Deep in the borough of Brooklyn, New York, Afropunk was in full effect. The the festival a place where several stars like Grace Jones, Kelis, and Lenny Kravitz blessed the stage in their own extraordinary fashion. But, Afropunk was also another successful year where the culture flourished in multiple forms. There were also a couple situations throughout the two days that we kind of had to take in. This is why we want to give you the eight big factors that we remember from this year’s Afropunk Fest.
Kelis performed pregnant
Before she came out on stage, nobody expected Kelis to be pregnant and performing at Afropunk Festival. There was nothing but hype surrounding her mid-day set, but that hype had soon turned to shock and awe in a positive way. Kelis may have been pregnant, but she knew how to keep the crowd entertained all throughout her performance. Even hitting a couple of high notes to let fans know she wasn’t playing.
Lauryn Hill continued to perform after two attempts to stop her
Many concert-goers weren’t surprised about Lauryn Hill coming late to Afropunk Fest. She has proudly earned a track record of coming to the stage really late and still performing like nothing ever happened. The legendary singer was late, however, she still made an attempt to perform for fans after management tried to stop her twice. First, the sound and miss were cut off, then the house lights. Even through these two stoppages, Hill continued to keep the momentum going for the crowd.
Danny Brown brought out Ab – Soul to perform “Terrorist Threats”
While people were waiting for Lauryn Hill to take the main stage, others were at the Red Stage watching Danny Brown turn up to his musical catalogue. The Detroit rapper brought out Ab Soul to perform their believed collaborative single “Terrorist Threats”. The crowd was amped about the surprise appearance, and went all out to remember the song’s words.
Afropunk Fest flourishes in street style once again
One thing that Afropunk Fest has always been known for is the street style of the festival. This year, the fashion statement at the festival was kicked up to a top notch once again. Afropunk is the place where you’ll find some of the most remarkable outfits from concert goers.
Art had a big influence on the festival this year
Whether people were seeing paint on walls or people’s faces, Afropunk Fest had a huge art influence this year. Several graffiti artists had made the environment a huge canvas to be creative on. Beautiful masterpieces were made and looks like it’ll stay there for a while.
Grace Jones’ set was oddly beautiful.
If you have seen Grace Jones in anything before, then you know that her style of life is not for the weak of heart. That doesn’t stop her shows from being dope, or controversial. During her performance at Afropunk Festival, Jones performed topless and also brings a couple of dancers out with her. She also managed to switch in-and-out of odd outfits each song throughout her set. Grace Jones also performed over the synths from LL Cool J’s#### “Doin It”.
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@gracejonesofficial was the headliner at the @afropunk festival in Brooklyn. At the end of the first night of this year’s festival, she was wearing very little: an under-bust corset, sheer tights and white body paint in stripes and patterns. At 67, Jones’s confidence is extreme but relaxed; her whole enterprise is bold, honest, provocative and peaceful, like the #Afropunk Festival she was headlining. @nicolefara took this photo on #nytassignment.
Most of Sunday’s lineup had standout performances at Afropunk
If you happen to come a little earlier to the festival, you came across some very good performances from artists on both stages. It all started with DC-native soul duo Oshun, who had mixed both their catalogue with a Go-Go music bounce near the end of their set. Jesse Boykins III then had a explosively smooth performance on the opposite stage. Following those performances was guitar player Thundercat, Raury, and Goldlink. All of the performances kept people on the move between both stages the entire day.
The DJ’s closed Afropunk the right way
Lenny Kravits had a stellar performance on the main stage last night, but Soulection and Kaytranada were the two that had people dancing out of Afropunk. Soulection producer Lakim held the DJ stage down with several self-produced beats and music inspired by The Sound of Tomorrow, while Kaytranada was mixing up his catalogue with different tracks from the past to now. These two acts has wave of people moving to end the festival right.
These were our best eight moments from this year’s Afropunk. What’s yours? Leave a comment or let us know on twitter via @Allhiphopcom
Shots by Vance Brinkley