Night 2 of the Roots Jam Session series for 2015 Grammy season kicked off in Los Angeles last night with Philly’s finest, sureshot Rik Gees AKA Black Thought killing his verses from “The Message”; “Longtime”; “The Fire” and unreleased favorite “Please Don’t Go.” With the greatest MC in the game touching the mic, we were off to an auspicious start and it was time for the parade of special guests to begin.
Austin Brown brought his mix of poppy freshness to the stage, coupled with fun dance moves and simple joy (also please note, he’s the son of “Centipede” champ Rebbie Jackson, which makes Michael Jackson The King Of Pop just “Uncle Mike” in his family album). UK by-way-of Philly native Marsha Ambrosius threw up the Okayplayer sign, denoting her status as longtime extended The Roots fam. The ex-Floetry frontwoman shared her gorgeous vocals with the room, performing “Say Yes,” and “Butterflies” (yes that “Butterflies”–the song she penned that Michael Jackson ended up picking up and recording!). More magic. Other standouts included Miguel doing “All I Want Is You” and then “Adorn.” Closing out the night, Bilal and Adrian Younge brought it home with two brand spankin’ new songs off their upcoming collabo album. When asked, Bilal said they were as yet unnamed but may be titled “Forever Again” and “Spring.” Adrian also brought in his own vintage custom restored Wurlitzer to play (dedicated to the game!).
Young gunners (Srennugs?) Rae Srummerd got the crowd hype with their hollerin’ anthem “No Type” and The Roots were on point and their jam in the middle was pure fire…just like last night! will.i.am returned and was in the audience again as were bass god Thundercat and Lake Minnetonka mermaid Apollonia. What more can we tell you (Top Billin’) the place was packed, hot and sweaty as a jam should be, a long evening of industry heads taking a rare chance to unwind and act like fans and musicians playing for their fellow musicians (and going deep). Click through our gallery of amazing photos by Mel D. Cole above, stay tuned for breakout video of will.i.am’s x The Roots performance of “Joints & Jam” and more madness to come when Night 3 goes down this evenin’!