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
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

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.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

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.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…