Capping off the big weekend in the Big Easy in style, Reebok and Footaction hosted Classics in the Courtyard, a pop-up sneaker customization store and concert on Saturday afternoon right in the heart of Bourbon Street featuring Reebok brand ambassadors Cam’ron, Teyana Taylor, and Curren$y. The three artists took turns performing some of their biggest hits in front of a packed house of fans while wearing iconic Reebok styles like the Club C, Freestyle, and Instapump Fury.
Cam and Teyana have a long history with Reebok, with both artists previously collaborating with Reebok on their own shoes. Today, they were supporting the most iconic Reebok styles, with Cam’ron wearing the Club C, and Teyana rocking bright red Freestyle Hi – a style that Teyana was recently named the face of for 2017 . Matching his seersucker outfit, Curren$y wore a recent local collaboration with Sneaker Politics, the Reebok Instapump Fury OG Seersucker Thursday.
Bringing some Harlem flavor to NOLA, Cam’ron performed some of his biggest hits, including classics “Oh Boy” and “Hey Ma,” while Teyana played and danced on the balcony to some of her biggest hits, including “Maybe”.
Reebok Classic x Footaction “Classics in the Courtyard” was accompanied by a Footaction pop-up store right on Bourbon Street, where fans could purchase a variety of Reebok styles and also customize their own artwork on the silhouettes.
The Reebok Classic Club C is available at Reebok.com and Footaction for $69.99, and the Reebok Freestyle Hi is available at Reebok.com for $69.99.
Photo Credit: Josh Brasted/Getty Images provided by Reebok
Marking 2016 as Ford’s eighth consecutive year as an exclusive automotive sponsor of the ESSENCE Festival, the company pulled out all the stops for this year’s festivities with their dynamic booth display showing off some of their best and newest rides, allowing the public to even test drive the vehicles.
Sirius XM was also on-site to broadcast live from the Ford booth during the entire weekend and conducted interviews with your favorite celebrities like Sevyn Streeter, Maxwell, Chrisette Michelle, Ro James, New Edition, Tony Gaskins and the cast of STARZ hit series’ Power and Survivor’s Remorse.
As mentioned, Ford’s latest lineup of vehicles was on full display at the Ford booth including the 2017 Ford GT, 2017 Ford Fusion Sport, Shelby Mustang GT350, and Ford Focus RS. The company was giving away the keys to a new 2017 Ford Fusion to one lucky winner. Four lucky contestants had the chance to compete on stage, alongside Nephew Tommy, to win the keys to the brand new car.
Also, Festival attendees had the chance to test drive the latest lineup of Ford vehicles, including the 2016 Ford Explorer, 2017 Ford Fusion and 2017 Ford Escape.
Kicking things off at the start of the festival on Friday, July 1, the brand started their charity initiative, Ford Warriors in Pink to raise funds and bring awareness to breast cancer. Ford donated $20 for each of the first 250 test drives (total of $5,000) on July 1 to support Young Survival Coalition. Over $130 million has been donated towards the fight against breast cancer through Ford’s ‘Warriors in Pink.’
Lastly, Ford hosted an exclusive Media and Influencer Dinner, which included SFPL‘s very own Gabriel Williams amongst many others held at Mardi Gras World, an indoor Bayou themed location that gives the nostalgia of what NOLA is all about.
Attendees were treated to New Orleans inspired dishes, especially the all-time favorite, Po’ Boy Sandwiches, and the well-known popular drink, The Hurricane. Great food, great conversations, a great time.
Manager of Ford Multicultural Communications, Raj Register hosted the evening along with Life/Relationship Expert, Tony Gaskins.
Raj greeted the attendees and spoke on a few initiatives that Ford was working on paired with a very new ad campaign, as well as, introducing Tony for those that may not have been familiar with the budding self-made expert/entrepreneur. You may remember him as he recently appeared a few times as a special guest on K. Michelle‘s My Life on VH1, counseling the songstress through her troubled relationships.
Mr. Gaskins is also apart of the Ford campaign where he was featured in the official commercial.
In the video clip, he quotes:
“If you don’t build your dream, someone will hire you to build theirs…”
Take a look below:
While speaking at the dinner, Tony gave insight on what his life was like in the past, and how he needed to grow up and take control of his life. Fascinated with money, girls, selling drugs and eventually being kicked out of college on a full football scholarship, Gaskins soon realized that he was heading down the wrong path.
