LL Cool J’s Rock The Bells platform is expanding. In August, the brand launched the first-ever Rock The Bells Festival in Queens, New York. And now it is taking hip-hop culture to the sea with the Rock The Bells Cruise: A Hip-Hop Experience.
“At Rock The Bells, we believe classic and timeless Hip-Hop deserves to be served on a silver platter and we can’t wait for Hip-Hop lovers across the globe to be immersed in the culture for five days, on five stages,” Rock The Bell’s President James Cuthbert said in a press release. “We’re excited to partner with Sixthman, who bridges the gap between artists and fans, creating unforgettable guest experiences.”
Ready to Set Sail
The cruise is setting sail from Miami to the Bahamas on Nov. 13 to Nov. 17, 2023. In partnership with Sixthman, an event planning company specializing in music festivals, the cruise is the first of its kind and will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip-hop.
“We could not be more excited to help play host to the first-ever Rock The Bells Festival at Sea,” Sixthman VP of Events, Marketing & Community Jeff Cuellar said in a statement. “From music to food, art, dancing, fashion, and history, this cruise will be a fully immersive experience and I can’t think of a better way to keep the celebration of Hip-Hop’s 50th Anniversary going than Rock The Bells taking over their own ship on the ocean.”
Although the full lineup will not be revealed until 2023, the four-day event will launch with Miami-based artists Trick Daddy and Trina on the pool deck. In addition, the event will include pool deck parties hosted by Kid Capri, rap karaoke, MC and DJ battles, live podcasts and interactive graffiti. Tickets for the cruise will range in price from $1,099 to $5,199.
Slated For Success
While the Rock The Bells cruise is the first event of its kind, it is still poised for success. Similar cruises such as the Tom Joyner’s Fantastic Voyage have generated $9 million in income. Launched in 1999, the Fantastic Voyage’s mission is to raise money for the Tom Joyner Foundation, which provides funding to historically Black colleges and universities. Since its debut, the organization has raised over $69 million. While the Rock The Bells Cruise is not raising funds for charity, it is tapping into the growing popularity of oldies hip-hop events.
“This festival is my way of showing love to the community of hip-hop and celebrating the incredible journey this culture has taken, going from DJ Kool Herc’s Sedgwick Avenue rec room, to the global phenomenon we all cherish today,” LL Cool J told Vibe.
Cool J himself is considered a veteran rapper. The 54-year-old launched his hip-hop career in 1984 as one of the first artists on the legendary label Def Jam Records. The Grammy Award winner has had a number of hit songs, including “Mama Said Knock You Out,” “Doin’ It,” “Around The Way Girl,” “Rock The Bells,” “I Need Love,” among others. The rapper-turned-actor, who has long starred on the hit TV series “NCIS: Los Angeles,” reputedly has a net worth of $120 million.
“Getting to bring some of the most iconic and influential hip-hop artists to the same stage, in my hometown and the city that started it all, is an honor, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have in store for them,” he said of the upcoming cruise.