Last year’s ONE Musicfest delivered the now legendary moment that was The Dungeon Family Reunion. Over the weekend (Sept. 5-Sept.6), the seventh annual event continued the element of musical wonder thanks to performances from Jill Scott, Damian Marley, Migos and Yasiin Bey’s final concert in the United States.
Curated by Jason “J” Carter in 2010, the cultural event brought together artists that not only touch the charts, but who shift black culture. Experimental hip-hop and R&B ruled on Friday (Sept. 5) as Thundercat, Noname and Dreamville talents Ari Lennox and J.I.D. took over the Tabernacle.
It didn’t stop there as the illustrious Jill Scott kept the crowd at ease with hits from her nearly 20-year career the following day at Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheater. A surprise appearance from Dead Prez also brought joy to the politically-charged set.
Other highlights included Damian Marley’s high-octane performance, which was powered by Stony Hill, his first solo studio album in 12 years. Island pride spread across the crowd as the musician performed classics like “Welcome To Jamrock,” “Road To Zion” and “Beautiful.”
The most anticipated act of the evening was Yasiin Bey (Mos Def). The 42-year-old began his show shortly before the sunset, dropping red flower petals on the ground as he approached the front of the stage. The crowd was ecstatic as Yasiin vibed through notable tracks such as “Umi Says” and “Ms. Fat Booty” while taking the time to occasionally hum over the live band.
“I enjoyed it today,” he told the Associated Press after his performance. He also shared his plans to remain in the music world. “So if I get a chance to do it again in another way, I’ll just give it my all. I’m always going to be creating. … I’m not going to disappear if I stop rap or doing it in a certain type of way,” he said.
His energy vibrated throughout the crowd as he danced back and forth across the stage. Given the chance Bey might return to the booth, the Brooklyn native put on a show that demands reverence.
Check out more moments from this year’s ONE Musicfest in the gallery above.