The Roots.

Prince Is Alive At The BET Awards: Erykah Badu, The Roots, Bilal, Stevie Wonder + More

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A Musical With Unreleased Prince Music May Be In The Works

The spirit of Prince is alive and well at the 2016 BET Awards. The night has so far been full of Prince tributes and rightfully so. Dave Chappelle began with a touching introduction rocking a purple pocket square in an ode to the late musician. Erykah Badu, The Roots, and Bilal then took to the stage at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater and performed a moving and emotional homage with Questlove keeping the beat. Badu and The Roots then proceeded to get it started with a stellar rendition of The Ballad of Dorothy Parker. Badu wore a beret reminiscent of her attire in the new video Maiysha (So Long) with Robert Glasper. Bilal followed with an energetic and unforgettable performance of The Beautiful Ones off the album Purple Rain and ended up on the floor as he sang, kicking his legs up in the air. 

For the second round of Prince tributes Stevie Wonder blessed the stage donning a purple suit accompanied by Tori Kelly. They performed a duet of another track off Purple Rain, this time the groovy Take Me With U. The crowd was definitely feeling it and feeling good.

Jennifer Hudson, wearing a white hooded jacket, followed with a beautiful rendition of the Prince classic Purple Rain. Later on Maxwell sang Nothing Compares 2 U. And to top if off Janelle Monae sang Kiss and Pop Life.

So yeah, the spirit of Prince and his undeniable music was definitely alive and well at the 2016 BET Awards.

Watch the performances below or here straight from BET and make sure to check back for more updates.

The post Prince Is Alive At The BET Awards: Erykah Badu, The Roots, Bilal, Stevie Wonder + More appeared first on Okayplayer.

The Roots Rock BET Experience 2016 w/ The Internet, T.I. & More

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Photo Credit Ural Garrett

The Roots took the L.A. Live stage at Club Novo in Los Angeles on Saturday night to close out BET Experience 2016 with an all-star performance featuring The Internet, Marsha Ambrosius, T.I. and more. The Roots crew opened the show before being joined by Ambrosius and TIP, who took the stage to perform the Dr. Dre and Sir Jinx produced loosie “Dope,” which is rumored to be in the lineup for his T.I.’s forthcoming solo LP. T.I. followed with performances of “What You Know About That” and “Whatever You Like.” The Roots kept the crowd primed ahead of Ambrosius’ return to the stage for a short set, which included “Butterflies,” “Say Yes” and the surprise announcement that she is expecting.

The Internet were next up to bat with a set packed with joints from their acclaimed Ego Death and Feel Good LP’s. Nothing from their widely-celebrated Purple Naked Ladies LP surfaced during the 30-minute performance, but Black Thought returned to the stage to run through a verse from “Break You Off” during “Special Affair.”

Upping the ante, The Roots brought surprise guest Common to the stage to perform a set that included plenty of classics including “The Light.” The Roots crew closed the show with a Prince tribute from Jeremy Ellis and a performance of Funkadelic‘s “Maggot Brain” by Captain Kirk Douglas – both timely nods to musical titans in light of the recent deaths of Prince and Bernie Worrell. Check the out the gallery above for a taste of The Roots & Friends at BET Experience 2016 courtesy of photographer Ural Garrett. Get more on the 3-day fest via Grab tix to see The Roots rock Bryant Park on October 1st for The Roots Picnic NYC via Ticketmaster.

The post The Roots Rock BET Experience 2016 w/ The Internet, T.I. & More appeared first on Okayplayer.

Roots Picnic 2016: Watch Usher + The Roots Perform ‘Nice & Slow’

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Usher and Black Thought at Roots Picnic
Black Thought and Usher share the stage at Roots Picnic 2016. Photo by Seher Sikandar for Okayplayer.

There’s no summer music festival quite like the one that goes on in the City of Brotherly Love. This year, we had the honor and the pleasure of putting together the 9th Annual Roots Picnic, and the community came through to have a grand ol’ time with The Legendary Roots Crew, their featured guests and, of course, Okayplayer.

The carefully curated lineup had its ups (DMX reuniting with his father) and major-ups (the entire Kaytranada set), yet it was the headlining acts of The Roots and Usher Raymond that made Roots Picnic 2016 into another excellent sonic adventure for audiophiles who attended the Festival Pier event.

