Pictured above: Lion Babe performs at Afropunk Atlanta 2016 (Photo courtesy of Mike G [@24bucks]).
No Racism. No Sexism. No Trumpism.
A few words from the weekend’s affirmation during Atlanta’s AFROPUNK celebrations this year.
Equipped with an atmosphere draped in the beautiful aroma of melanin and good vibes, artists including the likes of Tyler, the Creator, Goldlink, ABRA, and SZA showed up to show out, packing magnetized crowds into the city’s 787 Windsor festival grounds.
“We just know it’s an Afropunk show. It’s a very special show,” says producer Lucas Goodman, one half of budding sensation Lion Babe who closed out the weekend with their set Sunday evening [October 16, 2016]. “The crowd is just really our vibe. So, naturally, we just get extra hype for it.
A quick chat with the duo, completed by singer Jillian Hervey, made it easy to get a glimpse of the traditional artist approach to a not-so-traditional environment.
The festival’s history is a now 11-year track record of catering to the “alternative and experimental”, first serving to fill a void of color in the predominantly white Punk culture.
Since its humble beginnings in Brookyln, it’s grown to treat fans to a wider variety of music that now encompasses some of the biggest names in Soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop, expanding its festivities to the cities of Atlanta and Paris only last year.
“I think we definitely try to amp it up, and just make the theme of it–the feeling of it reflect what this is all about, you know,” begins Jillian as Lion Babe discusses the different approach they took to performing for AFROPUNK’s audience. “It goes very hand in hand with what we try to do anyway. There are so many people here that would appreciate us going above and beyond. They would appreciate us making an outfit out of hair, or bringing our sign all the way from New York, and lighting it up. All that stuff we want to do just to amplify it because it’s a very important celebration.”
It was only moments before they sat down to talk that the two had taken to the stage, enchanting the crowd with familiar tracks and a mesmerizing display of Hervey’s dancing background.While full of energy, the set’s delicate execution served as a perfect example of the broad spectrum that is AFROPUNK as less than 24 hours earlier, crowds all but broke the barriers separating themselves from the stage as Tyler, the Creator sprayed the dehydrated multitude with water while trying his hand at dabbing and “hittin’ dem folks”. When in Rome.
As a result of some pretty bad weather, AFROPUNK was forced to shut down its debut in Atlanta the previous year, making 2016 it’s first official run through the South, and we can only wait in extreme longing for what AFROPUNK will bring to the city next year.