The annual Philly summer festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and the P-5-D is blowing it out with one of the best lineups to date. The Couch Sessions festival guide is here to prep you on the acts you already know and the ones you oughta at the 10th Annual Roots Picnic.
Pharrell – The preeminent pop mastermind will be doling out earcandy like it’s Halloween. See: Frontin’.
The Roots – Kind of a no-brainer. The finest hip-hop band in the land always brings it live from the 215. See: This Entire Show.
Lil Wayne – The Best Rapper Alive isn’t retired just yet. But can we get a T-Wayne cameo? See: Grateful.
Solange – Having made one of 2016’s finest albums, The Other Knowles is surely worth your time. See: Don’t Touch My Hair.
Jeezy – Celebrate! The diehard trap star’s latest mixtape is a welcome return to form. See: G-Wagon.
21 Savage – The young ATL rapper is unquestionably huge, but this is a wild-card addition to the festival lineup. This should be the set to catch, if only to see whether 21 Savage’s grim tales translate on a sunny summer stage. See: Savage Mode.
Kimbra – This pop chameleon is everyone’s favorite featured player. Janelle Monáe fans know her from The Golden Electric Tour , Roots fans know her from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Bowie tribute, and everybody else knows her from that Gotye song.
Thundercat – The virtuoso bassist always shows up and shows out live, and will likely bring along some surprise guests. See: Them Changes.
Michael Kiwanuka – The English soul man with a gorgeous retro sound has summoned breathless comparisons to Withers and Gaye. Can he bring it live like those legends? See: Black Man In A White World.
Black Thought & J.Period (feat. Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, and Scott Storch) – The Roots spitter reunites with decorated producer J.Period for what promises to be the collab of the day. See: The Live Mixtape (JB Edition).
Pete Rock – Highly respected producer whose boom-bap work with CL Smooth helped defined ‘90s hip-hop sound and whose indelible style remains fresh today. See: One, Two, A Few More.
A-Boogie Wit Da Hoodie – Bronx rhymer splits time between hustlin’ and lady-killing. See: Timeless.
James Vincent McMorrow – This bearded Irish folkie plays well with others and his falsetto was designed to be paired with live dance beats. See: Get Low.
Noname – Despite her low-key moniker, Fatimah Warner’s considerable mic skills are decidedly ostentatious. This Chance the Rapper collaborator deserves your attention. See: Forever.
Gilles Peterson – This globe-trotting Brit DJ is forever seeking The Perfect Beat. He’ll surely be delivering loads of them during his festival set. See: Brazilika.
Playboi Carti – This A$AP Rocky protégé and ATL native churns out surprisingly dreamy trap tracks. See: Broke Boi.
DJ Spinna – We’re already big fans of this legendary DJ and his remarkable fusion of soul, jazz, house, and hip hop influences. Peep his set and you will be too. See: Traxsource LIVE!.
PnB Rock – This Philly native brings the local love on hook-heavy R&B. See: Selfish.
Tunji Ige – Minimalist backpack rapper (and another Philly rep, by way of Nigeria) delivers true-life tales and a unique sound. See: For Us.
Anthony Somebody (of Quitehype) – Philly producer and DJ promises to bring plenty of hype to the stage. See: A Mix for a OG.
DJ N.O.C. – Young gun blends trap with acute pop sensibility. Catch him now before he lands on the next XXL Freshman Class cover. See: 24K.