Since 2009, The Roots have held it down at the annual Wawa Welcome America July Fourth festival in Philly.
But in 2016, that tradition may have come to an end.
The rumor mill is spinning after thestory broke on Billy Penn, which quotedan anonymous source saying The Roots wouldn’t rejoin the concert.
“I have no proof of this, but I can 100 percent guarantee the current administration has no headliner planned as of yet that will live up to Mixmaster Mike’s Independence Day legacy,” the source told Billy Penn.
Roots member Questlove retweeted the story with the ambiguous hashtag “#goodluckwiththat” and a pair of rolling eyeball emojis. He did not respond immediately to messages requesting clarification.
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) March 30, 2016
Just a day later, The Roots dropped out of David Bowie tribute concerts in New York. Questlove posted on Instagram saying the decision was prompted by unnamed entities refusing to share equipment and “#bitchassness” in general. (An organizer has said there was a “miscommunication” and that they hope The Roots will reconsider, according to Pitchfork.)
But as far as Welcome America, no one seems to be giving clear answers.
Wawa did not respond to a request for comment.
Asked for comment on the reports The Roots wouldn’t play, Mayor Jim Kenney’s spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said via email, “There are some new and exciting changes happening at WaWa Welcome America and we look forward to announcing those at a press conference that will take place in the coming weeks.”
It’s unclear what changed besides the mayor of Philadelphia that would stop The Roots from headlining Welcome America.
Former Mayor Nutter was a loud and proud Roots fan who famously performed “Rapper’s Delight” with the band backing up — twice.