It’s been a couple of weeks since the 2016 Essence Music Festival and I couldn’t let another one go by without recapping my experience. Let me just say that Essence is something like a full time job — if you’re going ever night. There’s a lot of work to put into it, but I couldn’t be happier that I’m blessed to witness it from the floor every year.
This year was amazing. From Babyface, to New Edition, to Mariah Carey, to the Bad Boy Family, the performances I anticipated definitely lived up to my expectations, giving me all of my childhood life.
NIGHT 1: Faith Evans, Avery Wilson,
Tyrese, Babyface, New Edition, Maxwell
I walked in on Faith Evans’ performance. By the time I sat down, she brought Keke Wyatt onstage to help her sing her 1998 hit, “Love Like This.” I began recording, and as soon as I sent the video to my Snapchat story, Keke fell! I missed it. I was so mad! It reminded me why it’s so important to capture the moment without having to capture the moment. But lucky for us, someone did.
Wait for it…
Tyrese was MIA due to a scheduling conflict. He was in the middle of filming Fast 8 and couldn’t pause to perform at the engagement that was only confirmed months ago (sarcasm). But, he sorta stayed committed by appearing the next night during performance breaks to belt out a snippet of “Shame.” Babyface and his discography, dating way back to the 80s, were amazing. I just wasn’t ready for him to strip down to his bare chest during his “End of the Road” performance. To say he’s in his late 50s, he has more stamina than those who are 30 (like me), and his body looks great. But next time, I’m gonna need a warning. New Edition was great. They did not let their age slow them down and showed all of these young whippersnappers what time it was. I didn’t realize they had so many songs, though! By the time they were done, my phone died. Maxwell was lovely, but I must admit, I dipped out mid-performance. I was dead tired and I had just witnessed the same performance earlier this year at Jazz Fest.
Up next: NIGHT TWO.