While we’re no strangers to the annual Roots Picnic in Philly, this year marks The Roots’ 20th anniversary of their breakthrough album, Things Fall Apart. The landmark album marks a pivotal moment in the band’s career, which peaked at #4 on the Billboard 200 charts. To celebrate, the June 1st event moves from Festival Pier to The Mann Center at Fairmount Park, which seems fitting – much larger digs for the larger than life crew. The album, recorded during 1997 – 1998, marked a pivotal time when other projects like Common’s Like Water For Chocolate, D’Angelo’s Voodoo and Erykah Badu’s Mama’s Gun were recorded. Questlove, Erykah Badu, Common, D’Angelo along with J Dilla, James Poyser, Pino Palladino, Roy Hargrove, Talib Kweli, Yaasin Bey(fka Mos Def), and Bilal would eventually become known as the members of the Soulquarians collective. So, when the lineup was revealed the first billing that caught my attention was Raphael Saadiq vs. The Soulquarians, and I can only begin to imagine what that performance will be like. The remainder of the lineup includes The Roots performing Things Fall Apart in its entirety, Black Thought bringing his Live Mixtape back with none other than Yaasin Bey, singer/songwriter H.E.R., lively band Tank & The Bangas, Tobe Nwigwe, who is just coming off a slew of sold-out tour dates, plus much, much more. Also, I’m hoping for a chance to sink my teeth into the new meatless cheesesteak that Questlove created in partnership with Impossible Foods. Sounds like the perfect way to spend a warm summer day, wouldn’t you agree?
For more info, visit http://rootspicnic.com/philly/
Article: Lesley Keller