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ART & SOUND || AFROS & PUNKS - AFROPUNKFEST2013- [1]


So as of yesterday, August the 24th 2013, Afropunk Fest was dubbed "the home of the most mixed babies."Afros... and punks... and food... and rum beer... I ditched prepping the dorm room this weekend before classes and took the shitty Amtrak train to 'le city of chic' or as it's more commonly known, NYC, all in efforts of attending the 2013 AfroPunk Fest. It's been around for about 9 years and it's where creative lovers of eclectic music come together to jam to some amazing underground artists. AfroPunk has been shouted out by Pharrell, Queen Erykah, Janelle Monae (she was actually at an after party event last night after the fest) and Diplo. I had never been to a music festival before and I thought Afro Punk sounded like it would be the perfect way to strip me of my music festival v-card...(or should I say make my music festival 'debut'? reference to lacigreen video on virginity)

I pulled up to the fest in my all denim glory (almost exactly this outfit here except I swapped the denim shorts for denim boyfriend jeans), and ran to the stage as the band I had went there for was already on stage, The Skins. I had tried to listen to as many of the bands as possible before the show so I knew who I really wanted to check out. The Skins were at the top of my list. The band consists of Russell Chell (guitar), Daisy Spencer (guitar), Reef McKeithan (drums), Kaya McKeithan (bass), and Bayli McKeithan (lead singer). Lead singer, Bayli McKeithan had on a bejeweled oversized jumper that she revealed to the crowd, she designed herself...and it was in that moment that I decided: 1) AfroPunk needs to be an annual thing for me 2) next year- get a press pass so I can take lovely photos and try to get in quick chats with awesomely dressed artists 2b) get a goddamn SLR. It would have been lovely to have a chat with her and get some personal photos of the jumper but thankfully there were many camera happy photogs there to do the job for me (I'm sure in a few days they'll be all over the social medias, if I more detailed photo of her look is released I'll link it here || UPDATE: Check out facebook.com/afropunk  and see Seher Sikandar's album ). 




The Skins | photo by@lorenwohl | source: facebook.com/theskinsband | (l-r): Daisy, Russell, Reef, Kaya, Bayli  Snippet of their performance (and others) via AFROPUNK on insta. SN: Bayli is wearing the overalls mentioned above. 


After The Skins was Jean Grae, epic. She spits fire on the mike and her passionate performance which she dedicated to her mother who recently passed, was truly moving. You could tell she's a total boss, and is really in tune with who her is as an artist. The London Souls were next. Basically...legendary group. From the epic in-the-moment facial expressions of the lead singer and guitarist, Tash Neal to the awesome man sporting a voluptuous beard, Ray Bans, a bowler hat (yes.) AND denim on denim... pretty sure I'm suppose to be his lover. Stu Mahan (plays bass), I want your purrfect soul. If only Will and Willow didn't steal my attention for the latter part of their performance...Did anyone know Jada Pinkett Smith was the lead singer of a band called Wicked Wisdom? Oh yeah, she is. The family was there to support so sadly I was more caught up in being star struck by Willow, Will, and Jaden than focusing on the last few songs London Souls were playing. I would most def give them a listen. 

Jada was next and unfortunately it was while I decided to stuff my face with Madiba's curry chicken. Yes, it was very disappointing but luckily I caught their last three songs and drew the conclusion that Jada Smith is, unarguably, a bada**. 





The 12 year olds, Alec, Malcolm, and Jared (drummer-11yrs. old) in the band Unlocking The Truth, also did incredibly. They seemingly had much humility for their unquestionable level of talent. The whole crowd just stood in awe as these kids three junior bada**es were rocking the stage. To think these kids landed a spot on AfroPunk's main stage? They're already way cooler than I'll ever be. Theophilus London went on after Wicked. Honestly, I found his music a bit sexist (telling a woman you know you want 'the d' even if you identify as lesbian is something my morals just can't let me jam to). Never the less, he was a character and certainly intriguing. I couldn't quite help but just stand and watch his performance. The night ended with a random head banger, equipment breaking band who was unnamed (different but I'm all for creative expression), while Saul Williams closed the show. Oh, did I mention The Heavy performed? If you haven't had a listen, check them out, they're a UK band and they've made strides selling over 750k copies of their album and are now on tour, I really enjoyed their performance. Their energy was fire. 


Sadly, after getting lost twice, a two-hour long subway ride, and a sore leg from standing all day later, I decided Day 2 was out of the question. No regrets though, I got my fix. I love the hub of like-minded people and individuals Afro Punk brings out. I can see myself being a faithful returner for years to come. Until next time fellow punks. It's been real. 


--kim


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