Essence Fest, Hot Boys reunion

The Hot Boys Reunion At Essence Fest 24 Didn’t Quite Go As Planned

Lil Wayne opted for a separate 20-minute solo set.

Despite a press release from Essence announcing a Hot Boys reunion featuring Birdman, Mannie Fresh, B.G., Lil Wayne, and Juvenile, the event was less unified than promoted. After some of the Hot Boys performed without original member Turk on July 5, Lil Wayne opted for a separate 20-minute solo set.

According to, although the former Cash Money frontmen presented a less-than-united front, the group was still honored by former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, now the president and CEO of the National Urban League. Morial issued a proclamation to a Cash Money Records contingent led by Ronald “Suga Slim” Williams, who co-founded Cash Money Records with his brother Bryan “Birdman/Baby” Williams in 1991. Morial also wore a pair of red sneakers, likely a tribute to the street corner recently renamed in their honor.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, the pair of brothers had a street corner honorarily renamed Williams Brothers Way ahead of the scheduled performance at Essence Fest, which was supposed to be highlighted by a celebration of 30 years of Cash Money Records. Additionally, the pair also received honors at YouTube’s second annual Leaders and Legends gala on June 2 and were presented with the award by New Orleans City Council President Helena Moreno. 

Moreno praised the brothers, saying, “It is so clear that these two men who built Cash Money Records understand that to those who much is given, much is required…and they give back with such love and compassion to the neighborhood they called home and the city of New Orleans that loves them like family,” said Council President Moreno. “Their story is a source of inspiration for generations to come, proving that with vision and tenacity, dreams can indeed come true. Congrats on 30 years of Cash Money Records!”

Ahead of the reunion, Justin Tinsley at Andscape ran down just how remarkable it was that the group’s reunion was even happening, given the litany of issues the group faced, some legal, and some with each other. In June, Juvenile claimed that “Me, Wayne, Turk and B.G., all of us gon’ be on stage with Mannie Fresh and Birdman. And we done already started working on the Hot Boys album.” Perhaps that was just hope speaking, because by the night’s end, Birdman went on an expletive-laden rant, and Wayne and Turk did not perform with the group. With all this in mind, the group’s reunion album is facing further doubts. 

Essence Fest
Source: NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JULY 05: Lil Wayne performs onstage during Day 1 of the 2024 ESSENCE Festival of Culture presented by Coca-Cola at Caesars Superdome on July 05, 2024 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Josh Brasted/Getty Images for ESSENCE)

According to Complex, during an appearance on Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward’s Not Just Football podcast, Wayne told Heyward that he had no idea about the Hot Boys comeback album teased by Juvenile and B.G. “S***, you just told me!” The rapper said, before adding, “I ain’t been to the kitchen yet. I would not lie to you. I have not been in that kitchen yet. I have no problem with going to that kitchen… but I ain’t smell it, it ain’t come through the window yet. I ain’t smell the food…. They ain’t told me nothing yet.”

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