Last week, in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park, the Afropunk festival returned with even greater energy than last year.
The festival is easily one of the most unique festivals in the country. Organized to demonstrate the multi-faceted creative arts that are thriving in the minority underground culture, the event was still free and all ages.
This year’s festival had three performance stages which showcased the talents of musical legends and up and coming artists. A short list of the performers included: The Heavy, Mykki Blanko, Saul Williams, Chuck D, Living Colour and Vintage Trouble.
Mykki Blanko is a gender-bending hip-hop artist that is quickly gaining fame for his undeniable verbal and musical talent.
Vintage Trouble is another new act hailing from LA. Vintage blends a little funk, soul and rock into a musical sermon.
Living Colour and Chuck D are of course the veterans who have been doing this for over two decades.
The Afropunk counter culture is more than just music, as Rollingstone Magazine put it, “Afropunk has blossomed into a writhing ecosystem of cultural and digital exchange, sprouting bohemian sects of young minorities in any and every major city”. Within five minutes of arriving at the festival you will know you have discovered something that is alive with youthful energy and creative style.
Like last year, the festival had quarter pipes for x-games athletes to demonstrate their skills on and the involvement of Brooklyn Rhapsody showing custom motorcycles, chromed and polished. Yoga was taught to for all skill levels each morning by the Rise + Shine team and there was food to please every palate and diet available throughout the event.
Photos and words by Jeff Owens