Competing in the festival market isn’t easy, with so many having similar lineups. But the 2022 One Musicfest, which made its return to Atlanta this weekend, stood out among the rest because of how it reflected Black culture at its core.
With clear skies in Atlanta on Saturday and Sunday, it’s difficult to choose which day was the best. The festival featured three stages and, honestly, there wasn’t a stage that let me down. The festival displayed artists at some of their most vulnerable moments, which is something I haven’t witnessed during any other festival experience.
Whether you’re old or young, there was an artist for most people. Saturday opened with some of R&B’s most celebrated early 2000 acts, including Mya, Lil’ Mo, Amerie and Jagged Edge. One highlight came when, during Jagged Edge’s set, Lil Duval came out and performed his hit “Smile (Living My Best Life).” It was an emotional moment; this was the first time Duval has been actively seen in public since his unfortunate four-wheeler accident. Duval ditched his cane and started dancing after proclaiming, “The doctors told me I’d never walk again.” The night also featured stellar performances from Jeezy, Sean Paul, Larry June, and Rick Ross, but it was Ms. Lauryn Hill that captivated the audience.
Ms. Lauryn Hill was surprised by her son, Zion, just moments after she finished her song affectionately named after him! Along with him, we were introduced to her grandbabies as well! If you havent seen her in concert, what are you waiting for?! #LaurynHill #OneMusicFest #LaurynHillZion #OkayPlayer #laurynhillclassic
Being that this was my first time seeing Ms. Hill, I didn’t know what to expect. She’s rumored to be notoriously late, but I was cool waiting for Lauryn Hill. It’s L-Boogie! She showed up only about 20 minutes late, but, when she appeared on stage, time stood still as the crowd hung on her every word. Performing a melody of her hits, Ms. Hill and her band deserve all the time in the world. The highlight of her performance was her son Zion surprising her on stage, giving her a deep hug. He also brought out her grandchildren and she revealed that they call her “MeMe” because she’s too young to be called grandma.
Early arrival was a must on Sunday. The day kicked off with underground favorites like Alex Isley, Mereba and Bilal, but it was Juvenile that had my knees weak. The New Orleans legend belted out classics like “Set it Off” and “Back that Azz Up.” He expressed his gratitude to fans for his 25 year career that not only benefited him, but also his family who graced the stage with him. (His brother was his DJ, and his son, Young Juve, rapped alongside him.) The day carried on with incredible sets from Saucy Santana, Chloe, City Girls, and Lupe Fiasco, who dedicated his set to slain Atlanta rapper Trouble.
As the night concluded, Jazmine Sullivan shared the most intimate moment of the weekend. While performing she revealed that her mother’s breast cancer returned, causing her to shed tears. The moment opened her up to say that this performance will be her last for a while, as she focuses on her mother. She asked the crowd to send their love by saying “We love you, Ms. Pam!”
The festival closer was hometown hero Lil Baby, who rocked out with a crazy crowd performing new songs from his upcoming album, It’s Only Me. But, the close out the night for mr came when Doug E. Fresh and The Chuck Brown Band reminded me of the roots of hip-hop. They brought out Vicious and performed “Freaks” and that was the one time I lost it all weekend.
The Human Beatbox ended my weekend on an incredible high.
Quierra Luck is a writer based in North Carolina. You can follow her @Quierra_Luck
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