Ladies First: Essence Fest 2018 Took Over NOLA, and We Had FOMO

Maiysha Kai just a moment. 0 comments
Essence Festival Essence Black Celebrities Black Music Black Hollywood

We wanna be down! While The Root’s own Danielle Young made her way to New Orleans from July 5-8 to party with our sister-girls at the 2018 Essence Music Festival, alas, The Glow Up stayed home to attend to other pertinent business.

But that didn’t keep us from catching a major case of FOMO. After all, Essence Fest—as epitomized by last year’s blockbuster comedy Girls Trip—is the ultimate family reunion—a for-us-by-us homegirl extravaganza.

This year was no different, as your favorite aunties (spoken as a favorite auntie myself) and all their faves descended upon NOLA for a weekend of sisterhood, music, motivation and of course, #BlackGirlMagic.

We’ll be leaving the details to Danielle, but you know we had to take a peek at how the celebs—too many to name here—turned out in their Essence Fest best. But as to be expected from an array of primarily ’80s-’90s faves, there was a wide array of fashion-statements; some far flashier than others (see Teddy Riley’s cape and sparkly hat).

Some trends? Undeterred by any accusations of cultural appropriation, kimonos made a few appearances this year, notably on Ledisi (who went full-on with an obi belt) and a gorgeous beaded red-and-gold version worn by the Queen herself, Latifah. Also big were Kente prints, as seen on Yo-Yo and V. Bozeman.

On the younger set, Issa Rae was, as always, a standout at the Insecure event, in a slinky saffron-colored jumpsuit, while Angela Rye gave a few lewks through the weekend, our fave being a red sleeveless and gathered sheath with pussy bow, styled by one of Rae’s favorite stylists, Jason Rembert.

And then, of course, there were major labels in the house—not just record labels, but fashion labels—especially on Missy Elliott, who put Gucci front and center, and Janet Jackson, who wore an Alexander Wang jersey (and a bit of grunge-inspired chic) during her performance, which included a tearful tribute to her father, Joe Jackson, who recently died of pancreatic cancer.

But the biggest label lover by far was Mary J. Blige, who rocked head-to-toe Fendi to appear on one of the festival’s many panels, and not one, but two Dapper Dan-designed Gucci outfits—with surprise waist-long platinum microbraids!—for her performance.

And how much did she love it? Enough to do the classic Mary bop-and-kick!

But whether you loved their looks or not, it’s reunion season, and it’s always great to get the family back together—or at least see them—in our case. And since we’re guessing that we weren’t the only ones with FOMO, we’ve put together a little family album for you ... Maybe next year, we’ll meet you down there! - Download Hi-Res Songs

1 The Chainsmokers

Beach House flac

The Chainsmokers. 2018. Writer: Andrew Taggart.
2 (G)I-DLE


(G)I-DLE. 2018. Writer: Riot Music Team;Harloe.
3 Anne-Marie

Rewrite The Stars flac

Anne-Marie. 2018. Writer: Benj Pasek;Justin Paul.
4 Ariana Grande

​Thank U, Next flac

Ariana Grande. 2018. Writer: Crazy Mike;Scootie;Victoria Monét;Tayla Parx;TBHits;Ariana Grande.
5 Diplo

Close To Me flac

Diplo. 2018. Writer: Ellie Goulding;Savan Kotecha;Peter Svensson;Ilya;Swae Lee;Diplo.

Waste It On Me flac

BTS. 2018. Writer: Steve Aoki;Jeff Halavacs;Ryan Ogren;Michael Gazzo;Nate Cyphert;Sean Foreman;RM.
7 Clean Bandit

Baby flac

Clean Bandit. 2018. Writer: Jack Patterson;Kamille;Jason Evigan;Matthew Knott;Marina;Luis Fonsi.
8 Imagine Dragons

Bad Liar flac

Imagine Dragons. 2018. Writer: Jorgen Odegard;Daniel Platzman;Ben McKee;Wayne Sermon;Aja Volkman;Dan Reynolds.
9 BlackPink

Kiss And Make Up flac

BlackPink. 2018. Writer: Soke;Kny Factory;Billboard;Chelcee Grimes;Teddy Park;Marc Vincent;Dua Lipa.
10 Nicki Minaj

No Candle No Light flac

Nicki Minaj. 2018. Writer: Denisia “Blu June” Andrews;Kathryn Ostenberg;Brittany "Chi" Coney;Brian Lee;TJ Routon;Tushar Apte;ZAYN;Nicki Minaj.
11 Rita Ora

Cashmere flac

Rita Ora. 2018. Writer: Sean Douglas;Lindy Robbins.
12 Backstreet Boys

Chances flac

Backstreet Boys. 2018.
13 Brooks

Limbo flac

Brooks. 2018.
14 Rita Ora

Velvet Rope flac

Rita Ora. 2018.
15 Fitz And The Tantrums

HandClap flac

Fitz And The Tantrums. 2017. Writer: Fitz And The Tantrums;Eric Frederic;Sam Hollander.
16 Little Mix

Woman Like Me flac

Little Mix. 2018. Writer: Nicki Minaj;Steve Mac;Ed Sheeran;Jess Glynne.
17 Cher Lloyd

None Of My Business flac

Cher Lloyd. 2018. Writer: ​iamBADDLUCK;Alexsej Vlasenko;Kate Morgan;Henrik Meinke;Jonas Kalisch;Jeremy Chacon.
18 Billie Eilish

When The Party's Over flac

Billie Eilish. 2018. Writer: Billie Eilish;FINNEAS.
19 Kelly Clarkson

Never Enough flac

Kelly Clarkson. 2018. Writer: Benj Pasek;Justin Paul.
20 Lil Pump

Arms Around You flac

Lil Pump. 2018. Writer: Rio Santana;Lil Pump;Edgar Barrera;Mally Mall;Jon Fx;Skrillex;Maluma;Swae Lee;XXXTENTACION.

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