Saturday, June 1st I took my talents to the city of brotherly love (Philadelphia) for the 6th annual The Roots Picnic. It was a beautiful afternoon at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier to enjoy a plethora of music. The entire event was hosted by TV personality, Amanda the Diva who kept the audience lively despite the scorching 90 degree weather and not one cloud in sight. The festival had two different stages, the main stage and the tent, which would hold different performances throughout the day.
The artists range from Electric, Neo-soul, Hip-hop, to any and everything you can think of. There were certain artists I’ve never heard of that blew me away such as How to Dress Well, Grimes, Gaslamp Killer and A-Trak. Common names such as Trinidad James had the whole tent rocking and literally sweating like we popped some Mollies. (WOO!) This was my second time seeing Mr. James perform within the past month and he does not disappoint. Although his other songs don’t match the hype of “All Gold Everything”, he still gave the crowd a solid performance.
The main artist I wanted to see was my Afro-inspiration, soul sista Ms. Solange Knowles. Listen. Solange DID that. This was my first time seeing Solo perform live and it was completely worth it. Although she’s more of an Indie Neo-Soul Queen while her big sister is the Queen of Pop, that stardom stage presence must RUN in the Knowles’ sisters bloodstream. Vibing on stage in a printed short set and swinging her Marley twists, Solange bared her soul on the stage. Here’s a clip of her performing one of my favorite songs by her.
Young Rappers on the come up such as Hitboy and Joey BADA$$ held their own in the tent, bringing that old soul hip-hop sound with a mix of new school swag. DJ Premier also stayed true to original Hip-Hop as he hit the 1’s and 2’s and played tunes straight from a 1993 house party. The most energetic performance by far was Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. The Seattle native performed his three hit singles, “Thrift Store” (which he borrowed a fan’s fur vest) “Can’t Hold Us” and “One Love.” He joked with us, he danced, he even WALKED across the crowd. No, not crowd surf. Fans were literally holding up his feet like he was Jesus. Macklemore for me has been one of those artists that you wouldn’t consider yourself a fan of but after seeing him live, I may have to reconsider. See the clip below:
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton- Can’t Hold Us
And of course the night’s highlight was The Roots. It’s a Roots Picnic tradition to have the headliner perform last while backed by the Roots and this year it was Naughty by Nature. Despite having a short lived twitter beef between Treach and Vinnie, the two but their difference aside and rocked out with 6,000+ music lovers to records that still retained its power 20 years later. The Roots performed some of their hits with a live band and even had special guest Meek Mill come out. No worries, Meek Mill did not come on stage yelling any of his MMG lyrics. He was just there showing love for his city.
So after an 11 hour music festival, pregnancy ankles, sunburn and seeing people pass out left and right from a day filled beer diet and no food– The Roots Picnic was amazing! Of course there were a few things that could be different but if music is your vice like me, it was simply bliss.