Established at the South Stage, the Hardest Working Band in the World took to the crowd, performing a jam session to warm them up for nearly 15 minutes. When Usher joined them, the 37-year-old singer, who also wore a Muhammad Ali t-shirt in honor of the late boxing legend, opened with “Caught Up” before segueing into “U Make Me Wanna”. The Roots would showcase their deep musical knowledge by meticulously crafting the arrangements to bridge old grooves with Usher’s timeless sound.

With an excitement that is sorely missing at other big festivals around the country, The Roots Picnic 2016 had hits, surprises and celebrated grooves that sent shocks-and-awe throughout the festival-goers body. As the night wore on, Usher and the Illadelph band offered soothing tunes, which you can see below, in the form of “Nice & Slow” and “Break U Off”.

Watch the guys show off their expansive catalog by pressing play on the video underneath:

The post Roots Picnic 2016: Watch Usher + The Roots Perform ‘Nice & Slow’ appeared first on Okayplayer.

Watch Kehlani Show Philadelphia “The Way” Live At Roots Picnic 2016

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Kehlani shows Philadelphia "The Way" live at Roots Picnic 2016 [Photo by Seher Sikandar for Okayplayer]
Kehlani reaches out to touch our hearts at Roots Picnic 2016. Photo by Seher Sikandar for Okayplayer

Upon asking people who they were itching to see during Roots Picnic 2016, the majority of heads there mentioned the one, the only, Kehlani. If you went strictly off of recent online commentary about the Grammy Award nominated singer-songwriter, you might have thought that all anybody cared about was her personal life, but all the chatter went silent the moment she touched the South Stage, literally and metaphorically.

Kehlani hit the main stage of Festival Pier in a good mood, bursting with energy. Bringing her two backup dancers and a DJ to the party-like vibe, Kehlani was truly channeling her inner-Jackson. Choreography was air-tight and seduction levels were at a boiling point for damn-near the whole show. K had us all the way in our feels and the audience made sure to let her know it with an outpouring of audible love in return. Performing “The Way” was a point of self-affirmation for the r&b star, who proudly jumped into her hit after telling the crowd to “make some noise if this is your shit.” We didn’t have a decibel-meter on hand but we can nonetheless objectively state that it was indeed their shit. Lil Chano from the 79th may not have been present for his portion of the collabo single, but he surely would have gleamed with pride at the sight of this steamy performance, dripping with confidence and poise.

The intense performance drew audiophiles from other stages as if a powerful magnet was switched on–regardless of generation or musical taste, you truly had to be living under a rock (or just born without a melodious soul) to sleep on the Oakland singer-songwriter’s performance. Thankfully, OKP TV was on hand capture the moment for prosperity. For your viewing pleasure, watch as Kehlani dances, boogies and shows us “The Way” our exclusive Roots Picnic recap video below.

The post Watch Kehlani Show Philadelphia “The Way” Live At Roots Picnic 2016 appeared first on Okayplayer.

Roots Picnic 2016: Anderson .Paak Absolutely Destroys Philadelphia

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Photo by Mel D. Cole of Village Slum for Okayplayer.

Photo by Mel D. Cole of Village Slum for Okayplayer.

The Roots Picnic 2016 served as a shot to kick-off the summer music season for fans of ill tunes + great grooves. At Festival Pier in Philadelphia, with the crowd buzzing over the headlining acts of Future, Usher and, of course, The Roots — it was the solid and quality undercard that also fueled plenty of ooh’s and aah’s from those visiting the event from near-and-far. Leading the charge was the exhilarating performance by Anderson .Paak and The Free Nationals. As the Oxnard-native (and one of our favorites!) capitalized on his bubbling 2015 with a stellar 2016, .Paak proved what he and his crew have earned themselves the distinction of being possible “Best New Artist” Grammy Award-winners.

Taking the stage around 3:00 p.m., .Paak already had the crowd rocking back-and-forth even before the first note was played. Since he is one of the most buzzed about acts on the festival circuit this year, .Paak made sure to not disappoint his growing legion of fans. As you can see in the video below, the man formerly known as Breezy Lovejoy crafted one of the best sets during the Roots Picnic with high-energy, bravado, charisma and some clean chops on the drums. “If nobody love you, I love you. Alright?,” he told the crowd, who earnestly and honestly believed the genuine moment from this budding star.

But you don’t have to take our word for it… you can see for yourself as Anderson .Paak + the Free Nationals perform their summer chart-topper, “Am I Wrong,” and get your boogie on however you like.

The post Roots Picnic 2016: Anderson .Paak Absolutely Destroys Philadelphia appeared first on Okayplayer.

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