One year ago, we took a trip through New York City to cover Afropunk Fest. The music festival, located at the Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, was something very unique compared to the several festivals we have covered. Armed with innovative street style, the love of music and open minds, concert-goers were able to come together and show a completely different side of culture for Blacks in this country. Along with an ever-growing yearly line-up that features superstars that represent it's culture, the experience itself makes Afropunk a gem in NYC. One year later, the festival is expanding internationally. There was an inaugural festival in Paris as well as another that will happen in Atlanta on October 3rd.
There are several reasons why Afropunk is a one of coolest festivals during the summer, and we're here to give you some dope reasons why you need to experience this weekend. Here are 10 reasons why you need to experience Afropunk Fest:
1. Afropunk's yearly lineups are unique to it's culture
Every year, Afropunk has supplied a lineup featuring artists that help empower the culture. From Danny Brown to Bad Brains, the festival always showcase a diverse group of music artists with similar attributes. There's only one place you will find D'Angelo, Shabbazz Palaces, and HO9909 all in one place. This year, the lineup is far more stacked, including artists Lauryn Hill, Kaytranada, Kelis, Goldlink, and a hell of a lot more.
2. There's some really good Hip Hop acts.
They might not be superstars like Rick Ross or Drake, but several rappers that come to Afropunk are great additions to the festival. Don't think these are your normal rap acts either, you end up hearing diverse sounds and seeing some beautifully insane moments here. Afropunk is the type of place where many have seen hip hop performances ranging from Jean Grae to Das Racist. It is also the type of place where you see moments like this happen:
3. The DJ's are sick!
Along with a diverse lineup of artists comes a diverse list of DJs at Afropunk. The Gold Stage is where most of these destructive disk jockeys kill the turntables. From Samba, to Reggae, to Trap music, your ears will explore new terrains and will get you moving along with the other hundreds of people grooving. There's nothing like a group of people getting more energized throughout one DJ's set, no matter what genre of music it is. Once you get done with a sick performance, this is the place to be for breaks.
Clip from A-Ra
4. There are some legendary acts there
As said before, Afropunk brings in legendary musicians that help fire the culture. Every year there seems to be a incredibly extraordinary artist headlining the festival. Last year it was D'Angelo, the year before it was Chuck D and Questlove, the list goes on. The bigger this fest gets, the more innovative the headliners are. Really! Who would expect Grace Jones and Lenny Kravitz to have performances this year?
5. There's nothing but love here.
One major thing about this festival is that there are no barriers between festival goers. One of the most important things about Afropunk is that there is no type of hate promote on the grounds. They even have a couple banners to prove it. That means no homophobia, racism, "fatphobia", you name it. None of that is allowed here, and it keeps the interactions fans positive. You might just make a couple of friends in a mosh pit made to some band you never heard of.
6. Soulection will make an appearance this year (Lakim x Goldlink)
One of fastest growing music collectives online happens to be Soulection. From Sango to Esta, there's a long list of artists that have contributed to bring an all new sound to modern music. Although Soulection won't be as deep as they normally are in NYC, Lakim and Goldlink will be killing different stages for the squad. We've already encountered both artists in DC last month, so we already have high expectations for these two performances.
7. Don't sleep on the rock bands
There might be some dope hip hop artists at this festival, but don't shy away from the bands that perform there either. They provide some of the most energetic performances at Afropunk. There are some really good acts that come here every year too, like TV on the Radio or Bad Brains. The rock bands are truly one of the factors that make the festival full of life.
8. The street style here is dope
Looking at people's clothes may not be the amped reason to go to Afropunk, but it definitely is a nice addition to the experience. The urban terrain gives several fans the opportunity to show out during the weekend. You might not find this many people with unique outfits in one place until next year. We anticipate it being even more cooler this year. There have been several publications that have mentioned Afropunk about the diverse street style alone.
9. Afropunk showcases a ton of art.
Along with the music, street style, and DJ'ing, Afropunk also showcases some dope art. Most of it is located at one spot on festival grounds, but you still come across some extremely dope images while you travel from stage to stage.
10. Afropunk tries to take on social issues
Many people may be familiar with Afropunk because of its musical acts, innovative street style from festival goers, and the culture. However, this festival tries to also promote the importance giving festival goers knowledge about modern issues in our society. You'll find a ton of different booths at Activism Row in the entrance of Commodore Barry Park. Not many festivals attempt to inspire people to actually stay informed about what problems are going on outside of them.
We will be at Afropunk once again this year to cover some the festivities. Keep it locked at AllHipHop for performances, street style, interviews, and much more.