Photos by Analuz Vizarretea
This weekend, Afropunk took over Fort Greene’s Commodore Berry Park for the 10th edition of the festival which describes itself as “synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming and unconventional, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.” The two-day party brought together a wide range of sounds, from D’Angelo, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings, Body Count, A Tribe Called Red, Papi Juice, Princess Nokia, a tribute to DJ Rashad, and more.
Here, our staff recaps some of the highlights and lowlights of the two days.
Partnerships & Publicity
All around winners:
The beautiful-looking festival attendees, their amazing styles, and their openness to hear all genres. Respect for everyone.
All around losers:
Overlapping schedules and sound limits. Afropunk has one of the most eclectic and well-curated line-ups out there (yeah!), but it was truly hard to phase out DJ Roofeo’s bumping beats while you’re being swooned by Lianne La Havas’ ballads.
1. A Tribe Called Red. I declare myself a fan of this DJ collective and hope everyone jumps on board. Whether you are a raver or not…you have to experience listening to “Electric Pow Wow” live, and then hear them transition to dancehall, 80’s R&B, and all of the global sounds. All of them.
3. Papi Juice’s Oscar Nñ and Adam R. for bringing the party to the Gold Stage (and the after-party to Putnam’s).
4. Princess Nokia and Africa Latina’s Chief Boima and Geko Jones for representing the afro-Latinos at the festival.
5. Meshell Ndegeocello – her voice!!!!!!!! Remezcla’s Tita introduced Meshell’s music to me not too long ago and I have been obsessing with her. Demasiado flow!
6. The marching band receiving people at the entrance with crazy arrangements of pop hits, including Beyonce.
1. The rain.
2. D’Angelo – What a tease. One second he’s in the line-up, the other he is out and replaced by surprise guest. I’m sure fans and curious bystanders were also turned off by the hour-long change over.
1. Papi Juice @ The Gold Stage – Papi Juice residents Oscar Nñ and Adam Rhodes created some memorable moments at the Gold Stage, jumping from everything like Whitney’s “I’m Every Woman” to the Kennedy Jones remix of Elvis Crespo’s “Suavemente.”
2. Afterparty @ Putnam’s – This Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Irish pub got turned the fuck out with a performance by Rahel and special secret guests Le1f and Don Christian.
3. The Crowd – Que calorcito. Every beautiful, stylish person in NYC congregated in Commodore Barry Park. How even?!?
1. The House of Marley Guy. This guy really did not have to be commentating on absolutely everything [on the microphone from his truck during peoples’ performances]. Dude had no chill.
2. Beef patty/empanada lines. Hour wait for a beef patty? No thanks…
3. Rain and less-than-summer vibes. It cleared up eventually but the sun was definitely not in attendance, which was sad.
1. Lianne La Havas — anyone co-signed by Prince is co-signed by me.
2. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings — the woman is a DIVA in the best way.
3. The Papi Juice papis for throwing a turnt after party in the most unlikely of Irish pubs.
1. The weather. Why so cold and cloudy, August?
2. Earliest last call ever (9pm?!).
1. Being greeting at the entrance by a giant sign that reads: “Afropunk stand for: no sexism, no racism, no ableism, no homophobia, no fatphobia, no transphobia, no hatefulness. #standforsomething.” Co-signed!
2. The looks. The beautiful, beautiful human looks. Which were thanks, in part, to Pachamamita Designs that could be found in the vendors’ area, and also as custom necklaces that the Papi Juice crew were sporting during their set at the Gold Stage.
3. Sharon Jones’ uncontrollable, infectious energy. And her public vulnerability in sharing bits of her personal story of cancer recovery while on the stage.
1. The generally heavy price point to consume food and drink– really the only negative point I can think of. There are really, truly few things that can break my heart at a free outdoor festival, and overpriced treats is one of them.