Photos by Kyle Dean Reinford
Over the past decade and change, the scene that’s come to define Philadelphia — in media exposure and in most cases, artistic merit — has been spearheaded by the most fabulous Roots crew. Going to middle and high school in the area, word would trickle back to us in the burbs about what was happening on South Street — that there was a mindblowing rap crew with live instrumentation tearing up South Street nightly, fostering an affiliation of artists that would one day, they said, be synonymous with the city. So we’d go, hitch a ride with our friends licensed (and sometimes, not) to drive the Schuylkill Expressway, to sneak into whatever dingy spot we could to catch a glimpse of Black Thought and The One With The Afro. All that has happened since has been expected and yet entirely surprising. They’re the Comedy Central house band? Of course they are (what?). So anyway, children of greater Philly, you have it so much better now than we ever did — along with the Man Mans and the Pattern Is Movements, there’s now an entire Picnic organized by the Roots and their cadre of like minded friends, there for you to see without running the risk of getting grounded.
The fun went down on Saturday at Philly’s Festival Pier. Pretty much everywhere, it was hot. Converse All-Star Santogold unfortunately had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict, but the rest of the mighty, advertised lineup — including Diplo, Gnarls Barkley, the Cool Kids, Deerhoof, DJ Jazzy Jeff sans the Fresh Prince, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and of course the Roots — was on hand, battling off searing temps and making a moment of it. Kyle Dean Reinford did the hard work slugging the festival-provided free water (nice one, Philly) and working the photo pit to capture a superb set of pics from the picnic. All you have to do is scroll.
THE COOL KIDS
DJ JAZZY JEFF
SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS