform at the Irvine date.

The festival is said to cover all eras of hip-hop, but the present day seems slightly under-represented, with only the Game representing the most recent decade or so. Then again, as Ice himself told Radio.com last year, he’s not quite enamored with the latest superstar acts.

“Right now, hip-hop is basically materialistic bulls–t. A pop bubble full of bulls–t. You’re creating this belief that everybody’s drinking champagne and driving around in Maybachs. But the majority of them aren’t. The [artists] who aren’t, are faking it. They’re basically turning into the people we hated when we started to rap. The people who flaunted their money and threw it at you. We’re turning into that.”

That said, he cited Kendrick Lamar, Lupe Fiasco, T.I., Drake and Young Jeezy as MCs whom he respects.

Tickets for the Irvine show, go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. PT. The Mountain View show will go on sale on May 1 at 10 a.m. PT. A VIP pass at both festivals offers access to a “Meat and Greet” barbecue with Ice-T and some of the other performers.

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