Perfect weather, premium food trucks, dope ass vendors, and a stellar line-up all collided this past weekend to bring us the 8th annual One Music Fest in Atlanta. There was a long list of talented artists slated to rock the stages, but guess who showed up and showed out just as well. You! Crowd participation was a thing at this year’s event.
Festival goers came to win on Saturday. Creative personal style, beautiful brown skin and stunning natural hair was in abundance. OMF, described as an “urban progressive music festival”, held true to purpose. Attendees were able to watch as Queen Jilly from Philly (Jill Scott) stormed the same stage that Migos had commanded just a couple of hours prior. Ro James and Jidenna, respectively, also graced that stage throughout the course of the day. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, that stage—the main stage that is, was lit. But the festival stage was not to be outdone.
Tank and the Bangas kicked things off over there. A sun soaked audience coached Tank along, rocking and swaying to the beat. The performance was buzzing with kinetic energy, majestic melodies, and bad ass black girls, Tank and Jelly lighting things up.
In the time that it may have taken you to fix your edges after Tank left them for dead, Too Short took the stage to reclaim them. “Uhn, I go on and on, can’t understand how I last so long“, ayyyee! That’s right. The Cali rapper, surely, can’t perform anywhere without spitting that verse. And he performed a string of older crowd-rockers like Call Me and Don’t Fight the Feeling, as well as Freaky Tales. He even gifted the crowd with a snippet of Kelis’ 2006 hit record, Bossy, as fans rapped along with his featured verse. Side note: Did anyone else fail to realize that Too Short has been active in the game since the ‘80s? Legend.
The OMF crowd was just warming up at the festival stage though. Canadian DJ/producer, Kaytranada, followed Too Short. During his set, a huge cluster of fans broke out the classic, 18 count, line dance of all line dances. That’s right ya’ll. The Electric Slide ensued right there in the middle of the crowd. Up next was Damian Marley! “Yo Atlanta, hands up, hands, hands up” he yelled. The audience went nuts. The beloved reggae artist, performed a few of his cult classics. But his background singers threatened to steal the show, enthusiastically bopping around like the praise team at a southern Baptist church.
And then, just as you considered taking a break, a legend graced the stage. Yasiin Bey, the artist formally known as Mos Def, came to claim your panties as he belted out fan favorite, The Panties. Yasiin was out there crooning for his life in a special farewell performance, and sprinkling a trail of rose petals across the stage.
Back at the main stage, the Migos hyped the crowd with mega hits like Fight Night and, of course, Bad and Bougee. During their set, the light of day rescinded and gave way to the colorful neon glow sticks flickering throughout the crowd. Jill Scott closed the festival in the fresh night air, on the main stage. She rocked green coveralls, a colorful cape and a beautiful ‘fro. Jill fed souls that night; boasting operatic riffs and theatrical inflections throughout her set. He Loves Me, Golden, and a crowd assisted rendition of The Way were all present. “Griiiiiitttssss“, the audience sang as Jill smiled on, with her arm outstretched, lending them the mic. And in the midst of her set, Jill broke out with a live rendition of Doin’ the Butt. The audience was much obliged to assist with that as well–for the culture, of course.
All day, artists’ sets overlapped between stages, which is part of what makes a festival…a festival. But this year’s greatest sin, was that the Migos’ set over at the main stage, overlapped with Yasiin Bey’s (allegedly final) performance at the festival stage. If you’re a person who stands squarely on one particular side of the hip hop fence, then the choice was clear. But if your love of music runs the gamut, decisions had to be made. The good news is that you couldn’t have gone wrong. But, here is a little advice for next year, get your tickets early. The longer you wait, the higher the price. And if this lineup is any indication of what to expect in 2018, then forget your edges. Wear a hat.