Music

6 Best Moments of Blavity House Fest: Dru Hill, Rick Ross, Reyna Roberts & More

At the intersection of 615 Day 2023 and Juneteenth Weekend lies the inaugural Blavity House Party. Holsted by Blavity Media Group, the new festival took over Nashville, Tennessee, on June 14 and 15, treating locals and travelers alike to two nights of fiery performances in celebration of Juneteenth and Black Music Month.

Hosted by Zack Fox, Bridget Kelly and Mani Millss, Blavity House Party boasted a slew of performers across the myriad genres of the Black diaspora, including Monica, Rick Ross, K. Michelle, Dru Hill, Uncle Waffles, Blxst, Ryan Leslie, Leon Thomas, Big Freedia, Freeway, Lil’ Mo, Travis Porter, Reyna Roberts, Nesta, Domani and more. In addition to the two performance stages (one outside and one inside Music City’s storied Municipal Auditorium), the patio hosted a bevy of local Black-owned businesses for festivalgoers to support.

The festival’s opening day got off to a semi-sanctified start with a rousing performance from Sainted Trap Choir. With a tight choreography and tighter arrangements, the choir ripped through a medley that combined both secular and pop hits, including Travis Porter’s “Make It Rain,” Victoria Monét’s “On My Mama,” Tyla’s “Water” and Kirk Franklin’s “Melodies from Heaven.” Big Freedia kept the energy high with a NOLA-exalting bounce set that featured endless twerking and racy fellatio demonstrations from her backup dancers, while Grammy-winning R&B singer-songwriter Leon Thomas enraptured the audience with his honeyed vocals and impressive guitar skills.

Despite strong performances from day one’s performers, the meager audience turnout was impossible to ignore. As the day went on, the floor started to fill up, with legendary R&B group Dru Hill drawing the most passionate crowd of the night. Celebrating more than 25 years of hits, Sisqó led his fellow group members in impressive renditions of timeless hits like “Tell Me” and “In My Bed,” flaunting the power of their live vocals and pristine harmonies. With their set, Dru Hill was able to capture lightning in a bottle and truly make Blavity House Party feel like a must-see festival. Nonetheless, that energy quickly dissipated as the crowd waited anxiously for Lil Wayne — who was scheduled as the night’s headliner — just for the “A Milli” rapper to ghost the festival, providing no reason for his absence.

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In an effort to make up for the last-minute disappointment of day one, Blavity House Party packed on several additional performers for the festival’s second day, including Lil Scrappy, Rick Ross and Tennessee native K. Michelle. Standout performers from day two included outlaw country princess Reyna Roberts — who put on a blazing show to match her red-hot hair — and hip-hop trio Travis Porter, who have provided a timeless soundtrack to Black house parties for nearly 15 years and counting. Lil Scrappy, something of a musical forefather to Travis Porter, also lit up the auditorium with lively performances of ’00s classics such as “Head Bussa” and “Neva Eva.”

Clearly an eleventh-hour addition, K. Michelle breezed through a six-minute set that included renditions of “Can’t Raise a Man” and “V.S.O.P.” Curiously, the chart-topping R&B star did not perform any of her country songs, though she did confirm that her long-awaited country album is still on the way. Headliner Monica took fans down memory lane with a set that spurred mass sing-alongs to some of her most beloved tracks, such as “So Gone” and “Before You Walk Out of My Life.”

Once again, the show threatened to fly off the rails near the end of the night. Rick Ross’ music was shockingly cut short about six songs into his set. After requesting his DJ drop the next track, silence ensued. The DJ continued to press buttons to figure out the situation, but within the next seven minutes, Ricky Rozay had given away a bottle of Belaire champagne, threw on his backpack, and exited the stage for good, making for a sudden and unforgettable end to the inaugural Blavity House Party.

Here are the six best moments from Blavity House Party 2024.

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