Kendrick Lamar Will Be Alright at Essence

Sunday night, Kendrick Lamar will close the Essence Music Festival in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. It’s a time slot that has been punishing in recent years as such party-friendly hitmakers as Earth, Wind & Fire and Lionel Ritchie struggled to hold audiences that had seen the artists they came for—often Charlie Wilson or Mary J. Blige—and had to go to work in the morning.

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