FESTIVAL GUIDE     LONGFORM     STORE
 
 
 
  Reviews    Reviews Archive Search  
 
 
     
REVIEW: Afropunk -

REVIEW: Afropunk

By: Jessica Gonzalez
Follow Spacelab: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Google+
 
 
 

 

As an Afropunk rookie, I went into the now 12-year-old, Brooklyn-held festival aware of only the "rules" (comprised of a frank but ever-powerful list of "no's", ultimately ending in "no hate") and the solid lineup (Tyler the Creator, Ice Cube, Janelle Monae, Saul Williams, TV on the Radio, Earl Sweatshirt, just to name a few). But there is so much more to this unique 2-day celebration of explosive, important culture. In addition to being the most inclusive and diverse festival experience I have ever witnessed, I feel like it was also the most intellectually enriching. With every small business' stand I passed and with every performance I had the pleasure to see, I learned more. I felt comforted by the fact that this was a place for a grossly underrepresented population to reclaim "punk" on its own terms.

 

With the help of big players like the aforementioned Tyler the Creator, Flying Lotus, TV on the Radio, and Trashtalk, Afropunk ensured a good time for everyone there. People danced, people chilled, people drank, people ate hotdogs with mango relish (free toppings at Asia Dog!). Shabazz Palaces were especially a treat; their beats resonated throughout Commodore Barry Park, bouncing off the colorful walls and reaching every soul in the field. Saul Williams played shortly after on the same stage, exhibiting a mix of chill-inducing spoken word and guitar- and drum-backed musical numbers that kept in line with his declarative, rhythmic writing. If poetry wasn't your thing, you could have headed over to the next nearest stage just a couple hundred feet away to see the more lighthearted, pop-y Cee-Lo (yes, really). I have to admit to hopping up and down, plastic cup of rose in hand, to 2010's anthem "F*ck You".

 

My only gripe with the festival was more a thing that had to do with general organization -- it was at first difficult to navigate which stage was which. According to the schedule, the four stages were color coordinated (there was a red stage, a green stage, a gold stage, and a black stage), but there was little to no indication on each stage of which color it was. We learned how to tell eventually, but my anxiety about seeing as much good music as possible was, of course, dredged up. Tyler the Creator's knock-out headlining performance, however, was enough to shake out any kind of stress. He jumped up and down with former, fellow Odd Future member Taco as he performed some of the strongest numbers from his most recent , Cherry Bomb. "Deathcamp" literally shook the stage, and his Kanye West "cover" was a particular treat.

 

We caught the ending of Flying Lotus' set as well, which embodied a naturally more chill atmosphere compared to the unapologetic madness of Tyler. Everyone around us stood there in the dark, hypnotized by the feeling of camaraderie, good music, and likely other things, as relaxed rhythms oozed out from the stage. There was literally something for everyone at this year's Afropunk.

 

And I would probably return next year, pending the line-up, of course. At 50$ for a day pass, Afropunk is an affordable, highly unique festival experience that I would recommend to anyone who likes good music with an important, socially responsible message.
 
 
 
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
     
     
 
 
 
 
 
 

MUSIC NEWS >
.
MUSIC REVIEWS >


MUSIC FEATURES >

 

TOUR DATES >

 

 
     
     

 

 

 
     
 
 

 

 
 
A music community for indie music & electronic music! Check out the best new music and connect to your favorite music festivals and live events!
 
Creative Commons Copyright, 2018. Some Rights Reserved.
SPACELAB is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. MORE >
         
FESTIVALS NEWS STORE CONNECT SPACELAB
USA FESTIVAL
NEWS
WOMENS CLOTHES FACEBOOK ABOUT
CANADA INSTAGRAM STAFF
UK   MENS
CLOTHES
TWITTER CONTACT
AUSTRALIA LONGFORM RSS ADVERTISE
EUROPE REVIEWS RAVE   MEDIA KIT
ASIA FEATURES ESSENTIALS   SEARCH
FILM        
2018