Jindenna, The Internet Win Essence Festival 2016

If you weren’t in the Superdome or the Convention Center this weekend, the story of Essence Festival was #closedforessence. A photo of a sign in Walk-Ons’ door that announced that the bar was closed for repairs started the meme as the timing, along with the history of bars and restaurants closing during the Essence Festival and Bayou Classic weekends, made the closure suspicious.

Badu vs. Braxton - Who's Real at Essence?

[Updated] For most of the crowd in the Superdome Sunday for the end of the 20th year of the Essence Festival, the night was about Charlie Wilson and Lionel Richie. For me, the fireworks came early. The night opened with Tamar, who presumes to be on a single-name basis with the world. I, not being part of the world, needed a last name—Braxton—to give her context.

Mary J. Blige the Spectacle Saturday at Essence

After the spectacle of Beyoncé’s high-tech production last year at Essence Festival, it’s refreshing to have a year where the focus has been clearly on the performers. Neither Prince nor Mary J. Blige relied on technology or choreography for visual stimulus, though both had choreography that they could have done without.

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