Your Guide to the 2015 Afropunk Festival

npr.org
npr.org

The 2015 Afropunk Festival is less than three weeks away! The good news is that there will be over 40 musical acts to enjoy. The better news is that we’ve done our research to help you better prepare for the awesomeness in store. What follows is a crash course guide to this year’s lineup. It’s fully printable and categorized for your convenience (DJ’s not included).

The Seasoned:

Grace Jones (vocals)
Genres: R&B; electronic; avant-garde; dance; disco; new wave; rock; funk; reggae
Themes: Sex, race, society, gender, culture,
Essence: Fierce, funkadelic, artsy, retro, eccentric
Makes You Wanna: Vogue

Lenny Kravitz (vocals, guitar, keyboard/piano)
Genres: Rock, hard rock, funk, neo-psychedelia, neo soul
Themes: Spirituality, relationships, longing, society
Essence: Edgy, suave, groovy, somber
Makes You Wanna: Ride a bike through a tree-canopied path

Ms. Lauryn Hill (vocals, guitar)
Genres: R&B, soul, neo soul, hip hop, reggae fusion
Themes: Love, community, justice, spirit, overcoming
Essence: Wise, conscious, convicted
Makes You Wanna: Open your mind’s eye

Kelis (vocals)
Genres: R&B, neo soul, house, alternative hip hop, EDM, dance-pop
Themes: Urbanity, sexuality, relationships, remorse
Essence: Reflective, ragged, cheeky
Makes You Wanna: Be bolder; reinvent yourself

The Heavy-Hearted:

Vintage Trouble (band)
Genres: Blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, blues rock
Themes: Struggle, separation, love
Essence: Fresh, melancholic, steady, pensive
Makes You Wanna: Bare your soul to the love of your life

Gary Clark Jr. (vocals, guitar)
Genres: Blues rock, soul, R&B, blues, hard rock, rock ‘n’ roll
Themes: Loneliness, longing, oppression
Essence: Edgy, heartfelt, brooding
Makes You Wanna: Drink a whiskey and think about life

Palaceburn (band)
Genres: Rock
Themes: Relationships, abuse, remorse
Essence: Dark, powerful, emotional
Makes You Wanna: Paint your nails black and write some moody poetry

Letlive (band)
Genres: Post hardcore, punk rock, soul
Themes: Corruption, greed, culture, infidelity
Essence: Edgy, introspective, emotional
Makes You Wanna: Get something pierced

The Gritty:

Death Grips (band)
Genres: Experimental hip-hop, industrial hip-hop
Themes: Helplessness, power struggles, violence
Stage Essence: Belligerent, dark, cryptic
Makes You Wanna: Head bang

Candiria (band)
Genres: Thrash, metal, jazz, rock, R&B, rap, scream
Themes: Pain, death, oppression, society
Essence: Angsty, defiant
Makes You Wanna: Get in on some mosh pit action

Suicidal Tendencies (band)
Genres: Crossover thrash, thrash metal, hardcore punk, funk metal, skate punk‪
Themes: Politics, suicide, anxiety
Essence: Creatively chaotic, defiant
Makes You Wanna: Do some crowd-surfing

The Party Starters:

Danny Brown (rapper)
Genre: Alternative hip-hop
Themes: Sex, community, determination, violence, hustling
Essence: Humorous, explicit, out there, gruff
Makes You Wanna: Bop your head, put on your best stank face

GoldLink (rapper)
Genres: Hip-hop, R&B
Themes: Braggadocio, sex, drug use, lust
Essence: Psychedelic, sensual, explicit, laid back, upbeat, day-dreamy
Makes You Wanna: Throw a house party

Holt/Hollywood Holt (rapper, vocals)
Genres: Hip-hop (mixtapes) R&B, electronic (under label)
Themes: Braggadocio, hip-hop industry, relationships
Essence: Upbeat, mellow
Makes You Wanna: Get money

The New Kids On The Block:

Raury (vocals, rapper)
Genres: Funk, soul, hip-hop, folk
Themes: Destiny, higher meaning, intervention, cognizance
Essence: Entrancing, conscious, retro
Makes You Wanna: Just vibe

Young Paris (rapper)
Genres: Electronic, rap, traditional
Themes: Injustice, inequality, overcoming, Africa, politics, poverty, society
Essence: Conscious, commanding, African-influenced
Makes You Wanna: Change the system

Kimberly Nichole (vocals)
Genres: R&B, pop, rock, soul, folk,
Themes: Defeat, love, feminism, determination
Essence: Sweet, robust, quirky, fresh
Makes You Wanna: Follow your dreams

Petite Noir (vocals)
Genres: Electronic, R&B
Themes: Confusion, relationships, anxiety
Essence: Upbeat, resilient, somber, African-influenced
Makes You Wanna: Get boozy and unwind at an upscale club

Adia Victoria (vocals, guitar)
Genres: Blues, folk
Themes: The South, isolation
Essence: Defiant, somber, seductive
Makes You Wanna: Watch the sun set from a rocking chair on a wrap-around porch

The Tranquil:

SZA (vocal)
Genres: PBR&B, neo soul
Themes: Devotion, heartbreak, love
Essence: Emotionally intense, innocent, day-dreamy, laid-back
Makes You Wanna: Go back to simpler times

Kelela (vocal)
Genres: PBR&B, grime
Themes: Relationships, disappointment
Essence: Sensual, laid-back, reverberated
Makes You Wanna: Cuddle

Lion Babe (duo)
Genres: Neo soul
Themes: Relationships, power
Stage Essence: Day-dreamy, flirty, calming, laid-back
Makes You Wanna: Star gaze

Jesse Boykins III ( vocals)
Genres: World, soul, neo soul, R&B, electronic, reggae, spoken word, hip-hop
Themes: Passion, free-spiritedness
Essence: Conscious, sensual, day-dreamy, romantic
Makes You Wanna: Make love at dusk

Sam Dew (vocals)
Genres: Hip-hop, R&B, electronic
Themes: Heartbreak, devotion, desire, love
Essence: Psychedelic, sensual, laid-back
Makes You Wanna: Bump n’ grind

The Groove-Masters:

Thundercat (bass, vocals)
Genres: R&B, jazz fusion, electronic, psychedelic, funk, indie, thrash
Themes: Love, drug use, anxiety
Essence: Otherworldly, laid-back, eccentric
Makes You Wanna: Float away

Curtis Harding (vocals)
Genres: Soul, funk, disco, R&B, folk, rock
Themes: Revelation, perseverance
Essence: 70s retro, encouraging
Makes You Wanna: Start a soul train

Afropunk will take place August 21-23 in Brooklyn, NY. For more Afropunk details, visit afropunkfest.com

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