Kanye WestKanye West is nothing if not consistent. As the sole hip-hop headliner at this year's Essence Music Festival Saturday (July 2) night, the Chicago MC did not disappoint, offering up a visual feast complete with pyrotechnics, nearly two dozen dancers and elaborate lighting.

Broken up into three acts, the Louis Vuitton Don ran through more than 20 songs, ranging from tracks off his debut album to his most recent, 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.' Kicking off his set from the center of the Superdome, West appeared above the audience in a white blazer, jeans and sneakers to perform 'Dark Fantasy,' before making his way through the crowd, shaking hands like a fighter preparing for a boxing match. Ironically, he went straight into 'Power,' as if providing an explanation to his rock star-like entrance.

"It feels good to be home," he told the crowd, who at their peak had spilled out of their seats and into every open aisle hoping for a closer glimpse of the rapper. "When I say home, I'm talking about with my people. I been around the world... got into a little controversy here and there. Even though the media tries to lie to you every day I just wanna say I thank ya'll for standing by me and supporting me even when they said my career was over."