1 Jun

Rock The Bells Returns To The 36 Chambers With 2010 Run

Rapper RZA fields a question while promoter Chang Weisberg (right) of Guerilla Union listens in during a press conference at the Key Club in West Hollywood (Photo by Jesse Solorio).

REPORTING FROM WEST HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. —  It really doesn’t make sense to use a Power Point presentation when the world’s greatest freestyle rapper is in the building. MC Supernatural broke down the upcoming 2010 Rock the Bells tour lineup with an impressive three-minute freestyle rap highlighting the tours headlining acts. The tour announcement was Monday night at the Key Club.

“It’s so hip, it’s so real, and here comes the danger  — and then we go straight to the 36 Chambers.”

For rap fans, that can only mean one thing — Wu-Tang Clan is back. The eight remaining members of the super group will hit the road this summer to perform their ground-breaking album “Enter the Wu-Tang Clan — 36 Chambers” in its entirety as part of promoter Chang Weisberg and Guerilla Union’s four-date event.

“We’re not just doing this with Guerilla Union because Chang is an independent promoter. We’re doing it because he’s a very good promoter,” said RZA, often cited as the mastermind behind the Wu-Tang Clan. “Chang comes to my house; we’ll have lunch and we’ll talk about this tour. That what’s makes a good promoter, someone who can come and communicate with the artist.”

RZA said he and the other members have wanted to do something to celebrate the success of “36 Chambers,” but have hit roadblocks following the death of famed Wu-Tang rapper Ole’ Dirty Bastard.

“I didn’t have to go talk to the rest of the Clan about doing this tour. Chang did,” RZA said.

This year’s run includes a number of rappers focusing on a single album as part of their performance. Rakim has signed on to play his entire “Paid in Full” record, circa 1987, while hip hop professor KRS-One will perform his “Criminal Minded” album from the same year.

And if that wasn’t enough, Weisberg confirmed that UK rap legend Slick Rick will be joining the tour to perform the 1989 classic “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.”

“I’ve never as a promoter dictated what songs an artist will play. I don’t want to contrive anything, but we told Rick that if Pink Floyd was going to do “The Wall,” then Rock The Bells thinks we should do the “…Adventures of Slick Rick” and he said yes right away,” said Weisberg.

This year, the tour will only hit four stops: the NOS Event Center outside of Los Angeles in San Bernardino, Calif., on Aug. 21, the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif., Aug. 22; Governor’s Island in New York, Aug. 28; and Washington, D.C.’s Merriweather Post Pavilion on Aug. 29.

Chang said he hoped to lengthen the stands to two days by 2011 and maybe include a camping component. As for future talent, Weisberg revealed that his agency missed out on securing one hip-hop group that he might go after again in 2011.

“I really wanted to book Run DMC, but it just didn’t work out,” said Weisberg. “I don’t push for bands to reunite. Most of the time, I tell people that we interact with that their fans contact us on a daily basis and it’s clear that they would support a reunion.” — Dave Brooks

Interviewed for this article:  RZA, (909) 802-2020; Chang Weisberg, (909) 706-3688


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