After a year off due to Hurricane Irene, the 2012 Afropunk festival came back with full force! This year’s Afropunk fest included performances by Erykah Badu, Janelle Monaé, Phony Ppl and a ton of others. Side note Gym Glass Heroes was supposed to perform but they bailed out last minute.
Erykah Badu (who had fans & press going crazy before she even opened her mouth, especially when we saw her over-sized gold chain on her hip) shocked the crowed when she brought out Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) to do Common’s verse on “Love Of My Life”. She also had the crowd laughing with her witty remarks about Nicky Minaj saying “She don’t beez in the trap…it’s more like cheese for the rats” (not stated verbatim…but close enough).
Phony Ppl, rocked the crowd performing songs from “Phonyland.” and a few new songs from their latest EP “Nothing Special”. I’ve never seen them perform live, but they really did their thing! I look forward to seeing them perform again.
Janelle Monaé gave a stellar performance. Before even setting foot on stage she had a special introduction by Pharrell Williams. No one knew that Pharrell was going to attend, which made the crowd go into an intense uproar. When introducing Janelle, Pharrell vouched for her by saying “when I heard her album, I had to contact her and let her know how special her body of work was.” Janelle danced, crowd surfed, sang an amazing rendition of the Jackson 5’s “I want you back” which unintentionally left many spectators swoon by her theatrics.
The Afropunk fest was one event you didn’t want to miss. It brought together people from every race, nationality, and creed. It wasn’t just a concert, it didn’t just have skate/bmx competitions, it didn’t just have great food, and didn’t just have thousands of people attend. It was INSPIRATIONAL. Taken from Latitia Jones (NY council woman) “This festival is not about the color of your skin. It’s about young people making a change in the world.”
© 2012, Darren Burton. All rights reserved.