Hip-hop’s hardest-working band is getting ready to put in overtime this weekend as the Roots put on their fifth annual Roots Picnic in the City of Brotherly Love.
Wale, Kid Cudi, Meek Mill, De La Soul and Diplo will join the world-famous Roots crew and perform during the two-day music festival on Saturday and Sunday at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The picnic has grown over the years as the idea was birthed back in the band’s early days while they were touring in Europe.
“This year will mark the first time that we’re doing two days instead of one,” Roots maestro ?uestlove told MTV News back in May. “I’m extremely proud of the diverse lineup that we have. Between Wale, Meek, Kid Cudi, De La Soul, Rakim, St. Vincent, Major Lazer, Diplo, Danny [Brown], it’s a whole vast array of acts that we have on the show.”
On Saturday, the Roots will back iconic New York trio De La Soul for their performance, and Sunday they will hit the stage with Rakim to honor his 1987 debut album with Rakim. “On the second day we’re celebrating Rakim’s 25th anniversary of Paid in Full, so we’re going to do the entire album from start to finish,” ?uesto explained. “That’s like a tradition, last year we did Illmatic from start to finish with Nas.”
Last year, ?uestlove, Black Thought and company backed Rakim for an intimate concert at the legendary New York jazz club the Blue Note . “The Roots is hip-hop royalty right now,” Ra told us back then. “From what they do, what they bring to the table, for them to holla at me, put this together, invite me out, that let me know, ’Yo, it’s official.’ Otherwise, they wouldn’t. It’s a good feeling to be around this long and still get that love.”
For ?uestlove, it’s all about celebrating good music and bringing the vibe that they absorbed in Europe over to the U.S. “That’s all we wanted to do was bring back what we learned and give it to the city of Philadelphia,” he said.
Who are you most excited to see at this year’s Roots Picnic? Sound off in the comments!