The second annual Smokin’ Grooves Festival sailed its way to the Queen Mary this past Saturday and brought the old and new school hip-hop and R&B vibes aboard.
With the marine layer covering Long Beach on Saturday from the morning until the early afternoon, the sun shined upon the festival, elevating happiness and bringing people together through music.
Hip-hop artist, Common, came on to his set and started out with his 1994 hit on his Resurrection album, “I Used To Love H.E.R,” the acronym meaning “Hip-hop in its Essence is Real.” Common also brought out T3 and Young RJ of Slum Village and performed “Thelonious” as a tribute to Slum Village’s former producer, J Dilla.
Kali Uchis had the audience star struck with her leopard print body suit and Colombian roots to the stage. Uchis performed “Nuestro Planeta” from her 2018 album, Isolation. Uchis ended her set with her number one hit, “After The Storm” featuring Tyler, The Creator.
Night time came around and two R&B influencers of the golden era closed out— Erykah Badu and Usher.
Badu’s performance stood out from the others. Her presence and the pyramid shaped lighting surrounding her during her introduction gave the audience a feel that as if Badu was singing to the each audience member individually. Badu performed all her songs as far back as 1997’s Baduizm, to 2015’s But You Caint Use My Phone Mixtape.
Usher ended the night with his performances that brought many different emotions to the audience. He came in slow and brought the singing-in-the-rain mood such as “Let it Burn,” then had the crowd moving to songs such as his hit “Yeah!” both from his 2004 Confessions album.
Goldenvoice hosts many different festivals at the Queen Mary several times a year. Their next event, Once Upon A Time in The LBC, is where hip-hop will be meeting oldies and will be boarding July 27-28.
By: Celeste Basich @lowclassconspiracy_la
Photo Credit: Donovan Fox @theycallmethecaptain