Ottawa Folk Fest 2014: Day 3 ft. J. Cole and Lee Fields

Posted: September 15th, 2014

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Photo Credit: Chizzle Photography

The show began with an homage to Tupac’s “Hail Mary” in J. Cole’s Friday Night Lights (2010) track, “Enchanted”. The energy was high from the second the Fayetteville, NC, rapper hopped on the stage. With the audience split down the middle, the entire park filled with chants of “Who Dat”, Cole’s breakout single from Cole World: The Sideline Story, in a battle to be louder than the other side. Off his latest album, Born Sinner, came track three “LAnd of the Snakes”. Backed by a live drummer, guitarist, pianist, and two singers, it was a true testament to Cole’s artistry; It was refreshing to see more than just a DJ (which he did also have) pushing buttons and playing background tracks. In a moment of honesty, there was a break in the energy and some chit-chat with the audience (whom he called his friends who wouldn’t judge him): “Ottawa, I’ve been doing a lot of fucking drinking tonight. And every time I start drinking a little bit, the next thing you know, I try to go home with somebody”; What a segue into his “Work Out” track with samples of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Kanye’s “The New Workout plan”. About mid-way through his set, after spitting “Kenny Lofton” from his Truly Yours 2 mixtape, Cole sat down and began shouting out fans in the crowd, pointing out their signs, shirts, and CDs held in the air. Despite the fact that his next song was “strictly, only” for those who copped The Warm Up (2009), the entire audience sang along to his 5-year-old single “Lights Please” proving there were more than just a few real fans in Ottawa that night. Cole ended his set with his smash hits “Crooked Smile” and “Power Trip” right before being bombarded by a leopard print bra (I hope she put her phone number in there). Just before leaving the stage, the humble artist didn’t forget to thank his entire band one-by-one band, including one of his vocalists, Yolanda, whose last show with him was that night. J. Cole’s energy, gratitude for his fans, and variety in his setlist (and talent, of course) made for one of the most memorable shows of Folk Fest 2014.

Photo Credit: Chizzle Photography

The beginning of the day set the mood for us here at Envy Magazine as we warmed up with the legendary soul singer, Lee Fields (whom J. Cole shouted out during his own set). Proving that age has no bearing, the 63 year old slid his way back and forth on stage smoother than butter. Singing tracks like “Ladies” off of My World (2009) and “I Still Got It” off of Faithful Man (2012), he was sure to charm everyone in the crowd. Lee Fields and The Expressions were a flawless beginning to day three of Ottawa Folk Festival.

Photo Credit: Chizzle Photography

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