Essence Festival: Sunday's Recap

00:00 July 04, 2016
By: Emil Flemmon

On July 3, the annual Essence Festival wrapped up the weekend on a decent note. While Mariah Carey served as a headliner (Friday and Saturday), Kendrick Lamar, Ciara, Luke James, Kelly Price, Kehlani, MC Lyte, Dej Loaf and more rounded out the performances for both the Mainstage an Superlongues.

Highlights included the following:

  • The Superlounges gave way to some great and rising artists such as Chole x Halle, Kehlani, Ryan Glasper and others. The music, collectively, carried a theme that catered to an audience who could appreciate more of the styling of songs versus the obvious popularity of today’s mainstream saturated market. Chloe x Halle is definitely one to keep an eye out for.
  • Kelly Price and Luke James paid homage to the late Prince. Price, as usual, brought the house down in the opening ceremony with solid live vocals despite being a bit hoarse. As for Luke James, who will be in the upcoming New Edition film for BET, was nothing short of good. A favorite to the family of Essence, one has to ask sometimes —how in the world can we make this talented young man a bigger name?
  • Kendrick Lamar was once again poetic and strong during his on stage delivery. With each performance, Lamar proves why he’s a rapper that deserves his spot in the industry and a voice that has to be heard.
  • No, Lil’ Kim didn’t show up, but Puff Daddy held his own quite well giving fans those classic Bad Boy songs. He’s not usually a one man show but he did give fans an excerpt of the Bad Boy Reunion which judging from how many people left their assigned seats and run the risk of getting caught by ushers or angry patrons, it’s safe to say that he was well worth the wait.
  • Ciara’s performance was well built from start to finish but isn't that what we expect from a great dancer? She incorporated her signature hits like “Promise,” “Oh!,” “I Bet” and others during her set. She also dedicated a song to her fiancé Russell Wilson. Prince’s “Adore” also saw its way on her playlist as she too paid homage to the late musician.
  • Notable stars such as Mario, Keri Hilson, rapper Treach and Instagram comedic wonders @BlameItOnKway and Jay’La Milan (@lalasizhands89) were just a few faces that blended in with the crowd goers.

Overall, the festival was really an “okay” event this year. The roster was solid but felt short to a degree. It’s almost like you just can’t put your finger on what you may have thought was “missing” but could easily find yourself wanting more. No less, what matters is providing one roof with fan favorites and you can't beat that at a festival promoting unity through music.



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