Philly’s favorite crew/presidential backing band/future mural stars the Roots have made their annual Picnic the best summer festival in town, no matter what Jay-Z and his Made in America concert promise you. (Wait, Jigga got D’Angelo?! Ah, we’ll still choose Roots Picnic.) For the first time in its five-year history, the festivities will be split over two days, which means more acts, and (at least) 15 more Roots performances. The band has had a tradition of backing rap legends at each event, and although they’ll probably never top 2009’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back set with Public Enemy, ?uest and the boys will be the beats to the rhymes of De La Soul, as well as Rakim (doing Paid In Full in its entirety). Other highlights for this year include: Kid Cudi, Wale, St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, Major Lazer, a DJ set by James Murphy, Shabazz Palaces, and a whole bunch more.
Sat., June 2, noon; Sun., June 3, 5pm. $50-$80. Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing, Spring Garden St. and N. Columbus Blvd. okayplayer.com/rootspicnic
PW's Music Issue 2014