Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

One MusicFest 2013 is to music lovers what New York Fashion Week is to fashionistas and label whores: indelible bliss. Residents of the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood reaped the benefits of their cool, downtown space being invaded by thousands upon thousands of folks feenin’ for some good ol’ fashioned soul food.

In its fourth year, One MusicFest is proving to be the music festival to attend. Since its inception, it has seen artists such as Common, De La Soul, Big Daddy Kane, Doug E Fresh, The Foreign Exchange, Anthony David, Tortured Soul, Santigold, Chrisette Michele, Big K.R.I.T. and a host more kill the stages. In 2013, the lineup and the venue changed but the rules remained the same: come prepared to have a good ass time.

From noon to 11pm, the Historic Fourth Ward Park provided refuge to those seeking solace in the midst of uncertainty. OMF allowed its patrons to let go, let loose and vibe to dope sounds in the company of other like-minded musicheads. Hosted by my personal favorite sanger Joi Gilliam and Atlanta’s slickest, sickest host D.R.E.S. tha BEATnik, the event was transformed from a music festival to a huge block party. Blanketed by camaraderie and enveloped in a commonality of music appreciation, everyone gathered with the intent to enjoy themselves thoroughly.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Grady | Rhythmic Images Photography

Photo Credit: Carolyn Grady | Rhythmic Images Photography

Acts rocked out on two stages: Do the Right Thing and Purple Rain. Performances from indie favorites Goapele, Res, Joey Bada$$ and Luke James served as introductions to some, reunions to many and a funky ass good time to most. Atlanta band Ruby Velle and the Soulphonics brought their classic, signature soulful sounds to O4W while Methuzulah, the One Musicfest winner of #TheOne, represented for Atlanta’s thriving underground Hip-Hop community.

A group that has been gaining a huge buzz this summer, Quadron, was also present at the fest. Coco, the group’s lead singer, showed out in sparkles and shined on stage in front of longtime supporters and newfound fans, beltingJeans” and “Neverland.”

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Added, seemingly hours, to the already eargasmic bill, DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown took over the ailing Amel Larrieux’s scheduled show time. While the crowd anticipated a DJ set from everyone’s favorite analog girl, “the Most High had a different plan…my computer broke,” she explained once she stepped on stage. It was all good though. The crowd’s excitement assured her that although Loretta Brown was absent, Erykah Badu’s presence was even more welcomed. With Pete Rock, the Chocolate Boy Wonder, at the table spinnin’, a keyboardist as backup and Badu with her mic and beatmaker, the impromptu, minimalistic jam session exceeded the crowd’s expectations. After blessing us with “20 Feet Tall,” “I Want You,” “…& On,” and “Bag Lady,” she came out into the crowd to reciprocate the love that had been shown to her.

Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

Love couldn’t be a more befitting word to describe the crowd’s reaction to the introduction of ATL legends Goodie Mob. Nearly 15 years since an album, supporters of the group more than anticipated their return; they prayed. Prayed that the group would return with hits akin to “Black Ice” and “Cell Therapy” and deliver a performance that honored their title as Southern Hip-Hop Legends. The Universe must’ve been listening carefully because Cee Lo, Khujo, Gipp and T-Mo made the crowd feel like 1995. They did the aforementioned tracks along with new joints “I’m Set” and “Special Education” (minus Janelle Monae *sad face*). They split up for some solo action, with Cee Lo entertaining the crowd with “I’ll Be Around” and the hit he penned for The Pussycat Dolls “Don’t Cha.” Donned in a supercool gold, fur lined cape and fedora, Gipp had a brief solo moment as well with “Grillz.” The highlight of Goodie’s stage time was their rendition of Outkast’s “Liberation.” Joi and Erykah Badu joined the crew and it was truly Southern Royalty among us.

Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

Photo Credit: Eli Joshua

After Goodie Mob left pretty much everyone speechless, the crowd waited patiently for Snoop’s arrival to provide resuscitation. 30 minutes of wondering and finally our Uncle Snoop appeared along with Tha Dogg Pound–Kurupt and Daz–and his Uncle June Bug. He kept it G and stuck to classic joints, (“Ain’t Nuthin But A G Thang,” “Gin and Juice”, “Down 4 My N****z,” “Next Episode”) relegating his Snoop Lion persona to the end of the show with a brief Bob Marley tune.

Photo Credit: Carolyn Grady | Rhythmic Images Photography

Photo Credit: Carolyn Grady | Rhythmic Images Photography

So I say allll that to say this: One Musicfest is not the festival you want to miss. Food trucks, bars (with no lines!!), the dopest DJs, cool ass merch, hospitable volunteers and wide, open spaces are the makings of a staple music event. If you missed out this year, gon’ and start preparing yourself for next year. It’s pretty much a guarantee to be bigger, better and way more live.

Make sure you like One MusicFest to keep up with what’s happ’nin!

Peep #omf2013 on Twitter for more crowd photos and coverage!

And big ups to @Eli_Joshua and @RhythmicImages for the shots!!

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