Superstar performer Usher, along with a few stellar performances from some of music’s greatest, ignited the crowd at the 2015 Essence Music Festival on Day Two (July 4) of a riveting lineup in the Big Easy. During a stage that included Common, Erykah Badu and the return of Missy Elliott, Ursh once again reminded fans why he’s one of the most successful performers in the game.
Tearing through a myriad of hits, including classics “Love in This Club,” “Throwback” and the new Wale powered-hit “Matrimony” that featured an appearance from the DMV native, Usher engaged with the audience who functioned as his back-up singers for the night, singing every word of his tunes. But on the night America celebrated it’s born day, it was Usher’s message about Independence Day that caught fans’ attention, going beyond what was displayed on his attire.
“We’re celebrating our independence but do we really have it?” Usher asked REVOLT in an interview prior to his performance. “Have we really achieved it? Is that what the world is showing us right now? At least we’re coming together.”
While Usher didn’t elaborate on the specifics of his message, it’s possible he may have been referring to the spate of incidents that’s clouded our country over these past few months. The police protests on behalf of the unarmed victims who have been killed, most recently in Baltimore, to the murders of churchgoers gunned down in their house of worship in South Carolina. In addition, there’s been issue over the hotly-debated Confederate flag still flying above federal buildings and the burning of many Black churches that have all been unfortunate situations affecting every entertainer, reminding us all of the current times we live in.
Saturday night of the Essence Music Festival also showcased other acts on the Super Lounge stages with performances from Mystikal, Wale, Sevyn Streeter, hip-hop legend Kool Moe Dee and Raheem DeVaughn.