2018 Summer Spirit Festival Part One
Erykah Badu, Nas, Method Man & Redman, Rapsody, and more!
Sat, August 4, 2018
Doors: 1:00 pm / Show: 2:00 pm
Merriweather Post Pavilion
$60.00 - $250.00
This event is all ages
No refunds or exchanges. This event is Rain or Shine.
Attention: Parking at MPP has Changed! Everyone MUST pre-select parking once tickets have been bought. Once you’ve completed your ticket transaction, you’ll receive a link to select your FREE parking. Please do so in advance before arriving at the show.
Note to ridesharers, walkers, bussers & cyclists: If you have made other transportation arrangements, you don't have to select parking.
Click HERE to view parking for this show
Click HERE to purchase Weekend Passeshttps://www.impconcerts.com/event/1662494/
Badu stayed true to her artistic leanings and enrolled at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts in the late ’80s. Tomboyish and a bit of a class clown, Badu devoted most of her time to perfecting her dance form, studying the techniques of Martha Graham and Katherine Dunham, as well as practicing ballet, tap, and modern dance. Badu also sharpened her Hip-Hop skills, freestyling on the Dallas radio station 90.9 FM KNON under the name Apples the Alchemist until she eventually changed the spelling of her name from “Erica Wright” to “Erykah Badu,” “kah” being Kemetic (Egyptian) for a human’s vital energy or “inner-self” and “ba-du” after her favorite jazz scat-sound. But later, Badu would discover that her chosen name holds a far deeper meaning.In 1989, her senior year of high school, she decided to dedicate her life to a path of holistic wellness and became a vegetarian.
Badu enrolled at Grambling State University, where she majored in theater and minored in Quantum Physics. She left in 1993 to pursue music full-time. During the day, she taught drama and dance at the South Dallas Cultural Center and worked as a coffeehouse waitress. At night, she recorded and performed songs like “Appletree,” produced by her cousin Robert “Free” Bradford. In 1994, her 19-song demo caught the attention of aspiring record executive Kedar Massenburg by way of the SXSW music festival. Massenburg signed her to his upstart label Kedar Entertainment. The company eventually merged with Motown/Universal and Badu started opening for D’Angelo, prepping the world for the massive Neo soul movement to come.
The New York Times described Badu’s groundbreaking debut, 1997’s Baduizm, as “traditional soul vocals, staccato hip-hop rhythms and laid-back jazzy grooves.” Yet, hindsight reveals that Badu’s debut was more than just an album, it was the introduction of a new lifestyle. The music evoked speakeasies, incense, head wraps, and boho coffee shop culture all in one easy breath. Propelled by the lead single “On & On,” the album went multi-platinum, winning her two Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Album. Badu topped Rolling Stone’s Reader’s poll for Best R&B Artist, and Entertainment Weekly named her Best New Female Singer of 1997.
In 2003, she founded her non-profit group, B.L.I.N.D. (Beautiful Love Incorporated Non-Profit Development), which is geared toward creating social change through economic, artistic, and cultural development. Among B.L.I.N.D.’s many accomplishments, the organization has provided arts, crafts, and dance classes to children displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Also in 2004, Badu’s charitable efforts helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the scholarship fund at St. Phillips School and Community Center in Dallas, Texas.
Badu continues to use her platform as an alter. By incorporating instruments such as tuning forks, crystal singing bowls, and gem stones and more into her music, she has created a wave of healing energy throughout the planet. But her true instrument is the 'intent' with which she sings. She has become a spiritual midwife, aiding in the rebirth of moral and spiritual consciousness for her generation. Badu’s artistic and spiritual contributions to humanity earned her an honorary Doctorate degree in Humanities from Paul Quinn College in 2000.
Erykah Badu’s three children, son Seven Sirius (b. 1997) and daughters Puma (b. 2004) and Mars Merkaba (b. 2009), were all born at home with a practicing midwife. She is an advocate of natural childbirth, healthy birth outcomes and breastfeeding for robust infant development. Recently, she was the keynote speaker at the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC) 7th International Black Midwives and Healers Conference in October 2010.
Erykah currently studies and apprentices to masters Queen Afua, holistic health guru and spiritual teacher. Dr. Jewel Pookrum , neurosurgeon, physicist and midwife and Dr. Laila Africa, scientist, health practitioner and theorist. In 2006 Erykah was certified as a Holistic Health practitioner thru Dr. Laila Africa and she is also a 3rd Degree Reiki Master-Teacher. Badu hasn’t stopped yet; she continues to study sound and vibration healing and presently assists and apprentices as a direct entry midwife. Erykah has served as doula for five natural births and only has 31 left to becoming a full fledge midwife.
Erykah currently makes her home in Dallas, Texas. Self described as a “mother first”, Badu is a touring artist, DJ, teacher, community activist, vegan, recycler, and conscious spirit.
