The Afro Punk Festival is ready to invade Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn again this year with a flood of food trucks, sunshine, and denim vests as far as the eyes can see. Known for booking music acts that embody the afro-punk experience and fostering a multicultural community, this year’s line-up looks to be no exception. Previous line-ups have included the likes of Erykah Badu, Cee-Lo Green, Bad Brains, and Living Colour, to name a few. Let’s see how this year’s music compares.
D’Angelo (2014)/?uestlove (2013)
These two couldn’t possibly be better suited to each other. Both are progenitors of the neo-soul movement and have produced each other’s music in the past. While ?uestlove graced the stage in 2013 for a DJ set without the rest of The Roots to back him up, D’Angelo is bringing his whole ensemble on stage this year, playing hits from his two albums “Brown Sugar” and “Voodoo.” Now if only he’d give us a release date for his third album…
Body Count/Trash Talk
I wonder how many people were honestly aware that Ice-T has a heavy metal band that’s been around since 1990. And yes, their music is pretty good. Body Count has been thrashing for the last 24 years and will be bringing their rap/metal hybrid to AfroPunk this year. Sacramento, CA hardcore punk outfit Trash Talk will be returning for the second year in a row, even after they had the crowd destroy their barrier last year. Hardcore comes in all different flavors this year.
Cakes Da Killa/Le1f
The queer hip-hop movement has also been given the chance to blossom at Afro Punk. Le1f’s set took the crowd by storm, commanding an energy that spread through the entire park. Cakes Da Killa has his work cut out for him this year, though I’m sure that the New Jersey-based emcee’s got what it takes to bring the house down.
Unlocking The Truth/Living Colour
Another returning act from last year, young rock group Unlocking The Truth have wowed people around the world with their severely honed musical skills. Also, they’re middle school boys. That’s probably important to note. The combined efforts and raw talent of guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse, drummer Jarad Dawkins, and bassist Alec Atkins put them in a class of their own. They play better than most musicians twice their age. Legendary rock group Living Colour followed their set some time after and shredded the solo near the end of “Cult of Personality” and all was right with the world.
Afro Punk Festival will be on from Friday, August 23 – Saturday, August 24.