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 Thomas Rhett

Look What God Gave Her flac

Thomas Rhett. 2019. Writer: Thomas Rhett;Rhett Akins;Julian Bunetta;John Ryan;Jacob Kasher;Ammar Malik.
2 Little Big Town

Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time flac

Little Big Town. 2019. Writer: Thomas Rhett;Karen Fairchild;The Stereotypes;Jesse Frasure;Ashley Gorley.
3 Iselin Solheim

Anyone Out There flac

Iselin Solheim. 2019. Writer: Iselin Solheim;Max Grahn.
4 Kim Petras

Heart To Break flac

Kim Petras. 2018. Writer: Cirkut;Aaron Joseph;Dr. Luke;Jacob Kasher;Kim Petras.
5 Florian Picasso

Midnight Sun (Extended Version) flac

Florian Picasso. 2019.
6 Florian Picasso

Midnight Sun flac

Florian Picasso. 2019.
7 21 Savage

Enzo flac

21 Savage. 2019. Writer: YungLunchBox;Sheck Wes;Offset;Gucci Mane;21 Savage;DJ Snake.
8 Pescro

SUKA flac

Pescro. 2019.
9 Julie Bergan

Don't Give Up On Me Now flac

Julie Bergan. 2019. Writer: R3hab;Ferruccio Tebaldi;Iselin;Maria Jane Smith;Mateusz Dziewulski;Victor Thell.
10 Half An Orange

Buzz Lightyear (WRLD Remix) flac

Half An Orange. 2019.
11 Rachael Yamagata

Is It You flac

Rachael Yamagata. 2019.
12 Lewis Capaldi

Hold Me While You Wait flac

Lewis Capaldi. 2019. Writer: Jamie N Commons;Jamie Hartman;Lewis Capaldi.
13 Christina Perri

Tiny Victories flac

Christina Perri. 2019. Writer: Christina Perri.
14 Of Monsters And Men

Alligator flac

Of Monsters And Men. 2019. Writer: Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir.
15 Ashley Tisdale

True Romance flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: Scot Stewart;Dylan Mclean;Rachel West;John Feldmann;Ashley Tisdale.
16 Ashley Tisdale

Voices In My Head flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: Whitney Phillips;Scott Stewart;Dylan Mclean;John Feldmann;Ashley Tisdale.
17 Ashley Tisdale

Feeling So Good flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: Ashley Tisdale.
18 Ashley Tisdale

Under Pressure flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: John Feldmann;Ashley Tisdale.
19 Ashley Tisdale

Vibrations flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: Dylan Mclean;Scot Stewart;Rachel West;John Feldmann;Ashley Tisdale.
20 Ashley Tisdale

Looking Glass flac

Ashley Tisdale. 2019. Writer: Dylan Mclean;Scot Stewart;Rachel West;John Feldmann;Ashley Tisdale.

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