Hip-hop is a fickle, ephemeral beast; a genre filled with trend-hopping "artists," corporate hucksters and walking gimmicks desperate to achieve their 15 minutes of shine. Look back at the hip-hop charts 20 years ago—hell, look back 10—and see how many names you're still reading about today.
Ever since a 17-year-old Nasir Bin Olu Dara Jones appeared on Main Source's 1991 classic "Live at the Barbeque," hip-hop would be irrevocably changed. Nas. Gifted poet. Confessor. Agitator. Metaphor master. Street's disciple. Political firebrand. Tongue-twisting genius. With music in his blood courtesy of famed blues musician father Olu Dara, the self-taught trumpeter attracted crowds with his playing at age 4, wrote his first verse at age 7 and, with 1994’s Illmatic, created one of the greatest hip-hop albums of all time before he could legally drink. Two decades on, Nas remains an incendiary, outspoken and brutally candid rapper on the recently released Life is Good, his tenth album and sixth to debut at the top of the Billboard 200.
Critics and fans immediately flocked to Life is Good, with everyone from Rolling Stone ("He cuts his rhymes with midlife realism and daring empathy") and MTV ("The most emotionally raw record he’s made since his first") to HipHopDX ("An obvious maturation from the veteran") and Pitchfork ("Best New Music") praising the album. Far from divorcing personal problems from a hyperbolic, caricatured alter ego, Life is Good finds Nas confronting the myriad issues he's faced head-on since 2008's Untitled ("Daughters, "Bye Baby"), mixed with a wayward wisdom that allows him to channel the past without attempting to ape it ("Loco-Motive," "Nasty").
"I used to listen to that Red Alert and Rap Attack/I fell in love with all that poetry/Mastered that" – Nas, "The Don"
Before the 13 Grammy nominations, seven platinum albums and Top 5 rankings on MTV's 10 Greatest MCs of All Time and The Source’s Top 50 Lyricists of All Time, 17-year-old Nas would take daily trips to Manhattan hoping to secure a major label deal, only to be shot down by nearly every label. When 3rd Bass co-founder MC Serch brought his demo tape to the attention of Faith Newman, then-Director of A&R for Columbia Records, she made a deal with Serch that day, offering Nas a $17,000 advance and the lifeline to begin his career.
With hundreds of thousands of words alongside entire books written on the album, it seems almost trite today to discuss the universal impact and acclaim that Illmatic had on rap. Put simply: the album has long been considered a masterpiece not just in hip hop, but music as a whole, inspiring countless subsequent rappers and establishing Nas as the most vivid storyteller of urban life since Rakim and Chuck D.
1996’s It Was Written built upon Illmatic’s foundation, with “Street Dreams” and “If I Ruled the World” (the latter with Lauryn Hill) becoming radio staples and vaulting Nas into mainstream success. For his two 1999 albums, I Am… and Nastradamus, the rapper balanced commercial aspirations with extended metaphors and rough street anthems, carving out multiple identities that better reflected the rapper’s expanded worldview.
"My success symbolizes loyalty/Great friends/Dedication/Hard work/Routine builds character/In a world full of snakes, rats and scavengers" – Nas, "You Wouldn't Understand"
In 2001, the rapper released his fifth album Stillmatic at the height of his escalating battle with Jay-Z for King of New York. Tracks like “Ether” and “Got Ur Self A….”could be heard on radio stations and in cars across the country and would eventually sell more than 2 million copies, while songs like “Rewind,” which told the story of a payback hit in reverse a la Memento, solidified Nas as an atypical rapper unafraid to play with convention. God’s Son, with the booming anthem “Made You Look,” would follow one year later and go gold.
As Nas entered his 30s, his scope and breadth became even more ambitious. While most rappers struggle to say anything on one album, Nas released the 2004 double album Street’s Disciple, reuniting with his estranged father on the blues/hip-hop hybrid “Bridging the Gap.” The album also featured the Iron Butterfly-sampling “Thief’s Theme,” which remains one of Nas’ most anthemic songs.
In the past decade, Nas has only gotten more inflammatory and passionate, purposely titling albums to provoke weighty discussions on a global level. 2006’s Hip Hop is Dead sparked widespread debate on the veracity of the title, while Nas changed 2008’s Untitled from its original title Nigger, yet still incited intense polemics on race and politics in America.
"Reveal my life/You will forgive me/You will love me/Hate me/Judge me/Relate to me/Only a few will/This how it sounds when you too real/They think it's just music still" – Nas, "No Introduction"
In recent years, though, Nas has transcended mere rapper status and engaged in greater levels of philanthropy. The rapper is an avid UNICEF supporter, helping to raise funds for East African region Horn of Africa and teaming up with the family of George Harrison for the organization’s Month of Giving. The rapper also donated all proceeds of Distant Relatives, his 2010 collaboration with longtime friend Damian Marley, to help end poverty in Africa.
