Nile Rodgers’ FOLD Festival
Martha Clara vineyards on the north fork of Long Island was the recent host of the FOLD (Freak Out Let’s Dance) Festival. Grammy-winning artist Nile Rodgers produced and performed at this unique two-day event. You’d be hard pressed to find Chuck D, Keith Urban, Beck, Pharrell Williams Duran Duran, Chaka Khan and Chic on the same stage unless it was at an award show. This was an outdoor festival with the beauty of Long Island as the backdrop.
Pharrell came on for a hot minute during Nile’s set to perform their hits with Daft Punk and Pharrell’s solo hit “Happy” and his collab with Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines”.
Day two of the festival saw Grandmaster Melle Mel take the stage and move the crowd with his classic Furious Five hits “The Message”, the first Hip Hop record inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)”. He even brought in a new audience by performing some more current hits from a younger generation of rap artists. When the legendary Chaka Khan took the stage later that evening, even everyone on stage was anticipating Melle Mel to rap his intro from “I Feel for You”. Unfortunately, Mel had to leave for a flight and couldn’t perform his Grammy award-winning verse.
Minor setback aside, Chaka still proved that she’s still got it, belting out timeless classics like “I’m Every Woman”, “Ain’t Nobody” and more.
Chuck D was scheduled to perform the night before but got on with Hank Shocklee behind the wheels. They went though “Public Enemy No. 1”, “Fight the Power”, “Can’t Truss It”, and a few songs from Public Enemy’s new album Man Plans God Laughs.
The one constant throughout the two day fest was Nile Rodgers. It was him along with Bernard Edwards who are responsible for rap’s most notable bass line. 1970’s NYC clubs like The Palladium would play Chic’s music and rappers would freestyle to it. When Sugarhill Gang used the bass line from Chic’s “Good Times” on “Rapper’s Delight”, mainstream rap music was born.
The weather was typical late summer but the star-studded lineup was as rare as you’ll ever find. This was organized by a man who was diagnosed with cancer less than 5 years ago. Nile is writing a new chapter in his life and he looks better than ever. If you missed it this time, I’d recommend you hit this up next year if you’re in the tri-state area.
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