“I’m sorry I was cut off, I came here to give 100 percent. I was cut off. I was disappointed. I thank you for coming out…” Those were the parting words of Hip Hop legend Missy Elliott hours after her performance at the 2015 Essence Festival over the weekend was cut short by the lights being dimmed and the mic being turned off..
With a show that was packed with guest performances by her protegé’s Tweet, Jazmine Sullivan, and Sharaya J, Missy also planned to close out her high-energy set with an appearance by Monica Arnold and a tribute to the late-great singer Aaliyah.. But unfortunately the good ol’ folks behind the scenes over at Essence got a lil overzealous in response to a timing issue and pulled the plug on her mid-performance to the horror of fans..
Apparently someone on the production staff decided to stringently enforce adherence to the schedule; Elliott didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. The incident was reminiscent of the Voodoo Festival crew cutting off Lauryn Hill mid-song when her 2014 performance ran over time. During “Pass the Dutch,” as her dance team pulled off a strenuous clog-inspired routine, Elliott had to pause and banter to fill time while a sound problem was fixed. Also, regarding sound: the mix in the Dome was often disappointingly muddy during Elliot’s set..
After Usher’s set, at 1 a.m., Essence Communications president Michelle Ebanks joined Missy and Monica onstage to apologize for the abrupt ending, which was ascribed to a “production issue.” “We had a production issue, and we want to say a proper goodbye to Missy Elliott.” -NOLA