We checked out of the hotel, grabbed lunch and took day two of the AFROPUNK music festival by storm. First on the agenda, getting an AFROPUNK t-shirt. I’m a bit of a t-shirt lover, so I was super excited that Brooklyn Press was custom printing on-site. My partner in crime Rage met DJ extraordinaire and BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Founder Beverly Bond. With limited time and popular acts scheduled simultaneously on Sunday, we strategized about which bands to see.
LOLAWOLF is fronted by actress/musician Zoe Kravitz (daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet). The electronic pop threesome opened with What Love Is and Ayo. The guy next to me blew Zoe a kiss, she caught it and he lost his mind! The group handily performed music from their eclectic catalog.
She sang in sunglasses, smoked a cigarette and gave off an artsy, I-don’t-give-a f$#@ vibeTweet This
The great thing about music festivals is that you are exposed to tons of musicians. One of my new favorites is The oOohh Baby Gimme Mores. I wandered over to the basketball court-cum-stage strictly on their moniker. Disappointed I was not. The Canadian quartet’s stage presence was AMAZING, crowd participation was off the charts, and they are nice guys to boot. After the performance, band members met with fans, gave away CDs and I even scored a photo. Please check them out at theobgms.com.
Rage and I decided to divide and conquer. She took Fishbone (whom I really wanted to see) and I took SZA. Sooooo many people raved about her. Well, she showed up 45 minutes late. When SZA finally took the stage, she mused about being in Washington, DC the previous night, her flight and then stated, “I’m in my pajamas with you guys.” The jury is still out on Miss SZA. I promptly left.
Across the blacktop was teen trio (one member is still 12 years old) Unlocking the Truth. The African-American, heavy metal crew signed a record deal with Sony, was featured in the New York Times, performed on The Colbert Report and played mega music festival Coachella–all this year. Malcolm, Alec and Jarad have been together since elementary school. The group definitely had a following and the boys were naturals on stage. Oh, and the guys are penning a memoir. They’ve accomplished more before puberty, then most of us have when we hit adulthood!
We watched Meshell Ndegeocello’s band getting ready on stage. About two minutes into the warm-up, we realized the singer was actually performing. No emcee introduced her and the audience was equally dumbfounded. She incorporated other artists’ work. Meshell dropped a verse of Whodini’s Friends on one song and then did a cover of Ready For The World’s Let Me Love You Down. She crooned through Article 3 and Come To Me. She sang eight songs and ended with everyone’s favorite stalker anthem Outside Your Door.
We also caught glimpses of Princess Nokia, Straight Line Stitch and Cakes Da Killa.
The not-so-surprise closing act was Brown Sugar-loving D’Angelo. He was originally on the schedule and then removed weeks before the festival. I was third row at a D’Angelo concert (during his Untitled days) and watched the sweat glistening all over his bodddddddy. I’m sorry, I digress, back to AFROPUNK. His band of the night was the Legendary Roots Crew. I learned all of this second-hand because we had to leave after Meshell to get home.
I absolutely, wholeheartedly, unequivocally loved AFROPUNK. My one gripe-signage. Several people kept asking me (I guess I looked knowledgeable), “What stage is this?” Organizers please place signage conspicuously in the performance areas.
I’ll definitely be back for the head-banging, hand-waving, guitar-strumming sounds of AFROPUNK.
lyricfancy uses music as a conduit to humorously discuss human nature. This article is in no way a personal judgment about the artist. We believe in creative expression.