The Eminem Australian Tour 2014 has been confirmed and not only is the world famous rapper heading back Down Under, but he is headlining the debut of a brand new hip hop festival.

Following rumours and speculation that Eminem was returning to Australia next February as part of his world tour plans for his new album, MMLP2 (The Marshall Mathers LP 2)the Rapture festival has been announced with Eminem topping a bill of hip hop A-listers, featuring Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, and Australia’s own 360.

The inaugural Rapture festival 2014 lineup will kick-off at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Wednesday 19th February before rolling up to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium (Thursday 20th) and finish up at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium (Saturday 22nd).

Rumours of a hip hop festival named Rapture had been swirling around since Eminem’s last tour of Australia in 2011 and had earlier this year been linked to Soundwave/Big Day Out promoter AJ Maddah, only for the festival honcho to shoot down the rumours that he’d “ever” promote a hip hop event.

Rapture is instead the work of Aussie promoter Paul Dainty – of the Dainty Group who are presenting Eminem’s February tour – in collaboration with Eminem’s manager Paul Rosenberg.

“I am really excited to be working with Eminem on Rapture, an annual event with a long term vision of showcasing the best of the best in hip-hop at affordable prices to the punter,” said Mr Dainty in a statement issued this morning confirming the event.

Hip hop festivals and events in Australia have had an especially potted history, including a spate of cancelled events this year, including the recent Melbourne leg of Sprung, Live Nation’s Movement, the financial troubles of Supafest.

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Eminem will arrive in Australia following the release of his new album, MMLP2 (The Marshall Mathers LP 2)with fans already getting a taste of the new record in aggressive track ‘Survival‘ and the old-skool flavour of the 80s referencing ‘Berzerk‘. Last week, a third single from the forthcoming record appeared online in ‘Rap God’.

Topping the bill alongside Slim Shady is Kendrick Lamar, the 26-year-old rap prodigy who is already one of the highest paid MCs of the year. The Dr. Dre protege is also name-checked among the greatest rappers ever with just a ream of guest spots and one (excellent) studio album to his name, last year’s Good Kid m.A.A.d City. Rapture 2014 will be Lamar’s first festival appearance Down Under after turning down the Big Day Out for their lineup so that he could attend the Grammys.

Also on the Rapture 2014 lineup is J. Cole, the North Carolinian who has four albums to his name at the young age of 28, including this year’s Control, and representing Australia, Melbourne rapper 360.

360 recently stood up against “fucking racist cunts” in his live performance at the Sprung hip hop festival; performing a track from his yet-to-be released follow-up to the award-winning Falling & Flying LP, which is set to feature collaborations with members of Silverchair, The Presets, and ‘Boys Like You’ singer Gossling.

Tickets for Eminem’s return to Australia, headlining the Rapture festival, will go on sale Thursday 31st October.

Rapture Festival 2014 Lineup

Kendrick Lamar
J. Cole

Rapture Festival 2014 Dates, Tickets

Wednesday 19th February – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne VIC
Thursday 20th February – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 22nd February – ANZ Stadium, Sydney NSW

Tickets on sale at 12 noon on Thursday 31st October

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