In its fourth year, the Legendary Roots Crew’s annual picnic AKA multi-genre music festival (presented this time around by Live Nation) featured it’s usual mixed bag including Grammy winner Esperanza Spalding, Dismemberment Plan, Man Man and Yelawolf. But, as expected, the event’s real draw was the headliners Wiz Khalifa, Nas and of course, the Roots themselves, who never disappoint.
The Roots weren’t the only crowd pleaser at Philly’s Festival Pier on Saturday (June 4). Wiz Khalifa rocked the house and brought everyone to the main stage when he ran through his Kush and OJ hits while dodging bags of weed being thrown onto the stage. The stoner bounced around the stage, mixing old school dance moves with his own brand of dancing, before launching into ‘Rolling Papers’ tracks ‘On My Level.’ Wiz’s girlfriend Amber Rose (our controversial June/July cover girl) did not make an appearance in her hometown, but the Broad Street Bully Beanie Sigel made an appearance during Khalifa’s set. Freeway, another hometown boy, was in the house and came on stage during Wiz’s set. Backstage, Freeway revealed plans to release his next project ‘Diamond in the Rough’ next month. Wiz wrapped things up with his latest single ‘Roll Up’ before jumping into his breakout hit ‘Black and Yellow’ and got the crowd fully revved up for The Roots and Nas.
With Nas expected to take the stage at 9pm, Black Thought, Questlove and co. were in position to act as the backing band for the Queensbridge vet. While Nas fans waited for the MC to take the stage, the Roots ran through a few hits before handing over the mic. Nas took the stage to ‘Get Down,’ before launching into ‘It Ain’t Hard to Tell,’ ‘If I Ruled the World,’ ‘One Mic’ and ‘Hip-Hop is Dead’ before thanking the crowd for rocking with him (briefly) and exiting the stage. Luckily, Roots fans willing to rock out a little bit longer weren’t sent straight home. Black Thought held his own and paid tribute to Gil-Scott Heron. The late poet/singer-songwriter — who passed away on May 27 — would be proud. Check out photos from the Roots Picnic.