Shannon Brown's Wood-Star Music Festival debuts in Union Park | Music Sidebar | Chicago Reader

Shannon Brown's Wood-Star Music Festival debuts in Union Park 

Two days of R&B and hip-hop with Robin Thicke, Doug E. Fresh, Monica, Slick Rick, MC Lyte, Rakim, and more

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Keith Major

Phoenix Suns guard Shannon Brown was born and went to high school in Maywood, Illinois, and he's giving back to his hometown by throwing a music festival. Shannon Brown's Wood-Star Music Festival debuts Sat 8/18 and Sun 8/19 in Union Park with a small but impressive lineup of hip-hop, R&B, and soul from the past and present. The first day, called Soul in the City, features hit-making R&B acts from over the years: headliner Robin Thicke, Monica, Estelle, Dawn Richard, and American Idol winner Fantasia. The bill on Sun 8/19, called Kangols & Eight Ball Jackets, pays homage to classic hip-hop block parties; rapper and human beatbox Doug E. Fresh headlines, after sets by Slick Rick, Rakim, MC Lyte, and Naughty by Nature. Gates open at 2 PM both days, and music starts at 4 PM. Ticket proceeds benefit the Shannon Brown Foundation, a nonprofit that supports youth programs aimed at violence prevention, education, recreation, and positive social development. At noon on Sun 8/19, Brown and Ed "C'mon Son" Lover host a charity celebrity basketball game at the UIC Flames Athletic Center (839 W. Roosevelt). Admission is $20, $10 for kids 12 and under, and featured players include Rico Love, Jeremih, and former Jive Records exec Mickey "Memphitz" Wright; hip-hop duo TK-N-Cash will give a halftime performance. For more info, see Fairs & Festivals listings by day, call 312-361-0232, or visit

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