For nine years now, The Roots Crew has brought their annual family-style festival Roots Picnic to their hometown of Philadelphia. But as we shared last night Black Thought blew the minds of the assembled Roots Picnic crowd by announcing from the stage that Roots Picnic will be soon be coming to New York City as well!
While this is clearly a move that Thought, Questlove and Roots management have been quietly putting pieces in place for, for some time, the decision to share the news at Roots Picnic was apparently a spontaneous reaction to the observation from Lil Jon (who was there to join Usher for a Legendary live rendition of the club smash “Yeah!”) that Usher’s set with The Roots was so tight (it was–get more via our official Roots Picnic recap!) that they needed to take it on the road.
No sooner was the word given from onstage than an official announcement was forthcoming. Now that official details can be shared, it’s clear this is no afterthought to the original Roots Picnic (which will absolutely continue on as a Philadelphia tradition, to put to rest fears some fans expressed on social media overnight). The New York edition of the picnic will come to Manhattan’s Bryant Park this October 1st and 2nd, with headliners D’Angelo, John Mayer + The Wu-Tang Clan (!).
Let’s take a second to process that for a second. That’s Night 1: D’Angelo and John MF Mayer back by The Roots. Night 2: Nile Rogers and David Byrne and The Entire Wu-Tang Clan back by The Roots (!!) for a marathon set called “A Love Letter To NY” (!!). You might think with the incredible 9th Annual Roots Picnic (Usher, DMX, Swizz Beatz, Future, Kaytranada, surprise appearances from Will Smith, Yuna and Lil Jon!!) now in our collective rearview, there would be time to sigh or take a breath. But, no! The Illadelph insanity is just going to continue in New York as a mix of returning picnic guests (Yuna, Lil’ Uzi Vert, Swizz Beatz) and new artists (EPMD, Stretch & Bobbito, DJ Jazzy Jeff ). In addition to the guys listed above, Black Thought will bring his “live mixtape” seriesto the New York edition of the picnic, with DJ J. Period presiding over a segment that also includes Freddie Gibbs, Royce Da 5’9″ and Styles P (!!). Still breathing? Neal Brennan (The Chappelle Show) and Jerrod Carmichael (The Carmichael Show) will also bless the NY picnic crowd with their comic genius.
But don’t take our word for it, watch as our heroes Questlove and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter break it all down on the video reveal below. See y’all there!