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    Thursday, September 6, 2018

    Afropunk '18 Analysis (Planet Brooklyn Ed) by the "Uncanny" Daryll B!







    I hate to begin with this before I get into a personal day of fun and craziness at AfroPunk Sunday but (and I am really getting tired of saying) my thoughts, prayers and condolences to the shooting victims at the Madden Tournament in Jacksonville on Sunday. Look, there are so many ways to analyze this: the ever growing toxic nature of gaming in some quarters; the lack of civility today; gun control; security; In the end, we can break this down in any and all of those corners. The fact remains, 3 people are dead. 11 more are injured and, since this was live-streamed, many many more are left scarred. The only reason to have a real gun at a video game tournament is to use it. Point Blank. Dude had bad intentions and has harmed the perceptions of gaming for years to come....
    No easy transition from that to this but my battered and bruised body managed to get to Commodore Barry Park for 10:30am. Wasn't going to repeat the 2 hour line crawl from last year. Had a delightful convo with these sisters that came to Brooklyn from Newcastle, England to support some of their favorite international acts. Gates opened at 12:10pm and again, no real problems. After taking a couple of minutes to get pics of the layout and some of the vendor booths, met up with DBurt to do business.​
    First up was the Rap meets Rock stylings of Duckwrth on the Red Stage. A near perfect kickoff to AfroPunk as he truly displayed the wild past and potential future of the event. As he played, the crowd grew from 100 to nearly 4 times that as literally his sound roped everyone in. After his set, I bounced inbetween DJs Gabsoul & BlkkMorrisGabSoul had a great mix of yesterday soul with more recent hits. BlkkMorris definitely has roots in the House/Trip-Hop movement.​
    Got a chance to hit the HayMarket Books tent and picked up Eve Ewing's book of poetry and social commentary, Electric Arches. Congrats Ma'am on getting the Ironheart gig at Marvel BTW. There was a problem or two at the Gold Stage with the set-up for Jamilia Woods which gave DBurt and I an opportunity to check out the Fusion stylings of Harville on the Green Stage. First time I heard them and definitely won't be the last. Leaving there, I got roped in by the punk rock stylings on the Red Stage of The Nova Twins. Mind blown. Even got a mosh pit going that started spreading out...​
    For the rest of my time at AfroPunk, I was by the Green Stage beginning with Fantastic Negrito just rocking out faces and eardrums. Then, I had the pleasure of seeing  Jacob Banks live for the first time after only hearing him for years and no disappointments. He rocked it. Inbetween this rock marathon, I experienced the avant garde South African act of Okzharp & Manthe Ribane on the mini Black Stage that was located in front of the Green. Lots of new age fashion costumes. Very much for folks that love Grace Jones and acts that are cutting edge hip.​
    As this was going on, the guys on the Green Stage were setting up something special, a Toshi Reagan led Powerjam that included rock acts like SATE & the Nova Twins alongside spoken word activists like Angela Davis. The problem here was, (and I call it the AfroPunk Sunday Jinx) that the speakers/mics on the left side of the stage short out intermittingly. As a result, parts of the performances got obscured by the rather loud and boisterous Red Stage acts including Pusha T & Tyler The Creator. However, for as much of the "softer" parts got covered up, having SATE and The Nova Twins on just about outblasted the Red Stage. Then there was tribute to Aretha.....WOOOO!​
    What more can I say about Janelle Monae that hasn't been said already? Prior to her performance, I was relating to concertgoers around me that I have seen her at AfroPunk twice before and that each time she grew by leaps and bounds. Well this time, HOLY CWAP, she gave a total production from her old school Wonder Woman latex long boots to a point where she invited about 8 of the more colorful fans up to an improv Soul Train/Catwalk dance off on stage. Man. I feel honored to have witnessed her evolution continue. She even ended the show bringing up this point herself.​
    Bigtime props to DJ Lindsey for keeping the crowd bopping as the crew valiantly tried to get everything right for Erykah Badu's finale. It was literally a 700 person sing-a-long/dance-a-long as the good times rolled. One thing about the AfroPunk crowd, we were going to have a good time no matter what. Even as they brought up Terence Nance from Random Acts of Flyness to buy time, we all were still joking and vibing. Then when "Bad Auntie" Badu took the mic, well it would have taken an act of Trump to disappoint us. Fun was being had, song sung, and oh the dancing....​
    Another year of Afropunk in the books. Another year of craziness. Another year of beauty. and I'm oh so glad to have once again witnessed this live. Thanks to all the performers and the fun new friends made. Thx for reading all! This is Daryll B. Back in the Saddle again! Until Next Time, Keep Fantasizing!
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    Item Reviewed: Afropunk '18 Analysis (Planet Brooklyn Ed) by the "Uncanny" Daryll B! Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: desmond burton
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