Jermaine Dupri performs onstage during Day Two of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at the Caesars Superdome on Saturday, July 1, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

NEW ORLEANS — Rapper, producer, and head of So So Def Records, Jermaine Dupri orchestrated a southern homage to Hip-Hop last night inside the Caesars Superdome during night two of the ESSENCE Festival of Culture! Dupri had help from Gucci Mane, Lil Jon, Ludacris, T.I., and Dem Franchize Boyz as the capacity crowd sung and rapped along with them!

While it was an ode to Southern Hip-Hop, it was an uniquely Atlanta experience!

Earlier in the evening, Coco Jones opened the night as she brought the energy and fun to the evening’s proceedings. Coming off of winning the Best New Artist Award during last Sunday’s BET Awards 2023, Jones recently announced a 16-city tour. Even though Atlanta was not listed on the initial announcement, Jones said this is the first leg of her tour.

Coco Jones performs onstage during day 2 of the 2023 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture™ at Caesars Superdome on July 01, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

Next, Ice Cube headlined a West Coast set which paid homage to hop-hop! He had help from Lady of Rage, JJ Fad, YoYo, Ice-T, DJ Quik and E-40! Lastly, Cube performed most of his hits including “It Was a Good Day.”

Monica opened her stage set with a preamble by New Orleans’s own Big Freedia. She also included a call from currently incarcerated rapper B.G. as she showed love to her favorite city besides Atlanta. After Jermaine Dupri led the dirty south portion of the program, Jill Scott blessed the stage with her soul and passion!

Lastly, Missy Elliott, the first female in Hip-Hop to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had an elaborate stage show, performed among the crowd and had everyone dancing and partying late into the night!

Here are the images from Night Two!

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...