Starting on a new quest, he then thought to himself that he could help others through their process without necessarily worrying about money. Moving in a more positive direction, Gaskins raised his own brand from the ground up, now holding his positions as an esteemed Life Coach and Author, not to mention a Father, and Husband.
OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network continued its “Queen Sugar” Essence Festival takeover with a Q&A on the festival mainstage — moderated by Essence entertainment director Cori Murray — featuring the cast and show creator Ava DuVernay; an inspiring keynote speech by “Queen Sugar” executive producer Oprah Winfrey; and a culminating cocktail reception at Legacy Kitchen, where over 200 industry insiders and tv personalities celebrated the new series.
“Queen Sugar” cast members Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Kofi Siriboe, Omar Dorsey, Tina Lifford, Dondre Whitfield, Nicholas Ashe and Bianca Lawson graced the red carpet at the reception, followed by DuVernay, Gayle King and Ms. Winfrey herself. Additional attendees included: Lynn Whitfield (“Greenleaf”), Tina Knowles Lawson, Richard Lawson, “The Real” hostsAdrienne Bailon, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai; singer Lalah Hathaway; “Love Thy Neighbor” cast Patrice Lovely and Darmirra Brunson; “Survivor’s Remorse” cast Tichina Arnold, Jessie T. Usher, Erica Ash and Allen Maldonado; “POWER” cast Lela Loren and Joseph Sikora; “Real Housewives of Atlanta” cast Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker; broadcast journalist/producerSoledad O’Brien, Bozoma Saint John (Head of Global Consumer Marketing, Apple Music & iTunes); Mona Scott-Young(Monami Entertainment); Stevie J (“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”); “Married to Medicine” cast Dr. Heavenly, Mariah Huq and Lisa Nicole Cloud; Gocha Hawkins (“LA Hair”), Tameka Foster, American Idol’s La’Porsha Renae and so many more.
“Queen Sugar” will debut as a two-night event on Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 at 10PM ET/PT on OWN. The series will regularly air Wednesday nights at 10PM ET/PT for the remainder of its 13-episode first season.
A number of notable celebrities, community leaders and entertainers descended on the city of New Orleans once again to attend the 13th Annual McDonald’s 365Black Awards, held today at the New Orleans Theater in the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. They were joined by spectators who converged to salute this year’s recipients of the distinguished awards, including Grammy Award-winning artist Toni Braxton; football cornerback Charles Tillman; award-winning actress Wendy Raquel Robinson; educator and historian Lonnie Bunch; and McDonald’s owner/operatorLarry Triplett. Additionally, teen philanthropist Lauren Seroyer and teen social-entrepreneur Donovan Smith were recognized alongside this lineup with the third McDonald’s 365Black Community Choice Youth Award, facilitated by Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
McDonald’s 365Black Awards are given annually to salute outstanding individuals who are committed to making positive contributions that strengthen the African-American community. The program launched in 2003 as an extension of the company’s 365Black platform, created to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of African–Americans year-round. Held in conjunction with ESSENCE Festival™presented by Coca-Cola®, the event was hosted by actor Lance Grossand actress/singer Amber Riley.
Singing siblings and reality television co-stars The Braxton Sisters performed a show-stopping tribute to their sister, Lifetime Achievement honoree, Toni Braxton. Vocal powerhouse Kelly Price, along with recording artists Kenny Lattimore,V. Bozeman and Eric Benet joined the sisters in the esteemed accolade to Toni. Anthony Hamilton and the Hamiltones, Chrisette Michele, Ro James and Canton Jonesled the other crowd-moving performances at the awards.
Actresses Sheryl Lee Ralph, Ta’Rhonda Jones, Erica Ash and Gabrielle Dennis, along with actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Ronreaco Lee and Jay Ellis, were among this year’s presenters. Other celebrities in attendance included recording artists Jordin Sparks, Avery Wilson and Guordan Banks, as well as music producer Sean Garrett and comedian/philanthropist Ricky Smith.
Actor, comedian and popular internet personality King Bach brought his large social media following along to the event, posting photos from the signature gold carpet prior to the ceremony.
“We salute this year’s honorees for all of their achievements and for positively contributing to their communities,” said William Rhodes, McDonald’s U.S. marketing director. “It is important to acknowledge people who are making a real difference. We at McDonald’s are proud to be able to honor this group with this form of recognition. We hope it inspires them and others to continue to make positive impact.”
