Why haven't I posted about this yet???
Anyway, Afropunk was last weekend and it's basically a festival celebrating Africa. I went last Saturday and it was AMAZING! I was there pretty much all day but it didn't feel like a drag at all. They have music there, food, and probably other stuff I should've gotten into but didn't. They were also selling clothes, art, and health insurance (lol).
I bought a ticket for Kelis. I saw her promoting Afropunk all over facebook and figured, "why not?" The festival was in Brooklyn after all, and I happen to live in Brooklyn. Kelis is one of my all-time favorites and let me tell you, she was worth EVERY PENNY of the $47 I paid for a ticket!
The festival was in Commodore Barry Park. On foot, it was a 51 minute walk from my apartment, but I could've taken a bus and a subway to get there. Well, it was such a nice day that I decided to walk it! It was an amazing walk. I love taking long walks like that because I love feeling ONE WITH THE EARTH, and seeing all of the different people and buildings. I also wanted to see if I could do it. When I started walking again after the accident, I couldn't walk five minutes without my legs getting tired. Gosh, you don't realize just how important mobility is until it's ripped away from you.
Anyway, the walk was great, and when I got to the park, I had to wait in line to show the people my ticket. The male line was QUITE a bit shorter than the female line, which, lucky me! After the security checked me and everything, I went in the park.
There were three stages, Gold, Green, and Red. Kelis, Lauryn Hill, and Grace Jones were performing on the Green Stage, which wasn't actually green. It was located close to the entrance, so I didn't want to lose sight of it. They had posters all over the park telling you who was going to perform, when and where. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize any of the acts performing on the Red and Gold stages, although I did stick around the Red Stage for a while when this band called Palaceburn was performing. I liked their song "So Gone."
I got to the park at around 1, and Kelis wasn't scheduled to perform until 5. I thought, "Oh phooney," but I decided to kill time by exploring. All of the clothes for sale were African or designed with African wear in mind, but I must say, the male clothes I saw were butt ugly, overpriced and over-sized. However, the female clothes looked nice! I also saw some jewelry for sale and thought of buying some stuff for my mother and sisters. Now that I think about it, I wish I did.
I took a while to look at some art I knew I wasn't going to buy, but I did get a free bookmark! Anyway, I bought lunch, chicken tenders and french fries and sat on a bench by the gold stage, just taking in everything going on around me. When I heard music from the gold stage, I threw my fries away (I only had a taste for them; I didn't want the whole thing), and made my way to the Green Stage. I guess all of the R&B acts were designated to the green stage. Two people performed before Kelis, and in between every act was a 30-min set by a DJ, who would start playing some bangin' music. The first performer I saw had a interesting voice, but her music didn't excite me much; I actually slept through most of her set. lol Whoops?
The second act had an amazing voice. She commanded my attention better than the first act did, but I wasn't crazy about her music either. The crowd was here for her though, so she must be big in the indie world, but I don't really care all that much about indie music (lol clearly), so...
Then Kelis comes on stage, a little plump but that was okay with me! I was too far from her to see that she was actually pregnant, I just thought she gained some weight with age and living the good life. Anyway, her voice was AMAZING. I've been obsessed with her ever since her performance. I cannot say enough good things about her performance. She was that good. She has this song called Cobbler off her album Food which I always loved, HOWEVER, I did NOT know the high notes reached toward the end was actually her. I just thought she did what Janet did in her song "This Time" and got an opera singer to do those notes. Kelis hit those notes with perfection! I always thought she had a unique, interesting voice, that's why I'm such a big fan, but I did not her vocal range was that big! I was such a happy fan.
I should have left after Kelis, because the act who was up after her surprised me and definitely not in a good way. When she finally got there, her performance started off perfectly. Her voice was amazing. But then her voice started to get huskier, and at a certain point, it was like she stopped singing and started hollering. Then the sound cut off. The crowd cried to have the sound turned up, and that seemed to do it, but then the sound went off again. People shouted to turn up the sound, but nothing happened. The act was still doing her thing, but no one could hear a thing, not even the band. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed, and I'm not even a huge fan. The only songs (I could hear) she performed that I recognized were performed at the "end" (right before the sound went off). It was like her entire set was covers. Maybe she gets sick of performing the same stuff over and over again. Oh, well. I guess that's what happens when you've released only one album 20 years ago. :\
Grace Jones performed last, and I wish I stayed because it sounds like she killed it, but I wanted to see a movie (which turned out to be so lame), so I ended up leaving around 9 pm.
Anyway, I had an amazing time and wanted to document it somewhere so I'd never forget it! If Afropunk comes back next year, I definitely want to go again!! The event reminded me of Artscape, an event in Baltimore celebrating Baltimore's art scene. Only Afropunk is (obviously, this being NYC) higher scale and so not free lol. My one disappointment was (besides the act who followed Kelis) the total lack of funnel cake stands!!! I was hunting for a funnel cake; I just SWORE they had a funnel cake stand somewhere. They didn't. I will give Artscape that at least, they have funnel cake stands!