Kid Cudi cancels, Roots Picnic rocks on anyway

Philly shows their love for The Roots Picnic.

A great hip-hop act once said, “You can plan a pretty picnic but you can’t predict the weather.” So we all learned Sunday night at the fifth annual Roots Picnic at Penn’s Landing’s Festival Pier.

An early evening thunderstorm drenched the crowd, leaving puddles and empty beer cans all over the black concrete. On stage, the artists had to deal with microphone malfunctions and power outages. Just as Rakim was getting into the hook of “I Know You Got Soul,” the speakers went silent.

Five minutes later …

“I’m back, Philly. I’m back,” he shouted. “Been a long time, shouldn’t have left you …”

Black Thought, soaked in sweat, looked out at the crowd and took the vocals on Eric B’s parts of “I Ain’t No Joke,” Paid in Full,” “Juice,” and “Don’t Sweat the Technique.”

The inclement weather also delayed the flight of the night’s final act, Kid Cudi. The Cleveland rapper never made it to the show, but The Roots wouldn’t let anyone go home unhappy. Black Thought called for some “hometown hero shit” and brought out Philly rappers Freeway, Jakk Frost and Skillz.

“No one wants to go home yet, right?,” he said. “The show goes on.”

Not only did the show go on, it actually got better. Freeway, wearing a sling and cast on his right arm, started it off with “Rock The Mic.” Then, The Roots dug deep into their platinum catalog, playing “The Seed 2.0,” “The Next Movement” and a masterful cover of the Guns N’ Roses classic, “Sweet Child ‘O Mine.”

But the highlight was an electrifying, extended version of “You Got Me.” Black Thought put the spotlight on Captain Kirk Douglass, whose guitar solo dazzled the crowd, Jimi Hendrix style. Captain Kirk gently sang Erykah Badu’s lines and then stretched his vocal chords with his trademark scat. Kid Cudi who? The crowd ate it up.

The Roots played for an extra hour after announcing Kid Cudi had cancelled. Earlier in the day, as people sought dry shelter, Diplo held it down with two sets in the tented area. The Philly-based DJ – amid clouds of marijuana smoke – turned the tent into the weekend’s biggest dance party.

What we saw:

The Roots Picnic was a two-day affair, starting Saturday afternoon
and ending Sunday night. Here are three things we saw at the festival:

1.
Surprise, surprise … Mos Def showed up out of the blue Saturday night,
in the middle of The Roots’ set, and went toe-to-toe with Black Thought
on “Double Trouble.” The rapper/actor tore up the mic on classics “Casa
Bey” and “Umi Says.” De La Soul also played an unforgettable set, which
was highlighted by “Oohh Oohh.”

2. Vote Obama … It was hard to
ignore the overwhelming political presence there both days. Volunteers
for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign handed out bumper stickers at
the entrance/exit and tried to track down unregistered voters. The Roots
have long been loud-and-proud Obama supporters.

3. How much for
a beer? … As the rest of the city celebrated Philly Beer Week with
happy hours and specials on hand-crafted brews, the folks at Festival
Pier jacked up the prices. The big Miller Lite cans (22 oz.) were
selling for $11 a pop. Mixed drinks? We didn’t even ask.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…