On Sunday night (July 2) at the Mercedes Benz SuperDome, Master P brought his entire family to celebrate on the main stage during the last night of the Essence Festival. Family isn’t always about blood relation of course, so past signees Mystikal and Mia X were welcomed as featured artists. And the No Limit general also invited his brother Silkk tha Shocker, his daughter Cymphonique, and his son Romeo.
P paraded through the Essence crowd to the beat of a second line band and marched to the center of the stage. “We over 25 years in...,” he said, smiling at a crowd of thousands. He had promised that he would “bring the stars out” that night and Trina was first up with Silkk for a rendition of “That’s Cool.” P opened his stage to another hometown hero Choppa and the crowd exploded gleefully. “Choppa styyyyle, Chop, Chop, Choppa styyyyle...,” showgoers cheered. Then P gave them a sample of the energy that was to come as the opening instrumentals dropped for the 504 Boyz’ “Whodi.”
That excitement was shortlived however, as some began to complain outwardly about what they perceived to be a lack of preparation from the No Limit squad. “So, P forgot his lyrics...,” one woman said to her friend who was returning from the restroom. “Girl, to what? He been forgetting lines all night.” Fans had fallen silent during “Mr. Ice Cream Man” upon realizing that P had missed a number of words, and they genuinely looked confused by it. “So he ain’t practice or nothing?,” the first woman asked rhetorically.
Mia X definitely came through for the team, pulling her weight with performances of “The Party Don’t Stop” and “Thinkin’ Bout U.” Dressed in a black tee shirt with ‘Boss Chick’ emboldened on the front, Mia bobbed from the waist up, spit every lyric to the letter and her curls bounced along. “See? That’s my girl,” a man said while standing in line for concessions.
Mystikal was another standout during this No Limit reunion for sure. Songs like “It Ain’t My Fault,” “The Man Right Here” and “Danger” -- with a live band -- had the Essence audience on their feet for his entire mini-set. A crew of girls in floor seats twerked for the majority of time that Mystikal was on stage. The live band that played with Mystikal popped up again later on for Master P’s performance of “Make Em Say Ugh,” and that went extremely well compared to how the crowd was feeling initially.
As a special treat, Snoop Dogg was tapped to join No Limit on stage and he accepted. Snoop performed “Gin & Juice” -- for a Sunday night Essence audience, but it worked. Attendees were saying that he saved the night. He sauntered onstage, locks pulled back, "With so many drama in the LBC..." The entire SuperDome echoed the lyrics -- people jumped out of their seats, throwing their arms up.
For “Make ‘Em Say,” the stage was full -- all the dancers, artists, and the Southern University Band and majorettes had come out for a proper send-off. Regardless of a few minor hiccups, P reminded the Essence crowd of the reasons why, 25 years in, he can still command attention.