Written by | Ray Cornelius
I had a blast on Saturday afternoon covering the second day of Pepsi’s Funk Fest. The lineup consisted of 90’s heartthrob and Babyface protégé Jon B., award winning-girl groups SWV and TLC, hip-hop maverick Master P, Grammy winning-singer-songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and R&B icons New Edition.
Jon B. kicked things off around 4 p.m. and took fans down memory lane with such popular ballads as “Someone to Love,” “They Don’t Know” and “Pretty Girl.” He joked with the fans that he was singing “R&B long before Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake made it popular.” He was also really excited to be back in the recording studio and is currently working on a new album titled Mr. Goodnight with Grammy winning-producer, Warren Campbell.
SWV – Sisters With Voices
Following Jon B. was “Sisters with Voices” better known as SWV. LeLee, Coko and Taj looked amazing and sounded great too as they took to the stage. Their short but powerful set included their new single “Man Crush” as well as their now classic tunes “So Into You,” “Anything,” and crowd favorite, “Weak.”
New Orleans rap mogul and entrepreneur Master P performed a medley of his hits and dedicated his show to his incarcerated brother C-Murder and the late Atlanta rapper Bankroll Fresh, who was murdered outside of a studio in March. The former DWTS contestant thanked the audience and his fans for over 20 years of supporting him and and his “No Limit” family.
TLC still holds the record as the best-selling American girl group of all time and the ladies proved it during last night’s show. Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas performed all of their hits including “What About Your Friends,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Baby, Baby, Baby,” “Diggin on You,” “Red Light Special,” “Creep,” “Unpretty” and “No Scrubs.” The ladies were accompanied by an amazing group of background dancers and DJ. Their rendition of “Waterfalls” was dedicated to the memory of their third member Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who died in 2002. The song, which tackles this issues of promiscuity, drug use and HIV/AIDS, was said to have been her personal favorite.
Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds
11-time Grammy winning-singer and songwriter Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds electrified the stage during his hour-long set with a medley of hits like “For the Cool in You,” “Everytime I Close My Eyes,” “Soon As I Get Home,” “Never Keeping Secrets,” “Whip Appeal,” and “Two Occassions.” But it was the later part of his performance that really brought the crowd to their feet. He sang snippets of at least 15 different songs from artists he had written for including Johnny Gill‘s “My, My, My,” Tevin Campbell‘s “Can We Talk,” and Bobby Brown‘s “Don’t Be Cruel.” He closed out the show with a rousing performance of BoyzIIMen‘s “End of the Road,” in which he took off his jacket, unbuttoned his shirt, jumped off stage and ran into the audience. It was a move that many of us didn’t see coming but it turned out to be a real crowd pleaser.
The night ended with a power-packed show from R&B legends “New Edition.” Due to time constraints the group turned what would have been a 90-minute set into 40 minutes. Literally, these guys sang and dance to hit after hit after hit including “Popcorn Love,” “Candy Girl,” “Is this the end,” “Mr. Telephone Man,” “My Secret,” “Count Me Out” and “If It Isn’t Love.” They also performed their latest single, “This One’s For Me and You,” which appears on Johnny Gill‘s current album, Game Changer. The group is also be the subject of a new television movie based on their lives and careers for BET titled “New Edition: The Movie.” It airs in 2017 and features R&B heartthrob Luke James and “Empire” star Bryshere Y. Gray.
Take a look at more photos below:
Jon B. taking photos at the media tent
Master P with his son on stage
Master P dedicated his performance to Bank Roll Fresh
Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas
Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell
“Married to Medicine” star Lisa Nicole Cloud spotted backstage
Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com