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Roots Picnic NYC happened with D’Angelo, David Byrne, Wu-Tang, Nile Rodgers, Alicia Keys & more

Dangelo Roots Picnic
D’Angelo at Roots Picnic (photo via Shaun Rodriguez)

The Roots put on the first-ever NYC edition of Roots Picnic this past weekend in Bryant Park (at the same time another inaugural NYC fest was going down). As you may have heard, there was a crazy secret aftershow at the Comedy Cellar with Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock, Aziz Ansari and John Mayer, and plenty of cool stuff happened at the fest as well.

The Roots’ set was of course a highlight, and it included an appearance by Common, as Billboard touches on:

As 7:30 p.m. hit, the crowd was anxious to receive the headlining act. With the band entering the stage as a unit, Black Thought took the microphone to open up the finale with some strong bars and even more powerful messages. “We dedicate this to anyone who has ever raised a fist,” the MC stated before the band started into a few hits. While the subject of injustice was on the crowd’s mind, Black Thought let Common hit the stage to perform a four-song set. Going through some of his classic records such as “Go!” and “The Light,” the Chicago rapper ripped through an amazingly compelling freestyle about police brutality, black lives and his new album, Black America Again. “Trayvon’ll never get to be an older man,” he boldly rapped. Before transitioning into the last two headliners, Dave Chappelle made a brief appearance, joking with the crowd “I’m only out here for two reasons: Kevin Hart couldn’t make it and D’Angelo is late.” Black Thought labeled him a legend before the two bowed out.

Chappelle also called Donald Trump “White Malcom X” during his appearance:

Dave Chapelle #rootspicnic #nyc

A video posted by @jay.oh.cee on

D’Angelo headlined day one, and for “Brown Sugar” and “Playa Playa,” he was joined by The Roots, John Mayer, and bassist Pino Palladino (who’s played with both D’Angelo and Mayer before). Watch:

#dangelo on lead. #johnmayer on guitar #questlove on drums #rootspicnic #brownsugar

A video posted by robyndw (@robyndw) on

Brown sugar #dangelo #rootspicnic #rootspicnicnyc

A video posted by Lu Lu (@misslu_lu) on

We the playas number one. #RootsPicnic #Dangelo #LegendaryRootsCrew

A video posted by Phonte Coleman (@phontigallo) on

Day two was headlined by Wu-Tang Clan, David Byrne (who played a BV show earlier in the week) and Nile Rodgers, and it also included a special appearance by Alicia Keys. Wu-Tang were introduced by Amy Schumer. Check out more pictures, including one of the day two schedule/setlist:

#AmySchumer introduces the #WuTang at the #RootsPicnic! @AmySchumer #WSHH

A video posted by WorldstarHipHop (@worldstar) on

It's all in the music #rootspicnic #rootspicnicnyc #music #festival #bryantpark #love #fall #nyc

A photo posted by C. (@lepetitenyc) on

Awesome performances tonight at #rootspicnic watched #wutangclan #aliciakeys #swissbeats with @jimmykang1

A photo posted by Iva Nicole (@ivania_nicole) on

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