Rage, Vibe or Connect in the heart of the A
When asked about it, “An experience, to be experienced” is all I reply. An event my parents, close family and friends wouldn't assume I’d be in attendance, but why not? I can defy the stigma of a violin playing, semi straight arrow, neuroscience book reading, vegan eating, southern gal. My experience this weekend at the Atlantic Station hosted music festival, Afropunk was nothing if not liberating, dynamic and expressive, truly personifying this year's theme of “Uncontained Women'.”
You like Music? They got that. You like food? Got that.. But even vegan food? Yup, Slutty Vegan was in the building (well lot). With two stages to keep concert goers entertained and engaged through set changes and food breaks, and the occasional pick me up. I experienced true entertainment in my own backyard.
But the true zeal of Afropunk came from its ability to embody the theme of “We got us” and “Uncontained Women” in an authentic and natural way.
Apart from the fact that the vendors of Afropunk were majority black owned businesses, selling a variety of sustainable, reliable and ethical goods, services and yummy treats! One of the most notable and previously mentioned ATL favorites, ‘Slutty Vegan’ was in attendance, along with Taste of The Americas food truck, and of course a truck for beverages, 21+. All selling tasty meals and drinks for crowd goers to enjoy at their convenience.
“I can be anything… I can do anything”, the words of artist, Doechii’s song “Black girl memoir” reverberate through my ears when I think back to last weekend. Despite the fact that it was her first time performing this song live for an audience, this song title struck me as a true representation of the song's meaning and essence. As black women, we are often contained to a perception of how we feel we SHOULD be. When in reality we can be anything, and along with being able to be anything comes the knowledge that you can do anything.
Doechii's set on day 2 of Afropunk was one of the most memorable for me, displaying the artist's ability to engage an audience and lift the mood of all crowd goers and viewers alike, not to mention her backup dancers who personally mesmerized me on stage and off. After running into her two dancers, Sunny and Shay Moni, who not only blew me away with their technique, energy and style on stage, but also in person - I bonded with them during the beginning of Ricos performance, as a hoard of attendees rushed the stage to get the closest standing…
A crowd, and one of my personal favorites, Smino, was
in attendance, and in appropriate fashion:
I must admit, I was surprised that many of the crowd were unfamiliar with his A COLORS SHOW debuted song, Rice and Gravy. With over 1.1 million views on youtube,
and my personal favorite song of his, It eventually got the crowd screaming with him the catchy hook, “That's what made me.. That's what made me”. And I can say this performance is what truly made me excited for day 2.
Young Baby Tate, Foushee and Van Jess, were among other stand out performances that will leave me anticipating their next single or album drop. As listening to their music in person really allowed me to connect more with the artist and feel as though I can relate to them more through their music after seeing the passion and intention behind the lyrics.
In Suprising Events:
PJ and friends brought out Surprise guests , Celo Green, David Banner, TI and his son, Domani
Wale Brought out Rico Nasty:
And Rico Nasty
Which brings us to Day 2 of Afropunk? G- G- Goodness Gracious, I definitely gave af on this occasion. With enough space and a place for everyone, Rico Nasty's set was enjoyable enough that my semi introverted self felt comfortable enough to join my first (and maybe last) mosh pit - with the encouragement of some welcoming girls, outstretching their hand to make me less
Rico - First they're sour, then they're sweet
anxious to go at it alone. I carped all them diems. Rico’s performance was nothing short of what I expected. She poured her soul on the stage and the crowd poured theirs back. It was beautiful, creative and at times, loud. But the good kind.
Another fortunate event to come from day 2 was my run in with Afropunk's Day 1 debut artist, Amindi.
Although I wasn't fortunate enough to attend her premiere performance live, I was lucky enough to hear about and digitally see her striking performance of her newer released songs along with the crowd (and my personal) favorite, Pine and Ginger. However, my luck did pick up when I ran into Amindi a few times on day 2, attending Afropunk with her friends. A sweet girl with supportive friends, traveling from California to see Afropunks debut artist. As much as it was a pleasure to bond over small talk and food truck treats, it was even nicer to feel welcomed and truly at home, with not just the other attendees, but also the artists with enough luck on your side.
Speaking of style, the beauty and creativity of every artist was reflected in the crowd, allowing us to capture a true inclusive form of black expression
Afropuff- punker and Warrior princess showing up and out
Rain on me? or Bringing the heat? Either way Winter is Coming to Hotlanta
Some of the best Locs, Fros and Braids were in attendance