One Musicfest cements its place as one of the region's don't-miss festivals

Beloved locals paired up with hip-hop legends for a day of memorable performances


Masquerade Music Park and Historic Fourth Ward Park served as the perfect setting for the growing One Musicfest on Sept. 14. Luckily, the weather also cooperated. The hot sun felt like summer, but a good breeze helped fans stay cool during quick moves between the two stages.

Among the many highlights: DJ and producer Pete Rock spun an old-school hip-hop set that included his classic "They Reminisce Over You."

Locals Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics brought the group's retro soul sound back home after touring internationally. Philly soul rocker and Santigold collaborator, Res, performed cuts from her critically acclaimed, How I Do album and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," from her upcoming ReFried Mac EP.


On Friday, the day before One MusicFest kicked off, organizers announced that Erykah Badu was replacing Amel Larrieux. The Texan surprised fans with a barrage of hits including "On and On" and "Bag Lady."

"I wasn't prepared to sing; I was supposed to DJ for y'all, but the almighty didn't want that to happen 'cause my computer broke." Ms. Badu paused post-show for questions and photos. I asked her what was next. "Go back to Dallas, get back into the Badu-dio yes, she said that and see what comes out. I'm ready to do an album, I'm really, really ready, send me the good energy."


Good energy definitely flowed as hometown heroes, Goodie Mob, entered the stage. The quartet looked like high priests of funk in black robes and feathered headdresses. They quickly shed the excess wardrobe to give the people what they wanted in the form of "Soul Food," "Get Rich to This," and "(Black Ice) Sky High."

When they split for solos Big Gipp rocked a pimped out coat and hat for "Steppin' Out." CeeLo then took over with "Bright Lights, Bigger City" and the unexpected "Don't Cha," by the Pussycat Dolls, which CeeLo wrote and produced. Of course, a Goodie Mob set would not be complete without their biggest single, "Cell Therapy," and their newest, "Special Education" from Age Against the Machine. Unfortunately, there were no signs of Janelle Monáe who celebrated her Electric Lady album release two days before at Reign. The crowd didn't seem disappointed as Badu rejoined the Mob for "Liberation" to wrap what felt like the quickest 75 minutes ever.

Goapele's chill performance was a cool-down to Goodie Mob's workout. No one seemed to care that Snoop was running close to half an hour late for his headlining set as soulstress Joi Gilliam and hip-hop entrepreneur Dres ThaBeatnik sang and beat boxed energetically as if they hadn't been hosting the entire day.

When Snoop finally arrived he brought out the Dogg, not the Lion - in his song selection and stage company. The slim rapper opened with "I Wanna Rock" flanked by three dancers in Adidas sweat suits and a mascot called Nasty Dogg, who held a giant blunt prop as he moved across the stage. The loudest applause came for "Next Episode," "Nuthin' But a G Thang," and "Drop it Like It's Hot." The big Dogg revealed maturity during a snippet of Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize" asking, "Y'all got love for Biggie Smalls?" in a show of coastal solidarity that couldn't have happened in the respective rappers' '90s heydays. As he went into his first hit, "(Who Am I) What's My Name," the crowd slowly began to disperse. The closest he'd come to the Lion persona was the instrumental of Bob Marley's "Jammin'" before the music stopped.

If this year is any indication of what the future holds, get ready for more.
On the following afternoon, the festival's Facebook status read, "I hope everyone isn't too tired after One Musicfest. What are you going to do once it becomes a 2 day festival?"

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