Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap & More Takeover The Roots Picnic New York (Video)
This past weekend, The Roots held the first ever New York version of their annual picnic. Pulling out all the stops, they expanded the traditionally one day festival into two days, and built a star-studded lineup. Participating acts included Wu-Tang Clan, D’Angelo, David Byrne, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Swizz Beatz, EPMD, The Jungle Brothers, Kevin Gates, Tish Hyman, Stretch & Bobbito, and many more.
In addition to holding down his position as The Roots’ front man, Black Thought took on double duty by reprising his “Live Mixtape” series with DJ J. Period. The event is just like it sounds, with Tariq Trotter and J. Period curating a series of their favorite artists and beats and producing a non-stop set loaded with freestyles, guest appearances and more. The Roots Picnic NYC version included participation from Royce 5’9″, Pharoahe Monch, Freeway, Smiff-N-Wessun, Craig G, Big Daddy Kane and Kool G Rap.
After Thought got things warmed up with killer verses over song’s like Jay Z’s “PSA (Interlude),” he began bringing out guests. Royce performed his DJ Premier-produced “Boom,” before he and Thought dove into “Wishin II,” their PRhyme collabo. Pharoahe Monch performed a spirited-version of “Simon Says,” and Freeway dove into State Property’s “What We Do.” Smiff-N-Wessun took the stage and rocked “Sound Bwoy Bureill.”
When Black Thought brought out Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane, he took on a more active role, serving as G Rap’s hype man during “Ill Street Blues,” and rocking Kane’s entire second verse to “Ain’t No Half Steppin.'” After each of the MCs had performed separately, Thought served up the coup de grace, bringing them all back on stage, along with a surprise appearance from Craig G, to perform a rousing 2016 remix version of DJ Marley Marl’s “The Symphony.”
The entire set took up not much more than 30 minutes but, for Hip-Hop fans, it served up memories for a lifetime.