Yes, Andre 3000 showed up.
Perhaps the worst-kept secret of this year’s One Musicfest, whose ads blasted that the “ENTIRE” Dungeon Family would be at Lakewood Amphitheatre Saturday night for a reunion, it was nonetheless an electrifying moment when the lanky half of Outkast strode onstage to rat-a-tat-tat through his portion of “Black Ice,” flanked by Big Boi and Goodie Mobb’s Big Gipp.
The Dungeon Family/Organized Noize assembly was expected to highlight a full day of hip-hop, R&B and soul music and it almost exceeded expectations. For those whose memories are firmly entrenched in the ‘90s Atlanta music scene, this was nirvana.
But, to be completely accurate, the “ENTIRE” DF wasn’t in attendance; Future was busy being a superstar with Drake at a tour stop in Los Angeles and Goodie Mobb’s Khujo disappointingly appeared only on video.
But what a memorable 90 minutes of music, as key players slipped on and off the stage while a four-piece band, four DJs and a backup singer galloped through one continuous groove.
Gipp bounded onstage like a puppy as he, Cool Breeze and Big Boi swung through “Dirty South”; Witchdoctor popped and locked in his camouflage for “Holiday”; Backbone toted a giant boom box with him for “5 Deuce, 4 Tre”; and Kilo, in sorta-pharoah headgear and yellow boots, offered the skeevy fan favorite, “Love In Ya Mouth.”
But it was the reunion of Outkast – especially since Andre 3000, in a knit cap, pewter pullover and funky, round glasses appeared to actually enjoy himself — that kept the sold-out crowd on a steady buzz.
The sleek-voiced Sleepy Brown strolled the stage for “So Fresh So Clean” as Andre 3000 added his shrieks to the song and Rico Wade joined Sleepy for a run through “Spottie Ottie Dopaliscious.”
A Goodie Mob gathering is also always cause for celebration, and the first CeeLo Green sighting during “Trans DF” quickly recalled the soul man’s nimbleness as an MC.
Later in the gathering, Killer Mike joined the party.
He might currently be known more to a mainstream audience for his political views, but his appearance with the Dungeon Family was a reminder of three of the rapper’s most popular verses.
The crowd erupted the minute Mike appeared on stage for his verse on Outkast’s “The Whole World” and only got louder as he was joined by Bone Crusher and T.I. for the admittedly problematic but insanely catchy “Neva Scared.” Mike completed the trio with “Kryptonite,” the 2006 Purple Ribbon All-Stars tribute to Atlanta and marijuana.
- Melissa Ruggieri and Jewel Wicker
Every time Day steps onstage, she seems to be exorcising some emotional demon. Soft-spoken in between songs, the stylish soul singer squinted and grimaced as she roared through “Gold,” a snappy take on Nina Simone’s “Mississippi Goddam” (which she also performed at her Center Stage show earlier this year) and “Honey or Fire,” which drove her to her knees. In her overalls and giant hoop earrings, Day again showcased her quirky-yet-elegant style that modestly expresses her sex appeal.
Day, who will perform at a tribute to Otis Redding on Sunday in Macon, also covered Kendrick Lamar’s “No Makeup” in her warm, expressive voice. After her set, Day was spotted taking photos with fans near the concourse, just a normal woman with an extraordinary voice (mixed reviews of her national anthem during Thursday’s NFL kickoff notwithstanding).
The Philly R&B-soul singer appeared to have a ball onstage from the moment she strode out in her black ankle boots. Sullivan was all finger snaps and attitude during the gleeful revenge track “Bust Your Windows” and looked back to her 2008 debut album for the ballad “Lions, Tigers & Bears.”
While a Sullivan set dashes through a range of emotions, she seemed intent to keep the crowd dancing as much as she was – especially during a fun, faithful cover of The Fugees’ version of “Killing Me Softly.”
Gary Clark Jr.
Clark was one of the most versatile acts on the One MusicFest lineup this year. Dressed in an all-black outfit except for a gold chain and a tan, brimmed hat, Clark kicked off his set with “Bright Lights.” From there he delivered the bluesy “Next Door Neighbor Blues,” and the soulful slow-burner “Our Love,” with each song featuring elastic guitar solos that demonstrated the musician’s control and style without feeling too rehearsed.
Although he eventually took off his sunglasses, Clark’s rockstar demeanor never faded.
The Harlem rapper is only two albums into a career but has already honed his stage presence. While there is nothing particularly original about his brand of rap, he unleashed “Strive” and his minor 2013 hit, “Shabba,” with fervor, easily getting the crowd to chant along to the thundering chorus of the latter.
Dripping with sweat as he worked the stage with a hype man, Ferg further charged the crowd with “Dope Lord.”
Referencing Diddy’s Bad Boy Family Reunion concert at Philips Arena earlier this week and the days of “real hip-hop,” Busta Rhymes’ hype man ushered the rapper onto the stage.
Kicking off his show with his verse on M.O.P.’s “Ante Up,” Busta Rhymes launched straight into his style of high-energy, fast-paced rhyming. There was a short period of time where non-Rhymes fans might have been able to decipher what the rapper was saying without loading Rap Genius and that was when he sang along to the bridge on the Mariah Carey-assisted “I Know What You Want.”
“Sing it like you’re drunk in the bathroom,” he instructed the audience.
Unfortunately, even during hits such as “Woo Ha! Got You All In Check” and his popular verse on Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” the crowd never managed to match Rhymes’ energy.
“I came all the way from the west side to be with y’all,” Ice Cube proclaimed as he took the stage with arms outstretched.
Wearing a black shirt emblazoned with Westside Warlord on the back and an Oakland Raiders ball cap, the veteran rapper/actor quickly demonstrated that he hasn’t lost his musical edge.
His abrasive raps about street life – “Why We Thugs,” N.W.A.’s “F- Tha Police” – were delivered with a snarl, but this being the kinder, gentler Ice Cube, there was usually a smile following. He assured fans that for those worried that he sold out to Hollywood, “Your boy Ice Cube…this is what I do,” he said, before slamming into the party anthem “Check Yo Self.”
Ice Cube’s theatrical leanings were evident in his delivery throughout his hour-long set, particularly during “Friday” and the swaggering N.W. A. anthem, “Straight Outta Compton” (Cube also thanked the audience for making the film such a big hit and mentioned N.W.A.’s recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction – “We didn’t perform because that was some bull****.”).
Encouraging the crowd to brandish their middle fingers during “…Police” and leading fans in a loudness competition that also included the F-bomb, Ice Cube made sure to he maintained his tough guy cred – TBS series aside.
Badu launched into her shortened set with the lengthy, emotional fan favorite “Out My Mind, Just In Time.” Although, she was hardly on time. Appearing on stage nearly 45 minutes after her scheduled time, Badu delivered soulful renditions of hit singles such as “On & On” and “Love Of My Life.” Backed by a band, she replaced Common’s verse on the latter with a cover of N.W.A.’s “Gangsta Gangsta,” Badu’s way of paying homage to Ice Cube, who performed just before her at the festival.
While the neo-soul singer’s music might not seem suited for a festival, Badu has crafted quite a few anthems that translated well to the audience, which was more than happy to sing along.