On June 1st, The Roots celebrated the start of Black Music month with their 11th annual all-day picnic and the 20th anniversary of the release of their debut album Things Fall Apart. With Philly music, artwork and flair, this year was resounding success. Cricket Wireless and Jocelyn Allen Agency hosted a group of journalists for the weekend and we were given the royal treatment.
Held this year for the first tie at the Fairmount Park instead of on the south side of Philly for ten years on the Delaware Waterfront, the sold-out crowd of more than 25,000 people rocked from 12noon until past 12 midnight at the Mann One of the must-attend chilled grown black people festivals of the summer where you’ll always get a good amount of Live neo-soul, Conversations, Live Podcasts, fashion-forward females expressing themselves with vibrant, clingy clothing.
Women of all shapes and sizes flaunting skin tight onezies and neon colored spandex biker shorts and designer fanny packs.
Some of the best stage performances were from guests that included H.E.R. who sang some of her favorite hits line ‘Could’ve Been,’ and the emotional ‘Hard Place,’ and Queen Naija, whose 2017 album became a hit without even having major record label support. Raphael Saadiq performed a powerful set of some of his greatest hits including ‘Be Here,’ and ‘Skyy, Can You Feel Me,” after Black Thought and Jasmin Bey (aka Mos Def) spit verses over their mix tape session. The night was complete with the 20th anniversary rendition of The Roots’ ‘Things Fall Apart’ with special guests hitting the stage that included Philly’s-own Jill Scott and Common.
It felt so good to see Jill Scott looking so glorious in an all-black ensemble with the latest summer braids blowing in the Philly breeze.
And we haven't seen Yasmin Bey on the stage in a while. His energy was contagious.
Even sponsors like Cricket Wireless got in on the fun by presenting a $50,000 check to local Play On Philly, an organization that sends local kids to music school at Temple University. These guys are playing clarinets, Tenor Horns and Trombones, making their parents proud learning from the best musicians in Philadelphia.