Those who missed the live awards ceremony can share in the experience by watching the broadcast on BET® Networks and CENTRIC later this summer. Additionally, consumers can follow @365Black on Twitter for commentary on the awards and join the conversation using #365BlackAwards.
It’s been 10 years since the damage and devastation of Hurricane Katrina right in the heart of New Orleans. So what better time to collab than now?! Today, both N.O. natives Lil Wayne and August Alsina comes together for a new track entitled “Why I Do It.”
On Day #4 of the Essence Music Festival, Verizon Wireless hosted an exclusive media dinner at New Orleans historic restaurant, Dooky Chase.
During the evening’s dining festivities, panelists Javier Farfan [VP of Cultural Engagement for Verizon], Artists: Goapele and native of NOLA, Luke James all discussed the effects of “Music & Technology” combined in today’s entertainment industry. The panel was curated by Krista Bourne [Regional President for the Houston/Gulf Coast Region]. Comedian and The Real‘s Loni Love was also in the building providing laughs and good times!
Attendees got their tastebuds alined from what has been the talk of the weekend, as The Best food in town. A standing ovation was in order, as Leah Chase approached the room with such grace.
At 92 years old, Leah still cooks in the kitchen full-time serving up some of the BEST creole food ever! She’s simply amazing and an inspiration to us all.
Spotted above, Leah Chase has even cooked for the President of the United States, Barack Obama, as he’s visited the restaurant on more than one occasion.
About Dooky Chase
Dooky Chase opened its doors for business starting in 1941. What was initially a sandwich shop and lottery ticket outlet in 1939 blossomed into a thriving bar and later a respected family restaurant in Treme. Founded by Emily and Dooky Chase, Sr., Dooky Chase’s Restaurant soon became the meeting place for music and entertainment, civil rights, and culture in New Orleans.
Today Dooky Chase’s remains family owned and operated. After Hurricane Katrina Dooky’s did close for two years to rebuild, but with assistance of many, Dooky Chase’s remains the premier restaurant for authentic Creole Cuisine
The Chase Family enjoys serving its regular customers, tourists, and locals. They also remain a stopping place for politicians, musicians, visual artists, and literary giants. Dooky Chase’s has had the pleasure of serving both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, Hank Aaron, Ernest Gaines, Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones and a list of others.
Congrats to Team Verizon on their successful event and weekend during the 2015 Essence Music Festival!
During this year’s 2015 Essence Music Festival, Proctor & Gamble‘s My Black Is Beautiful held an exclusive cocktail hour and dinner at New Orleans Jazz Market. As you entered the pristine establishment, guest were greeted with passed hors d’oeuvres and speciality drinks, and subtle sounds of a trio jazz band playing in the background.
As part of its long-standing commitment to touch and improve the lives of African-American women, Procter & Gamble (P&G) has always been proud to be a title sponsor of the 2015 ESSENCE Festival for the 7th straight year. This year, P&G’s ‘My Black is Beautiful’ inspired women to celebrate and share their “Beauty In Action” during the ESSENCE festivities and beyond by providing signature experiences with its partner brands, CoverGirl Queen Collection, Pantene, Clairol Professional, Olay, Gain, Bounty, Charmin and Puffs.
Attendees of the EMF joined the celebration by visiting the ‘My Black is Beautiful’ booth and enjoyed fun makeovers, live music, transformational programming, celebrity meet & greets, and surprise gifting through social media. Guests also meet the six newly crowned 2014 “MBIB Ambassadors” who was on hand throughout the weekend to motivate, excite and galvanize attendees to affect positive change in their local community.
Before, heading into the next room for a sit-down dinner, Dancer/Choreographer/Creative Director Laurieann Gibson showed the attendees how to boost their confidence through dance, therefore, teaching the new #MBIB line dance, which she created herself.
Other guests included:
Singer/Actress Amber Riley who wowed the crowd with her flawless vocals and premiering a new song for the very first time, which she performed.
Singer/Songwriter Sevyn Streeter performing her hit single “4th Street.”
Singer/Songwriter Raheem DeVaughn.
TV Host & Pop Culture Expert Jawn Murray and Blood, Sweats & Heels star & Author Demetria Lucas D’Oyley.
Singers/Songwriters & Wal-Mart Ambassadors Kindred The Family Soul.
On Day 2 of this year’s Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, The FORD Company, which was one official sponsors for the event — held an exclusive Media Dinner hosted by singer/songwriter Andra Day.
