From Mariah to Maxwell, Puff Daddy to Common, many of our 2016 ESSENCE Festival artists were already giving us life in the ’90s. Let’s rewind to see them serving ’90s realness!
Maxwell was the poster boy for the burgeoning neo-soul movement with that curlylicious ‘fro. Must admit, we kind of miss it.
Oh, Mariah, can we go rollerblading back in time with you to those Daydream days? That is such a sweet, sweet fantasy.
In the ’90s, Common rocked it hippie-style as part of the Soulquarians collective of neo-soul and alternative hip-hop artists.
No wonder he launched his own fashion line, because Puff Daddy always had plenty of street style back in the day. We’re feeling the “Daddy” on that jacket!
Faith Evans gave us all black everything, with a little bit of a gangsta lean, repping hard for the hip-hop soul generation.
That high-waisted pant! That ruffled shirt! That gold metal belt! Babyface gave us whip appeal on fleek with this look.
We gotta give Tyrese props, because the brother hasn’t aged! He still looks the same as he did back in the ’90s, when he became host of MTV Jams.
With their boho spirit, jazz-rappers Digable Planets—that’s Ladybug Mecca (left), Butterfly and Doodlebug—were effortlessly cool like dat.
With her hoop earrings, flight jacket and work boots, MC Lyte looked ready to battle any rapper who dared come for her. Don’t let the smile fool you.
After some solo success (Bobby Brown) and Bell Biv DeVoe, all the members of New Edition reunited for 1996’s Home Again. And we see you, Johnny Gill—the rebel without a baseball cap!
In the ’90s, Charlie Wilson (aka Uncle Charlie) got his gangsta cred by collaborating with Snoop Doggy Dogg on albums like The Doggfather.
Formed in the 1980s, the group was initially an acid jazz band before venturing into funk territory and later including elements of hip hop in their music after performing with MC Serch and Q-Tip. The bands members have rotated with two original members still attached. The group is currently working on new projects.