The 2023 ESSENCE Festival of Culture is quickly approaching. The annual celebration of Black music and lifestyle is set to take over New Orleans from June 29 to July 3. This year is an extra special edition of the fest as hip hop celebrates its 50th birthday. To mark the occasion, three hip hop icons will be headlining the festivities: Megan Thee Stallion, Ms. Lauryn Hill, and Missy Elliott.
Today (May 4), ESSENCE announced a swath of additional artists joining the party throughout the weekend. Jill Scott, Eve, Ari Lennox, Tems, Jagged Edge, Ice-T, DJ Quik, Yo-Yo, The Lady of Rage, J.J. Fad, E-40, and Ice Cube will all be turning the party with their performances. In addition, Angie Martinez will be hosting and performing in “In Real Life: 50 Years of Women in Hip Hop,” a celebration of femcees’ contributions over the past half-century. Trina, Remy Ma, Salt-N-Pepa, and Mia X will all be a part of it as they perform some of their greatest hits.
Yo-Yo shared her excitement about being a part of such a woman-heavy lineup with REVOLT. “It is always a humbling experience to be around women that are doing such influential things, and I feel honored to be one of the women a part of this year’s incredible lineup of hip hop performers,” the Compton-bred rapper told us exclusively. “With three female headliners, it reminds you that women have so much power.”
It’s set to be an unforgettable weekend as hip hop celebrates the big 5-0. Festival Vice President Hakeem Holmes spoke about this year being dedicated to the occasion in a statement. “As we gear up to celebrate the ‘50th Anniversary of Hip Hop,’ 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,” he shared.