By AFRO Staff
The 2023 edition of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture will celebrate the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and its global impact with two headlining female MCs that represent the past and present of the art form.
Back in New Orleans for its 29th year, the four-day festival kicks off June 29 and will spotlight Ms. Lauryn Hill, who will give a special performance of the five-time Grammy-winning album “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” in recognition of its 25th anniversary. Released on Aug. 25, 1998, the album changed the game of hip-hop forever: cementing the genre as one with mainstream crossover appeal; proving its versatility beyond themes of violence, materialism and misogyny; challenging its patriarchy and establishing female rappers’ rightful place before the mic and elevating Ms. Hill to hip-hop royalty.
L’Boogie will be joined on the ESSENCE fest’s marquee lineup by new hip-hop blood Megan Thee Stallion, a three-time Grammy Award winner, who has brought her own Texas swag to the genre.
The celebration does not stop there: hip-hop icon Doug E. Fresh will curate a special performance of hip-hop pioneers. And, to memorialize the 30th anniversary of So So Def, Grammy award-winning super producer and label founder, Jermaine Dupri, will deliver a special performance with some of the biggest names in hip-hop to come out of Atlanta.
Other artists joining the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ stage include international afrobeats stars Wizkid and Kizz Daniel, and R&B crooners Monica and Coco Jones. Additional talent and experiences will be announced soon.
“For nearly three decades, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ has been an international and joyful gathering that empowers community throughout the global Black diaspora. As the nation’s largest festival by per day attendance, it continues to be a crown jewel of Black culture and plays a pivotal role in the amplification and celebration of the contributions of the Black community through business, music, and more,” said Hakeem Holmes, ESSENCE Festival’s newly appointed vice president in a statement.
“As we gear up to celebrate the ‘50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop,’” he added, “we couldn’t think of a better way to honor the contributions the genre has made on global culture and the impressions that these artists and their deep musical catalogs, which we all know so well, have been ingrained into the fibers of our day to day lives.”
In 2022, the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ saw 1.9 million live and virtual attendees, and this year promises to be equally attractive with new and returning offerings ,including nightly concerts at the Superdome, ESSENCE Food & Wine Festival, Beautycon: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ Edition, AFROPUNK: ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ Edition, ESSENCE Center Stage, ESSENCE Marketplace, New Voices Village, Community Corner, ESSENCE Authors, Global Black Economic Forum and Village, Girl’s United House, ESSENCE Family Day: The Block and more.
Tickets for the 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola® are now on sale at www.ESSENCEFestival.com, where consumers can also find festival information & updates.