Day 2 of AfroPunk saw more blues, rock, rap, and a bit of grime. We expected the drudgery of an overcast, rainy day but the sun shone brightly in Brooklyn and crowds packed into Commodore Barry Park for a stacked lineup.
Saturday’s theme for the Red Stage seemed to be hardcore rock and punk but Sunday’s lineup featured R&B and hip-hop that crowds love to dance to. Neo-punk soul duo Oshun had strong “earthy” vibes, wearing flowy white dresses and rapping while barefoot on top of speakers. One of our favorite up-and-coming musicians Raury brought his Indigo Child project to Brooklyn all the way from Stone Mountain, GA. His connection to his young fans never ceases to amaze us. Sporting bright neon motocross pants and high heels, Kelela drew a massive crowd to the Red Stage with her grimey R&B. Theme aside, we were surprised Kelela wasn’t scheduled for the main stage. Reppin’ for the DMV, rapper GoldLink played some original tracks but mostly provided a super hype party atmosphere. He even dropped Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
The Green Stage featured acts that appealed to young music lovers and veterans alike. Jesse Boykins III literally let his hair down, jamming across the stage to what he calls “world soul.” The heat and sun didn’t stop the crowd from grooving to tracks from his 2014 album Love Apparatus. L.A. bass player, producer, and overall genius Thundercat wore some pretty impressive head gear. One of the highlights of the day was without a doubt Hollywood’s Vintage Trouble. Listening to their 70s era rock and soul felt like stepping back in time. Gary Clark Jr. proved once again that’s he’s one of the most skilled and talented musicians alive. His command of the stage paired with his amazing guitar playing had the crowd screaming.
Lenny Kravitz is one of those musicians who’s managed to remain relevant without the gimmicks. Consistently launching great albums and putting on fantastic shows, Kravitz is a cultural icon. Recent wardrobe malfunction aside, he relies on a super skilled band that’s with him every second of the way. This was actually the first time he’s played in his hometown in 25 years, making this an emotional homecoming. Brooklyn has changed so much, something festival goers and musicians commented on. It felt right to have Kravitz headline the biggest AfroPunk Festival yet.
Check out our photo gallery of Day 2 below. See our Day 1 post here.
Gary Clark Jr.
Jesse Boykins III