ESSENCE Fest rocked the Superdome in New Orleans on Friday night. Opening night at the 2022 ESSENCE Festival of Culture had a star-studded list of performers, including Wyclef Jean, who treated the crowd to an energetic performance complete with a surprise appearance from the legendary Ms. Lauryn Hill.
Jean took the stage following performances from Mickey Guyton, Kes the Band, and Machel Montano, treating the crowd to hits like “911" and showcasing the full range of his musicality. About a half hour into the legendary rapper/singer/songwriter's performance, his former bandmate Ms. Hill emerged to a raucous reception for a performance of "Killing Me Softly."
The crowd exploded as the two ran through classics “How Many Mics," “Fu-Gee-La,” and “Ready or Not.” Hulu streamed select musical content from the Superdome and highlights from daytime events at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Programming hours are from 7 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 1, through Sunday, July 3. Angela Yee served as host.
The former Fugee bandmates performance together was an excellent highlight their still-kinetic energy onstage. The two contributed to what was a strong kickoff for the festival’s first in-person concert since returning from COVID-19. Alongside the Wyclef set, Nas took the stage after 10 p.m., with Nicki Minaj closing the night out.