Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Roots’ annual Roots Picnic took place Saturday as a livestream event, with the 13th annual event featuring performances by H.E.R., Lil Baby, Roddy Ricch, the Roots and more.
The virtual Roots Picnic also had appearances by Janelle Monáe, Common, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tracee Ellis Ross, Chris Paul and former First Lady Michelle Obama, who spoke to the Roots’ Black Thought and Questlove about voter registration.
“We need all the opportunities to get loose that we can get,” Obama said. “These past few months have been pretty heavy for just about everyone, and the truth is, we still have our work cut out for us in the weeks and months ahead.”
After Obama’s introduction, Black Thought and Questlove, on turntables, opened the Roots Picnic with a nearly eight-minute freestyle. Later in the Picnic livestream, H.E.R. and her band played 13-minute set from within New York’s famed Electric Lady Studios; the performance included the singer’s new protest anthem “I Can’t Breathe.”
Watch the entire Roots Picnic 2020 in the video above.