photos by David Andrako

“You could have stayed home, listened to your Camp Lo/Digable Planets mixtape and had a chill Saturday night,” said Craig ‘Doodlebug’ Irving, “but you came out in the rain and fucked with us.”

Far more than simple crowd flattery, his words brought focus to how much love the city still has for the trio that released just two albums in ’94 and ’95, but have since stayed relevant with lyrics that champion black intellectualism and unity as a means of transcending pratfalls of being black in New York.

While contemporaries like De La Soul and Tribe Called Quest kept New York’s classic, thought-provoking hip-hop game strong, the Planets introduced cool psychedelic interplanetary imagery into the mix as a doorway to enlightenment, what we now call getting woke. Flatbush and Fort Greene, the backdrops of their rhymes, were merely launching pads to other cosmic planes. - [Observer]

Saturday's rain messed with an abundance of great, free outdoor shows all over NYC happening that day, but didn't stop them. The most anticipated of them, perhaps, was the return of '90s hip hop group Digable Planets who came out of retirement this year and whose tour brought them to Prospect Park for a free show as part of BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival.

They're based out of Seattle these days, but this was very much a NYC homecoming for Digable Planets as their songs -- loaded with references to the city -- made clear Saturday night. Positive vibes abounded as Butterfly, Ladybug Mecca and Doodlebug gave the Prospect Park crowd a nice selection of favorites from Digable Planets' two albums, closing the night of course with their hit "Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)." Setlist is below and pictures from the night, including shots of openers Camp Lo, are in the gallery above.

If you didn't make it out to Prospect Park or wish you had another chance to see Digable Planets in NYC, you're in luck. The band will be stopping here on their way home from the Iceland Airways festival, playing Webster Hall on November 10. Tickets for that show go on sale Friday (8/5) at 10 AM. There's also a new Boston show. All dates are listed below.

setlist: Digable Planets @ BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival 8/2/2016
Slowes' Comb / The May 4th Movement starring Doodlebug
It’s Good to Be Here
Pacifics (NY Is Red Hot)
The Art of Easing
What Cool Breezes Do
Black Ego
Nickel Bags
Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)

Digable Planets - 2016 Tour Dates
8/23 - The New Parish   Oakland, CA
11/5 - Icelandic Airwaves Fest  Reykjavik, Iceland
11/8 - Paradise Rock Club    Boston, MA
11/10 Webster Hall           New York, NY

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