The NOAA Climate Forecast System predicted this year’s Fourth of July as a record breaking “hottest day” ever. While global warming could very well be the reason for this, we think it was just the residual heat from Megan thee Stallions performance at Essence Fest.
The annual Essence Festival was back in its home of New Orleans for another full weekend of fun events, performances and panels and more. Now, every year at Essence Fest is a good time but this year being the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop made it extra special. And the sweltering heat was no match for this year’s star-studded lineup.
Jill Scott, Monica, Juvenile, Mannie Fresh, Jagged Edge, Jermaine Dupri, Big Boi, Ludacris, Ice Cube, Slick Rick and Janelle Monae are only a few of the artists that graced the stage at The Caesars Superdome Friday and Saturday night.
Friday night’s headliner Lauryn Hill killed her performance, despite her tardiness. The Grammy-nominated songstress stylishly strolled on stage adorned in an all-black fit with a massive pleated, ruffle top and showed us why she is and will always be one of the most defining musicians of our time. Fellow Fugees member and long-time collaborator Wyclef Jean also joined the star on stage. Comedian and actor Deon Cole kept the good vibes going through in between performances as the host for the night.
Saturday night brought even more energy. Missy Elliot gave a show-stopping performance with a nostalgic medley of her award-winning catalogue.
Hosted by Abbot Elementary star Janelle James with sounds by the legendary DJ Spinderella, Sunday night’s concert included performances from several artists like Remy Ma, Salt-N-Pepa, Mia X, Eve, Angie Martinez and Megan Thee Stallion to help commemorate Hip-Hop 50. Rapper and New Orleans finest Lil Wayne surprised fans with an impromptu but, nonetheless, epic performance.
Wizkid and Tems brought Nigeria to New Orleans and linked up to perform 2022’s song of the summer “Essence.”
But Big Boi, Ludacris and Megan Thee Stallion took the cake (no pun intended) for our favorite performances from the weekend.
Big Boi had everyone on their feet as he rapped along to his iconic OutKast hit “The Way You Move” in his standard long, fur coat. Ludacris gave us hit after hit like “Move Bitch” and brought out Lil Jon for their 2000 collaboration “Bia Bia.”
And last but certainly not least, Sunday night the Houston Hottie Megan Thee Stallion had every cheek in Caesars Superdome shaking while dozens of fans joined her on stage for an iconic twerk battle.
Tons of events and panels took place, some simultaneously, at The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center where dozens of vendors from fashion to beauty were housed for the weekend. Guests could purchase from their favorite black owned businesses all under one roof.
Popular beauty and lifestyle company BeautyCon made their return to the beauty scene after a four-year hiatus and with a new owner — Essence Ventures, LLC. BeautyCon is an annual event made to highlight new trendy products in the industry, with the help of makeup influencers, celebrities and fans. It’s safe to say the company is in good hands as they plan to introduce a whole new BeautyCon experience for everyone to enjoy very soon.
What better way to make a comeback than at one of the largest festivals in the U.S.? Guests were able to stop by the BeautyCon booth and listen to singer Coco Jones and Shea Moisture President of Beauty & Wellbeing Cara Robinson Sabin recall their experiences in the beauty industry as black women.
Oprah Winfrey, Taraji P. Henson and Danielle Brooks all came together for a special conversation surrounding the legacy of the 1985 coming-of-age film The Color Purple. Winfrey, Henson and Brooks all play a major role in the upcoming reboot of the film set to release later this year on Christmas Day.
Vice President Kamala Harris even joined the fun as she spoke on a panel for a conversation on the fight for reproductive freedom and the socioeconomic development of the black community alongside Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.
Other panel speakers included Dominique Fishback, Tyler James Williams, Michelle Williams, YoYo, Roxanne Shanté, Jacob Latimore and Kim Whitley.