Luxetips Events! The Essence Music Festival Day 3: MJB, Laz Alonso, and New Edition
Don’t take everything so personally. Sometimes it is just not about you.
My last day of Essence Activities and time spent in New Orleans was laid back but still a load of fun.
I slept in a bit and eventually made my way over to the New Orleans Convention Center to check out the vendors and see what Ford had in store at the Ford Booth.
I love visiting vendors at conventions, so I took a leisurely stroll around the vendor section. I was particularly impressed with some of the artwork. I loved Sidney Creations. Sidney had beautiful artwork and he was creating right there on the spot!
Here is another piece that caught my eye.
Mardi Gras headdress! Wowzer!
Of course I had to hop over to the Ford Booth. Ford did not disappoint. Ford was giving away more gas cards and iPods. The host engaged the audience in various contests to win these prizes. One such contest was a hula hoop contest. Classic. The winner was able to hula hoop while turning around in a circle and dropping to the ground without the hula hoop dropping. LOL!
I was lucky to get an invite from Rolling Out Magazine to sit in on a meet and greet with Laz Alonso. It was at The Republic, a private and intimate club, in the French Quarter. Laz was going deep on Blacks in Hollywood, relationships, and my favorite topic HBCUs. Go FAMU!!!!
His take on Blacks Hollywood: He was proud to be part of the majority African-American and Latino cast of Avatar. He was grateful James Cameron gave so many African-American actors/actresses the opportunity to be a part of a 300 million plus budget film. What an honor!
His take on relationships: He discussed his role in “This Christmas.” He explained although his character was not a good person, he hoped that the audience really went beyond the “infidelity” and attempted to understood the complexities of that marital relationship and why the character cheated. Interesting.
His take on HBCUs. He went to Howard. His best friend went to Morehouse. He raved about his HBCU education and how important they are for our African-American community. He received an excellent education and when he graduated from Howard University, he worked as an analyst on Wall Street at Merril Lynch! Who knew! He stressed there is a bevy of talent at HBCUs and companies should recruit the best and brightest African-Americans at these schools first. Amen!
And ladies I have to say he was more complex and deep than I would have thought. He is smart, gorgeous, and humble. But most importantly, he is single, never been married, no kids, and he REALLY wants to get married and have a tribe of kids! His words exactly! LOL!
Next Ford treated us to a delicious Pre-Fourth of July meal at Voodoo BBQ. We had smoked chicken, greens, cornbread pudding (the bomb!), mac and cheese and baked beans. I thought that was so nice of Ford to celebrate the Fourth with us with BBQ. I love BBQ!
I went back to the hotel and did some writing. Afterwards it was time for the Ford Explorer to take us to the Superdome for the last night of concerts. Of course Essence saved the best for last.
Kem was first up. Kem is simply amazing. He has beautiful songs and a powerful voice. And he knows how to work the crowd. He took an audience member’s cell phone and sang into her video recorder. I am sure she will never erase that video footage.
He also brought Ledisi on stage. Ledisi has an amazing voice. Watch out for Ledisi because her star is on the rise.
Trey Songz sang his classics such as “Say Ahhh” and “Neighbors Know My Name”. The ladies were eating it up.
Of course, we were all waiting for New Edition. And guess what? Bobby and Johnny Gill were there. What a treat!! Popcorn Love, Candy Girl, and Mr. Telephone Man were sung with New Edition’s signature moves. They still got it. Plus of course Bobby sang Tenderoni. Classic. Tenderoni never goes out of style.
Mary J. Blige closed out the show and she SHUT.IT.DOWN. Seriously. Mary was singing with so much passion and emotion. Of course she looked incredible. When she sang “No More Drama” everyone could just feel the emotion in that song. Love her. Her earrings were INSANE! I just kept staring at them.
The next morning, the Ford Explorer, took us to the airport. I was sad to go, but reality beckoned. This trip was beyond anything I expected. Ford treated us like royalty and everything was First Class. It was an amazing opportunity! Thank you Ford!