Rising Philly rapper Lushlife gets ready for the Roots Picnic

Lushlife is performing at the Roots Picnic.  Credit: Friends of Friends Network
Lushlife is performing at the Roots Picnic.
Credit: Friends of Friends Network

Philly hip-hop emcee and producer Lushlife has led a secret life.

“As a kid, I led two secret lives: one as a hip-hop head, listening to A Tribe Called Quest, Nas and Black Moon; and another where I was knee-deep in ’80s and ’90s alternative rock like The Smiths and The Pixies,” said Lushlife, aka Raj Haldar, of South Philly.

Those pursuits formed the foundation for his innovative music. By merging divergent sounds, his songs veer from a Bacharach-ish melodic glossiness to a boom-boxy street rawness — seamlessly. He’s probably the only one who can get away with authentically name-checking New York City hip-hop icons M.O.P. and seminal punk rock originator Richard Hell in the same song, as he does in  “Hale-Bopp was the Bedouins” from 2012′s “Plateau Vision.”

“These interests seemed so divergent to me at the time,” Lushlife says. “But now, that pedigree in the classic cannon of hip-hop and indie rock is what I think makes my records work. I hope my records sound fluently like a combination of those influences and more.”

Lushlife, whose work has been lauded by everyone from Pitchfork to The New York Times, is set to perform at the annual Roots Picnic, Saturday at the Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing.

Also on board at the Picnic this year is blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr., novelty rappers Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Beyonce’s kid sis Solange, Canadian hip-hop chanteuse Grimes, and Naughty by Nature, who will be backed by the Roots.

The Roots have been standing especially tall for Philly music in recent years, thanks largely to their work on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.” They’re already in Philly for the unveiling of their mural, designed and implemented by Amber Art and Design, at the World Communications Charter School at 512 S. Broad St.

The unveiling is a nice warmup to Picnic day.

“I’m super honored to have been asked to play [The Roots Picnic],” says Lushlife, who adds that he may be unveiling some new tracks himself during his set. “Black Thought is one of my favorite rappers of all time.”

Tweet
There was some discord earlier this month among the Naughty by Nature crew, but that seems to be resolved now, at least according to a tweet from the group’s Vin Rock earlier this week: “June 1st will be historic! For the 1st time in 22yrs Naughty will rock a full set with a live band. Not just any live band its the World Famous Roots Crew.”

If you go

The Roots Picnic
with The Roots, Gary Clark, Jr., Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Grimes, Naughty by Nature (backed by the Roots), Araabmuzik, DJ Premier, Solange, Lushlife, Trinidad James, Gaslamp Killer, Hit-Boy, How To Dress Well, Joey Bada$$, Robert Glasper, Sonnymoon and Jennah Bell
Saturday
Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing
Columbus Blvd. and Spring Garden Street
SOLD OUT
www.okayplayer.com/rootspicnic



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD: Stroller carrying 2-year-old rolls onto Queens subway…

A 2-year-old girl in a stroller rolled onto subway tracks in Queens on Monday morning, police said.

International

Pro arm wrestler calls himself real-life 'Hellboy'

You can call German arm-wrestler Matthias Schlitte "Hellboy."

Local

NY immigration groups to close over alleged fraud

Two of the largest non-profit immigration service groups in the United States will shut down after being accused of defrauding thousands of clients, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said…

Breaking: National

Tsarnaev pal Azamat Tazhayakov guilty in bombing obstruction…

Tazhayakov, a Kazakh exchange student, was the first of three of Tsarnaev's friends to be charged with interfering in authorities' investigation.

Entertainment

‘The Leftovers’ recap: Season 1, Episode 4, ‘B.J.…

Last week’s episode of “The Leftovers” was apparently a fluke, because this week’s episode returns to focusing on the Garveys and it is so boring.…

Movies

Interview: Luc Besson says 'Lucy' is very different…

Filmmaker Luc Besson talks about his new film "Lucy," how it's different than "Limitless" and his crazy first conversation with Egyptian actor Amr Waked.

Music

Weezer releases first new song since 2010

Weezer releases "Back to the Shack," their first new song in almost six years.

Movies

Benedict Cumberbatch plays a different kind of genius…

The man known worldwide for his portrayal of London's eccentric private detective Sherlock Holmes is trading his Belstaff coat for tweed this fall. Benedict Cumberbatch…

MLB

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according…

Yankees looking at trade for Cliff Lee, according to report

NFL

Giants lineman Chris Snee to retire: Reports

The Giants report to training camp on Tuesday, but Chris Snee may not be there when they do.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony talks about his charity work in…

As he is used to doing every year, NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony is going to visit Puerto Rico to do work for his foundation.

MLB

New Jersey's Todd Frazier becoming star for Reds

Over the past week, the image of a 12-year-old Todd Frazier standing side-by-side with Derek Jeter at Yankee Stadium in 1998, has been widely circulated.

Tech

RocketSkates let users roll with a motor

Los Angeles company Acton has raised funds on Kickstarter to roll out a nifty alternative – motor-powered "RocketSkates."

Tech

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony becomes a tech entrepreneur

He's been an All-Star, an Olympian, and a celebrity spokesperson. Now NBA player Carmelo Anthony is adding the position "tech entrepreneur" to his resume. Along…

Tech

Ulises 1 is the world's first singing satellite

A group of artists and engineers in Mexico have unveiled Ulises 1, the world's first opera-singing satellite.

Home

Wallscape on a budget

Skip the wallpaper and ombre an accent wall instead.