Selects media brands, including Stuff Fly People Like, enjoyed a delicious menu at one of N.O.’s best restaurants, Little Gem Saloon. The southern cuisine provided select foods like; SmokedSt. Louis Cut Ribs, LA Barbeque Shrimp, Kale Salad, Shrimp & Grits, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, Filet Mignon and more.
Multicultural Marketing Manager of Ford, Shawn Lollie spoke to the attendees about EMF, being with Ford for over 20 years — passed through her mother and father — who also worked for premier company, and she also introduced new artist Andra Day, filtering in a video presentation of the featured talent sponsored by Ford.
After the video EPK, Andra sat with the press for an up close and personal conversation about her life, music and much more.
Affiliates that attended the dinner were: Stuff Fly People Like, Global Grind, Divas and Dorks, O Magazine, Arise TV, ItsArkeedah.com, VIBE Magazine, Bossip, ABC News Radio, The Root, JawnMurray.com, Huffington Post and more.
This year’s Essence Music Festival was definitely one to remember!
Nearly a half million attendees converged upon New Orleans this 4th of July weekend for the 2015 ESSENCE Festival, one of the country’s largest live events. The annual 4-day Festival, which took place July 2-5, features entertainment, empowerment, and cultural experiences during the day and the world’s best performers each night. In addition, for the first time this year, the Festival touched tens of thousands of fans around the world via 100 hours of produced live-stream content.
Missy Elliot hit the EMF stage on Saturday night, which was the most anticipated performance of the entire weekend, along with Kendrick Lamar. Serving up a plethora of hits that we all from the hitmaker; “Work It”, “Get Your Freak On”, “Pass That Dutch”, “Hot Boyz” and so much more. The crowd was loosing their minds!
Team SFPL was on-hand to get exclusive coverage of the entire weekend just inches away from the stage:
Towards the bitter end of Elliot’s set, it seems as her time was up, once her mic was completely turned off following the lights on stage. Leaving, singer Monica behind the curtains as she was about to step out, as the surprise guest.
Missy then proceeded to pull the singer by her hand, as she waved to crowd in the dark. It’s unfortunate that it happened so prematurely, but eventually Missy was brought back on-stage after Usher‘s set with the Essence crew giving a public apology for the mishap.
Later, ME attended the Wind And Grind afterparty presented by Saint Heron & Ciroc, hosted by Solange Knowles featuring the Missy Appreciation Hour with a special surprise tribute performance. Kelly Rowland, Beyonce and Jay Z were in the building for the festivities.
Singer Tweet was on-hand to take the party-goers down memory lane! It was such a great time!
Kendrick Lamar closed out this year’s Essence Fest in a major way! Covering his hit songs like; “Alright”, “King Kunta”, “The Blacker the Berry” and more. Lamar gave attendees a real live visual of his latest chart-topping album To Pimp A Butterfly.
A video posted by Stuff Fly People Like (@thesfpl) on Jul 6, 2015 at 2:45pm PDT
From the beginning to end, KL keep the audience intrigue and wanting more!
Singer Trey Songz also graced the stage keeping the women on “everything Trigga”! Clad in a white button-down, ripped jeans, and a pair of white leather Buscemi sneakers, Songz was quite Fly!
Trey also paid a visit to Press backstage in the Media Room to answer a few questions after his EMF performance.
Christian Rapper Lecrae hit the Media Room after just leaving the stage, giving the audience a reason why his album was #1 in the country! The talented artist discussed Hurrican Katrina [10th Anniversary], coming to New Orleans as a kid to visit family, how he likes to study culture being a Social Anthropologist, and working on a new album after a few more show dates.
As he entered, you couldn’t help but see his new pair of the Yeezy Boost 350‘s!
The incomparable Mary J. Blige put on one HELL of a performance! Dip in red and later changing into all black jumpsuit, Mary delivered her music catalog of hits, and it was a site to see! Surprise guest, Method Man hit the stage as he and Mary reminisced the crowd with the classic hit song “You’re All I Need.”
A video posted by Stuff Fly People Like (@thesfpl) on Jul 4, 2015 at 10:24pm PDT
Great job Usher!
Erykah Badu took the stage giving her BADU’isms, as she took the Essence crowd on a journey through her classics! From “Tyrone” to “On & On”, there was no stopping the audience from singing every lyrics attached to Erykah’s songs.
More coverage about the 2015 Essence Festival coming up soon!