The first-ever Roots Picnic NYC takes over Bryant Park for two days on October 1 and 2. That happens to be the same weekend that the Meadows Festival 2016 brings Kanye West and Chance the Rapper to Citi Field, but don’t worry, the Roots are bringing some of the hottest hip-hop artists and indie-rock bands around for their fest. Here we’ve highlighted the acts you won’t want to miss.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Roots Picnic NYC
Best acts to see at Roots Picnic NYC
With this year’s stellar studio debut Islah, a collection of braggadocio-filled boasts ("2 Phones") that often turn unexpectedly tender ("One Thing"), drawly Louisiana MC Kevin Gates has secured his cred as one of the most acclaimed alumni of his 2014 XXL Freshman Class.
Art-rock visionaries Deerhoof pirouette through their usual bizarre hodge podge of jagged guitar, jittery drums, whimsically lilting vocals and gritty punk edge.
Who can forget the dreamy music video to “Untitled”? Cue slow pan across D’Angelo’s sweat-drenched chest… swoon! The sultry, sensuous ’90s icon (and soul mastermind) returned in recent years to release his long-awaited third album, Black Messiah, and we couldn’t be happier.
Lately, Talking Heads frontman Byrne has avoided solo material in favor of collaborating with a host of eclectic artists (St. Vincent, Brian Eno, Arcade Fire, Anna Calvi). He’ll be accompanied by the Roots here, and make no mistake: The musical visionary still puts on one hell of a show.
It seems like nearly every rapper and pop star of the last two decades owes a hit single to Swizz Beats: Jay-Z, T.I., Beyoncé, Busta Rhymes, DMX, Cassidy… The list goes on. So expect a star-studded set from the legendary producer.
Lil Uzi Vert
The Philadelphia MC’s profile has risen rapidly in the past year on the strength of energetic singles like melodic trap standout “Money Longer” and meme-able DJ Esco/Future collaboration "Too Much Sauce."
Looking for more great music?
Don’t Tell Mama
What good is singing alone in your room when you can sing along with show tunes at a Theater District cabaret? Cabaret performers often congregate in the bar area before and after their numbers, and best of all, there’s no cover charge there, just a two-drink minimum. Sip a bourbon, hum a few bars, and soak up the Art Deco chic.