• Review

REVIEW: Cincinnati Music Festival - Saturday at Paycor Stadium

Photo Cred: Courtesy of Cincinnati Music Festival

As the sun set over the Cincinnati horizon and sky turned from blue to shades of pink, P-Funk Connection landed on stage with a funk filled mothership decked out in funkdafied sparkling costumes including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, King Tut, and a fur-spurred, grinding speaker-climbing cowboy.

P-Funk stands for Parliament Funkadelic, a shorthand term for the repertoire and performers associated with George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic collective and the distinctive style of funk music they perform. P-Funk records have been substantially sampled in rap and hip hop music, especially by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and other West Coast artists. Also associated with the G-Funk style of rap.

“What I need to know is what nation is this?” asked Kevin “K-Star” Shider, lead guitarist and vocalist. Decked out in fur covered shoulders, blonde wig and knee high chunky silver disco boots, guitarist K-Star and Patty Walker lead the machine and funked the audience with hits such as “Flashlight,” “Atomic Dog,” “Nothing But the Funk” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” Incredible guitar solos by K-Star.


“It’s my pleasure to be with each and every one of you,” Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds exclaimed to the crowd. “Ladies make some noise. I wanna dedicate each and every love song I do tonight to each and every one of you. Let’s start with this one.”

Opening with “Every Time I Close My Eyes” (which featured Mariah Carey on background vocals and Kenny G on the saxophone and was originally written for Luther Vandross), Babyface glided us down memory lane with chart topping hits from his solo and collaborative music career. Including “Two Occasions,” “Whip Appeal,” and “Slow Jam.” Edmonds also covered a medley of songs he wrote and produced for other artists such as Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel,” Boys II Men’s - “I’ll Make Love to You,” TLC’s - “Baby, Baby, Baby” and “Exhale (Shoop Shoop),” Whitney Houston’s eleventh and final number one single.

Edmonds has the awards that prove his power and undeniable influence on New Jack Swing, R&B music, and pop culture as a whole: 12 time grammy award winner, 4 time grammy winner for producer of the year, over 200 top 10 R&B hits. Over 50 top 10 pop hits. 16 #1 top hits. Over 800 million sales worldwide. Produced and written 125 top 10 hits. 44 #1 R&B hits. 5 soul train awards. 5 NAACP Image Awards and 4 American Music Awards.

Babyface's performance coincides with the induction of his former band The Deele (including Cincinnati musicians Antonio “LA” Reid, Carlos “Satin” Greene, Darnell “Dee” Bristol, Stanley “Stick” Burke, and Kevin “Kayo” Robe) to the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.

Bootsy Collins, beloved Cincinnati treasure and legendary funk bassist, made a brief appearance in between sets. “It's Bootsy baby!” he crooned to the crowd of thousands. “Y’all ready for Snoop Dogg over there?” Bootsy screamed. “I just want to say we had a historical day today and I want to thank you all for all the support you’ve been giving up to the funk. On the ones, Cincinnati!”

I about dropped my phone when Dave Chappelle appeared on stage to introduce Cincinnati Music Festival’s Saturday night headliner, Snoop Dogg. “Let’m know where you’re at Ohio!” David Chappelle exclaimed to the audience. Chappelle pulled up tonight to give a loving shout out to the men and women of Greater Cincinnati. “Thank you for letting me and my family live a normal life. Thank you for letting my family be safe.” Humbling words from an iconic influencer of hip hop culture.

“It is an honor to bring to the stage the headliner tonight. He wasn’t East Coast or West Coast, he was always Switzerland. He was always team hip hop. Please make some noise for the legend the SN double- OH P. Snoop Dogg ladies and gentlemen!”


“Cincinnati make some noise!” Snoop screamed to the crowd as he opened with “The Next Episode” and directly slid into “Nuthin' But a 'G' Thang.” Snoop asked the audience, “50 years of Hip Hop right now, right? How about some old school Snoop Dogg shit?

"Nuthin’ But a 'G' Thang" is listed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll” and peaked at #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles and Tracks chart. (Sampling “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to You” by Leon Haywood. Dr. Dre slowed the track, balancing the lyrical content, and with Snoop’s carefree and easygoing vocals, a song was born). Minutes later the audience is in unison singing, “Lodi Dodi,” which samples Doug E. Fresh’s “La Di Da Di.” “...I love you so, how much you’ll never know oh oh oh...”

Tremendously respected in the music industry, Snoop is one of the most intelligent rappers in the game, with an IQ of 147. His delivery is laid back and infectious, with the ease of a friend telling a story. With songs heavily influenced by George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Rick James, The Dramatics, and Rick James. He always gets the crowd moving and seemed to be ecstatic to be at Paycor Stadium on a Saturday night.


Day 3 of the Cincinnati Music Festival was another night to remember. Until next time.

 *ALL PHOTOS Courtesy of Cincinnati Music Festival*


  • Review

REVIEW: Cincinnati Music Festival - Friday at Paycor Stadium

Friday was one of those nights you mark in your memory while at the Cincinnati Music Festival.