Nas’s desire for greater interaction with his fans has also led him to new business ventures. He serves on the board of social photo sharing site The Fancy alongside Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and has invested in Mass Appeal and RapGenius.com. Most recently, Nas announced plans to open 12AMRun – a sneaker store in Las Vegas.
The artist’s recent release was 2011’s Life Is Good, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, marking the sixth #1 album that Nas has produced in his career. The collection also received four GRAMMY nominations bringing the rap icon’s GRAMMY recognition count to 13 overall.
Nas’ seminal debut album, Illmatic, was released as a special 20th Anniversary Edition, titled Illmatic XX in Spring 2014 by SONY Legacy. In conjunction with the release, Time Is Illmatic – a feature length documentary film that examines the album – opened The 2014 Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.
Rapper J-Live once said satirically, “To be a great MC, you have to be a great liar.” It’s safer to not tell the truth; safer to sanitize your existence; safer to align yourself with the producer du jour; safer to rhyme about tropes over truths. Nas’ catalog speaks for itself. Over 10 albums, the rapper has never been one to play it safe. Whether it’s rhyming about politics, hip hop, race, religion, other artists or personal relationships, Nas has consistently brought unparalleled and unprecedented levels of honesty to hip hop, a trait often overlooked in the genre. On Life is Good’s “Reach Out,” Nas rhymes, “So call me a genius/If you didn't/Now that I said it/I force you to think it.” For most artists, this would be arrogance bordering on hubris. For Nas, who’s remained vital and relevant for nearly 20 years, it’s just fact.
producer, 9th Wonder for Jamla Records, and most recently JAY-Z’s Roc
Nation. Now with the release of Laila’s Wisdom, Rapsody has solidified her
place in the songwriting and music books. The phrase, “Give me my flowers
while I can still smell them,” is a phrase spoken by Rapsody’s grandmother
and resonates throughout the album. Critically acclaimed, Laila’s Wisdom is
an album about love, confidence and living by the wisdom passed down to
Laila’s Wisdom is the newest chapter for Rapsody. With several projects, a
critically acclaimed debut album in 2012, and the lone guest rap feature on
Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly, she is quickly establishing herself
as one of the best emcees of this generation. The Idea of Beautiful was her
debut album and XXL quoted that "it might just be one of the best Hip-Hop
debuts of late". In just a short time she has worked with some of the biggest
legends and newcomers in the business, ranging from the likes of Erykah
Badu, Raekwon, Big Daddy Kane, and Marsha Ambrosius to Estelle,
Kendrick Lamar, Mac Miller and Big K.R.I.T, to name a few.
She toured with Mac Miller in 2011 on the Incredibly Dope Tour, as well as
Phonte and 9th Wonder, and performed at the 2012 Paid Dues Festival. Also
in 2012, Hot 97 included Rapsody in their list of "Who's Next" artist of the
year, she was featured in The Source Magazine's "Rising Venus" list of
female artist, a XXL Show and Prove artist, also became an official BET
Music Matters artist. In 2013, Rapsody released her highly anticipated
mixtape, She Got Game hosted by DJ Drama, featuring Jay Electronica,
Common, Ab-Soul, DJ Premier and more. The project received rave reviews
and was featured as one of Pepsi's Mixtapes of the Month. She Got Game
was also a top mixtape of the year on HipHopDx and XXL 2013 list, and the
single "Lonely Thoughts" ft Chance the Rapper was voted in NPR's Top 100
songs of the year. In 2013, Rapsody performed in the BET Hip Hop Cypher
as well as Rock the Bells. She was also named one of New Music Seminar's
"Artist on the Verge" for their 2014 Top 100, and regarded as a top artist to
know by both TIME Magazine and USA Today. XXL named Rapsody one
of the 20 Greatest Female Rappers of All Time.
Beauty and the Beast, her 7th project, was a 10 song EP she released with no
features in 2014. Fueled by three lead singles, Drama, Godzilla and The
Man, the EP’s was welcomed with rave reviews.
In 2015, Rapsody gained a huge boost of momentum when she was called
on by Kendrick Lamar to have the only guest rap feature on what was the
most anticipated album of year. Some months later, while in LA working on
her sophomore album, Rapsody met Dr. Dre who ended up cosigning her via
video and called her “his new favorite female emcee” on his Apple Beats 1
radio show. She also was featured on Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder’s Indie
500 Compilation, and performed “Every Ghetto” with Talib Kweli on The
Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Rapsody started 2016 with a standout verse on Anderson .Paak’s critically
acclaimed debut album, Malibu, on 9th Wonder produced song “Without U.
She would follow up with a GRAMMY nomination for her contribution to
Kendrick Lamar’s sophomore album, To Pimp A Butterfly. Rapsody was
invited to the White House by President Barack Obama and Herbie Hancock
to perform at the International Jazz Fest and graced the stage alongside
Aretha Franklin, Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper, and Terri Lyne Carrington
in honor of the late Prince.
Merriweather Post Pavilion
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, Maryland, 21044