Miss Afro Punk Fest last year? Well no worries, its back! This weekend, August 25-26th the other black experience will be full throttle in Commodore Barry Park.
In case your not hip, this festival caters to hipsters, rock stars, punk lovers, and all who refuse to be boxed in by silly societal constraints. Turns out, there is a whole community of Black Americans who indulge in many other cultures outside of hip-hop and have made that culture a part of their Black Experience – this is where AfroPunk comes in.
A spin off from the film “AfroPunk,” released in 2003 spotlighting Black Punks in America, AfroPunk, the music festival, debuted in 2005 and never looked back! A festival with the intention of creating a space for a largely marginalized youth culture, AfroPunk was described by the New York Times as the “most multicultural festival in the US.” Its non-conformist, open-minded, individualistic, go beyond the expectations attitude fits in perfectly here at livedndy and we can't wait until this weekend to cover it!
Now, before you get all excited and begin picking out your afros for this event, let’s look back at what happened last year. Taking place at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, the audience experienced not only live music but live extreme sports! It was a fusion of politics, culture, and art. Some of the artists that performed were Chuck D, the Skins, Mykki Blanco, Theophilus London, Danny Brown, the beautiful Jada Pinkett Smith and her band Wicked Wisdom, and many others.
These artists alone represent the diversity of culture that is displayed at AfroPunk. But the event is so much more than just music. Its the perfect opportunity to step outside the box and meet new exciting people. A party both on and off stage you will have the opportunity to dance like no ones watching (because they aren't ), cruise venders and pick up one of a kind clothing, accessories and art; and don't forget the food! There's tons! Many BK restaurants set up shop right there in the park and are happy to serve you. And yes, there will be plenty of nutcrackers to go around (drink responsibly) : )
Wear that outfit that screams self expression, grab your Malcolm X tote bag to hold all your trinkets, and experience this wave in person because you may never see this culture on television.
This event goes beyond race. It transcends the traditional culture of music, love, and self-expression knocking down old social and socialite barriers. It's a culture for the people, by the people. Let’s see what this year’s has in store for us! We’ll see you there.
By: Raven Irabor
Starting with an emphasis on artistic progression, the festival opened with performances by young people. These young performers, varying from middle school to high-school, reminded audience members the beauty of what happens when you give a child a chance to express themselves creatively. With the help of programs like Urban Art Beat, the New York City youth is able to have the chance to learn, understand, and appreciate the core of hip-hop and intertwine it with their own lives. Transitioning from youthful dreams to young artists, “Show and Prove” winners, Kydd Jones and Audible Doctor, opened up the show for the major players.
If you missed the festival, one thing that I know you did not miss was the blogs going crazy about Jay Electronica’s surprise guest, none other than Brooklyn native, Jay-Z. Wes Jackson, president of Brooklyn Bodega, said “A year ago I put into the air that I wanted to bring the three Js to BKHipHopFest. A year later we did it. Never stop believing in your crew.” Who are three J’s you are wondering? We have Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, and the beautiful J.Cole. RocNation was definitely in the building on July 12th. Alongside the three J’s were Talib Kweli and Mac Miller. CJ Fly’s, from Pro Era, set followed next and then G.O.O.D Music’s Cyhi da Prince. The audience was well aware that this was a day to celebrate true lyricism in hip-hop culture. To end the night off right, none other than the Chef himself performed. He brought out the viral sensation, Bobby Shmurda (aka the guy who does the schmoney dance) to let the hip hop world know that New York City rap is back. His set also included guest performers such as AZ, Masta Killa, Papoose and Troy Ave (who performed his latest summer hit “My Style” that is featured on our Spirit of Summer Playlist).
Hip Hop is more than just the music. It is a culture that brings many people together. Whether it is through fashion, graffiti, turntablism, breakdancing, or emceeing, hip hop continues to strive and remain fresh.
By: Raven Irabor