After a 16-year hiatus, Smokin’ Grooves is sparking up again.
The revolutionary hip-hop, R&B and soul tour, which was launched in 1996 by hip-hip power agent Cara Lewis and Kevin Morrow of House of Blues, will make a comeback at Queen Mary Events Park in Long Beach, Calif. on June 16. The one-day Goldenvoice festival will include an all-star urban lineup headlined by Erykah Badu, Miguel and The Roots, as well as Jhené Aiko, NxWorries (Anderson .Paak + Knxledge) and H.E.R.
Created in the ’90s to counterbalance rock-heavy tours like Lollapalooza and Warped Tour, the inaugural Smokin’ Grooves offered an outlet for urban acts who were having a difficult time getting bookings as the backlash against gangsta rap and the East Coast/West Coast rivalry resulted in the deaths of high profile rappers including Tupac Shakur. The debut tour in 1996 featured Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, Cypress Hill, The Fugees, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, The Roots and Michael Franti & Spearhead. ?
“Smokin’ Grooves is a showcase of the best that live music has to offer,” says Lewis, who founded boutique music agency Cara Lewis Group in 2016. “I’m excited to present a special one-day Smokin’ Grooves festival in Long Beach this June. The tour will return to 13 to 15 markets in 2019 with a multi-act bill that will thrive in a lane of its own.”
Other 2018 Smokin’ Grooves artists include Busta Rhymes, Majid Jordan, dvsn, Alina Baraz, Thundercat, Yasiian Bey f.k.a. Mos Def, Soulection, Madlib and more.
Badu first played Smokin’ Grooves in the tour’s second year in 1997 alongside George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars, Cypress Hill, Outkast and Foxy Brown. After a three-year hiatus starting in 1999, Smokin’ Grooves returned in 2002 with headliners Outkast, Lauryn Hill and The Roots, who played 15 markets alongside Jurassic 5, DJ Shadow, Cee-Lo, Damian Marley and the Ghetto Youth Crew.
For more information on Smokin’ Grooves 2018, visit smokingroovesfest.com