#Essencefest 2015: Truth, Shenanigans and More

Let’s Stay Connected!


Another Essence Fest is in the books.  You’ve probably already heard or seen a lot about the Fest, but here’s some of my recap notes that may peak your interest. I hope you enjoyed BrassyBrown.com’s coverage.


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Tonya Boyd-Cannon

New Orleans represented. Tank & The Bangas, Tonya Boyd-Cannon, Dee-1, Trombone Shorty, Dumpstaphunk and New Orleans native, Teedra Moses proved there is homegrown talent worthy of big stages.

Lecrae is no fluke. Lots of folks in the crowd knew his lyrics. He’s got real fans and he rocked the mainstage. No gospel artist has rocked the main stage like that since Kirk Franklin.


Seeing Kevin Hart live gave me a better appreciation for his ability to be a storyteller. The mini build ups to laughter were impressive.


Never doubt a Clark Sister. Dorinda Clark-Cole was ridiculous on Sunday.

Usher’s Juneteenth -shirt and jacket questioning our independence on 4th of July was timely and showed us he’s paying attention. Love when artists stand up for justice.


Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry is not here for B.S. question from anyone. Love her.

Kool Moe Dee needs to be a professor. His post-performance comments to press were like a summit on hip hop


The hustle is real: A street vendor tried to sell me a BET Experience t-shirt at the Essence Fest.

A 16oz Coke cost about $1.65 in the grocery store. At Essence Fest: $3.75. Do the math.

Shady Cabs: I saw and heard some cab drivers only offering to provide transportation in the French Quarter and refusing service to other places beyond CBD. This benefits them because French Quarter trips are quicker= more money. If catch your’e trying to catch a cab, you should be able to go anywhere.




“India Arie is such a flower child.”

“I ain’t buying no books. They got a stank attitude.”

“Girl, I’d sop up Morris (Chestnut) like a biscuit.”

“I’m not from New Orleans. How am I supposed to know I can’t park near a fire hydrant?” The police politely gave her the impound number.

“Sometimes it was hard to find a seat up front in an Empower U because so many seats were reserved. I came early to get a good seat but it didn’t matter.”

“I wish they would have did more for #blacklivesmatter this year.”

“They wrong for doing Missy like that. WTF!?”



Heels are not made for the Superdome (unless you’re an artist with an assistant). Saw a woman’s heel break mid-stride. It was like a stanky leg injury.

We are one or naw? Saw a couple arguing during the Frankie Beverly set. The woman was so mad she did that finger push to his forehead.

Missy Elliot’s Mic got cut. She was 2 minutes over time. Audience was pissed.


Thanks to #Verizonlive for allowing me VIP access in their hospitality suite. Lush couches, food and more was a wonderful experience. Apparently though, some folks in the room were trying to wrap up food in napkins and put beers in their purses. Being a greedy VIP is not a good look.


“Tank will be up next” was announced to the press. Then there was clarification. “Oh, not that Tank.” There was not enough room on the sheet to type… “and The Bangas.”

Tank & the Bangas
Tank & the Bangas



Method Man joining Mary J. Blige. She said “Let’s go.” The beat dropped. Crowd went crazy.


Trey Songz. In the press room Trey was asked about his love for Black women. He said he’d always been around Black women because his father wasn’t in his life. In that moment, in front of strangers there was a brief moment of vulnerability. You know how someone laughs off something, but it really hurts?

Rico Love: Truthfully, I never heard of him until Essence Festival. This guy’s breakdown of music industry politics and artist struggle was on point and challenged me as a music fan. I truly regret not taping his comments. Try Youtube. He dropped gems.



IMG_5803Shawn Bell’s fiancée, Nicole Paultre Bell, was amazing. I had a chance to talk with her one –on-one. Not for an interview but I just wanted to acknowledge her pain. She was very grateful. She really wants change in the government and police departments. Very authentic and beautiful.  Refreshing spirit. #blacklivesmatter



There are some artists that come into the press room that are blah. Avery Sunshine & Dee-1 were amazing in the press room. Incredible stories. Engaging. Passionate. They captivated the room and had everyone buzzing.

Tweet said she went off the rails and was drinking and smoking at least 3 packs of cigarettes per day. She said in 2005 she saw, Tonex on BET singing: Lord Make me Over. She stopped cold turkey and rededicated her life to Christ.

Walmart gave away portable cell phone chargers. Let me tell you…being able to charge my phone on the go was perfect for working. That little thing got some juice.


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