Usher, Eve, and Ari Lennox highlight Roots Picnic finale

Uaher is joined by Jasmine Sullivan, Eve, and the Roots at Roots Picnic
Hip-hop artist and actress Eve. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)
Hip-hop artist and actress Eve. (Photo by Derrel Jazz Johnson for rolling out.)

Music superstar Usher took a break from his Las Vegas residency to headline the second night of the Roots Picnic at The Mann in Fairmount Park, and he did not disappoint. It was the second time Usher headlined the event, and he said he requested that the legendary Roots Crew join him for the second half of his set, which they did, along with Jasmine Sullivan and Philadelphia hip-hop artist Eve. Usher is the type of legendary artist that has so many hits, it would be nearly impossible to perform them all. But he did thrill the crowd with performances of “Confessions, Part Two”Burn,” “Superstar,” and many others, complete with an outfit change (from a black leather ensemble to a red one) while the DJ played hits he wouldn’t perform, while the Roots prepared to join him.

Usher closed out his performance with his hit “Yeah,” to the delight of the crowd. As I exited the venue, I heard two women discussing their plans to get tickets for the singer’s residency in Las Vegas. I’m sure they weren’t the only ones.

Usher danced with the “Break Your Windows Out Your Car” singer Jasmine Sullivan when she broke into the hook for The Roots’ classic “You Got Me.” The multi-talented performer Eve joined in for a verse, along with Black Thought.

In this year’s edition of J. Period Mixtape, Eve and Busta Rhymes joined Black Thought to perform several hits. Busta Rhymes performed “Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See,” MOP’s “Ante Up” remix, and ”Fire It Up,” while Eve thrilled fans with “Let Me Blow Your Mind,” “Tambourine,” and “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” remix. Black Thought freestyled over many of the tracks.

Other performers for the second and final day at The Mann included Ari Lennox, Lucky Daye, City Girls, and Kindred the Family Soul.

On Saturday, June 3, the Roots Picnic featured artists Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel as they joined Lauryn Hill onstage for a Fugees reunion. Mary Mary and Coco Jones joined Adam Blackstone to perform “God In Me” in addition to their own hits, and with a performance by The Isley Brothers honoring the legendary Ron Isley.

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