Words by Jesse Serwer, Photo by Justin —
Mr. Vegas is one of our all-time favorite performers. We’ve brought the singjay to an industry party in Miami, had him perform unplugged at a movie premiere at NY’s prestigious Lincoln Center, seen him rock stages everywhere from London to Dominica, and every single time he shuts. it. down. We’ve wanted to bring him onstage with The Roots at the Okayplayer Holiday Jam for a few years now and, last Monday, the stars finally aligned to make this happen.
Following an introduction from the “Godfather of Noyze” Rahzel, Vegas kicked off the LargeUp-produced “reggae” segment of the event, which included performances by Christopher Ellis, Suns of Dub and Bunji Garlin, with—what else— his classic “Heads High.” The band were just getting set up—Questlove had still to arrive—so while it wasn’t exactly the full Roots Crew in all of it glory, Vegas was able to keep things turned all the way up, interjecting lyrics from Chaka Demus & Pliers’ “Murder She Wrote” and directing the band into the classic Bangarang/Murder She Wrote riddim, as hip-hop legends like DJ Premier (above, with Vegas) and Raekwon looked on.
Watch the video below, see the full event wrap-up here, and stay tuned for the final video from the Holiday Jam featuring Christopher Ellis performing his father Alton’s “I’m Still in Love with You” followed by Vegas’ “Hot Gyal Today.”