“The secret of the Essence Festival is that it gathers half a million people every year to celebrate the vibrant art and achievement of black women — and the men who love black women — on a scale that is woefully absent in other aspects of mainstream culture.”—Jason King says it time for the mainstream media to pay attention to the Essence Festival in New Orleans.
ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: Do you find — cause a lot of your music, it just rips through you. You choose these horns of life, you know, like these crazy soul-laden, thick, melodic, fat-sounding, drums is just sitting in the right place.
PETE ROCK: Know what it was? I was musically charged, man. I had some adrenaline going on then. I’m serious, ever since I — I think after I met James Brown as a kid. I was seven years old.
MUHAMMAD: You met James Brown?
PETE ROCK: Yeah, and I shook his hand. Me and my younger brother, yo.