Summer Jam 2014 (76703)

The phrase Netflix and chill was given a seasonal addendum. The added term, “barbecue and binge,” appears to have been coined just prior to the Memorial Day weekend, in time for the launch of season 2 of the Netflix hit series “She’s Gotta Have It,” and both can be attributed to the mind of Spike Lee.

“She’s Gotta Have It”…To say it was a game changer is putting it mildly. Graphic, raw, intelligent and artistic were a few of the pervasive adjectives that were attached to the film when it debuted in 1986. More importantly, it was the feature film debut of Spike Lee who would go on to not only revolutionize how films and brands are marketed (we can’t front on how that merchandise from 40 Acres and A Mule production were must-have items) but also pick up the baton of Oscar Devereaux Micheaux and lead a slew of cinematic visionaries that focused on the untold stories of African-Americans. Shot over a period of 12 days, on a budget that was small by standards of a music video, let alone a feature film, the film went on to gross over $7 million. That fact above all others fueled the movement.

With those qualities attributed to that project, the idea of a televised update on the sexploits of the protagonist of the film, Nola Darling, was not just a risk to the landscape of present day expression, but the historic significance of the character could also be sullied. Thirty-plus years ago it was dubbed a seriously sexy comedy and a rousing celebration of female empowerment. DeWanda Wise’s take on Nola adds more depth to the character in a time when sexual expression for women is one of the primary traits of female characters.

Looking like this weekend begins the summer music concert season, with a pair of huge festivals a few miles down the New Jersey Turnpike. First up is the 12th annual Roots Picnic Saturday, June 1, 2019 in Philadelphia. Moving to a larger location in the coveted Fairmount Park area, using the Mann Center as its hub, the new festival grounds will include three stages of music, gaming, art and dialogue. The festival continues to align with music and culture and remains known for careful curation that unites music’s hottest acts, influencers, tastemakers and thought leaders for one unforgettable day—and this year proudly continues that tradition.

Per usual, The Legendary Roots crew raise the bar with their flagship festival. The groundbreaking Grammy Award-winning multiplatinum hip-hop collective will headline the proceedings and celebrate the 20th anniversary of their seminal album “Things Fall Apart.” In true Roots Picnic fashion, this year will remain just as unpredictable, undeniable and unique as the Roots themselves. The day includes performances from artists such as H.E.R., 21 Savage, Tank & The Bangas, Lil Baby and many more as well as a bevy of one-of-a-kind moments exclusive to Roots Picnic, including Black Thought’s “Live Mixtape” featuring Yasiin Bey and a first of its kind jam session curated by Raphael Saadiq and Questlove, titled Soulquarian vs Raphael Saadiq, as well as a live podcast experience with episodes of The Joe Budden Podcast, The Read Podcast and Questlove Supreme.

In our own backyard we have the OFFICIAL kick-off as some of the biggest names in hip-hop will converge upon the tri-state to perform at the hottest concert of the year: HOT 97 Summer Jam. Produced by HOT 97 WQHT-FM, #1 for hip-hop, this year’s Summer Jam performers include Grammy Award-winning artist and Bronx native Cardi B; rapper, songwriter and activist Meek Mill; two-time platinum selling hip-hop group Migos; singer-producer Tory Lanez; XXL Magazine freshmen alum A Boogie; and more. Taking place on Sunday, June 2, 2019, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., Summer Jam is the event of the year where historic moments are made and hip-hop music and culture are celebrated. Additional performers include Rich the Kid, Funk Flex & the Heavy Hitters, Davido, Casanova, Melii, City Girls, Megan Thee Stallion, and Kash Doll, as well as numerous surprise guests, a staple element of Summer Jam.

Over and out. Holla next week. Until then, enjoy the nightlife.