Afropunk Atlanta served as a free space for eclectic and expressive Black attendees to dance, sing and shout without feeling confined by mainstream societal standards.
Almost no genre was left untouched as the warm autumn sun shined over Afropunk on Saturday, October 12. Performers and DJs kept the crowd moving with sounds ranging from Hip-Hop and R&B to Dancehall and House music favorites. While the weather turned into cooler temperatures, rain-showers, and clouds for Sunday’s lineup, no ticketholders were swayed, adding ponchos and umbrellas to their festival looks.
Afropunk Atlanta was an event for people who love music, art and other people. Concert-goers packed out the mid-sized, multi-stage venue in the heart of an Atlanta neighborhood. The festival has faced controversy and backlash with attendees criticizing the event for straying away from their community-oriented, punk roots.
Bitch Media reports conversations about Afropunk selling out began once the initially free event began charging attendees admission prices. Despite contention, Afropunk organizers continue to build, aiming to create a music festival where any person feels comfortable to be who they are. The Afropunk website explains their portmanteau title, interpreting both parts and fusing the words together to create their own definition.
Beyond Afropunk, music festivals overall can exhaust the eyes and ears of anyone however the constant standard from each act proved enough to keep thousands engaged. There were over a dozen acts and all performed to enthusiastic audiences singing-along or finding new fandom.
While all artists who took either the green or red stage were not Atlanta natives, most took the time to acknowledge the impact the Southern city has made on Black music and culture. These acts took over the large but intimate Afropunk arena, drawing the crowd into their artistic world. With soothing vocals, special guests, sentimental messages and more, these performers won Afropunk Atlanta 2019.
Leikeli47 Turned Her AFROPUNK Set Into A House Party
Brooklyn artist Leikeli47 delivered an all-star set performing her biggest hits and a DJ set paying homage to Atlanta’s Hip-Hop history. Leikeli47 hit the red-stage sporting a Clark Atlanta University sweatshirt, sweatpants, and her signature mask and rang off crowd favorites. The packed audience screamed in sync the lyrics to Girl Blunt and Attitude and Look as Leikeli47 and enthusiastic dancers turned up on stage. Leikeli47 made sure to pay homage to Atlanta’s music scene. Her DJ dropped an epic set of Atlanta classics and Leikeli47 herself lead a swag-surf.
SiR Spoke Directly To The Crowd
SiR’s performance felt personal as he spoke directly to the crowd. The TDE crooner announced that he and his band had not rehearsed for AFROPUNK and in fact, he met them there from Europe as they flew from Los Angeles. SiR effortlessly sang songs from his latest album Chasing Summer including a live rendition of LA Lisa with a surprise assist from Smino. Also joining SiR on-stage was Buddy however not to perform. The California artist handed SiR a blunt before leading an “ATL Hoe” chant.
Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals Kept The Same Energy
Anderson .Paak delivered a dynamic performance showcasing all of his artistic talents. At lightning speed, Anderson .Paak moved from center stage to his drumset to front stage and back again never missing a beat. Ensuring the crowd was as lively as himself, Anderson .Paak had the audience look to the full moon and howl animalistic. Musiq Soulchild shocked the audience with a surprise appearance during Anderson . Paak’s set. The performance closed with a tribute to Mac Miller with Anderson .Paak delivering Dang!
AFROPUNK Brought Me To Atlanta EARTHGANG Took Me To Mirrorland
The Atlanta natives performed flawless renditions of songs from their debut album Mirrorland as well as songs from Revenge Of The Dreamers III. “It feels good to be home” shouted the group before kicking off their performance. Olu and Wowgr8 rap and sing every word from their core. EARTHGANG at times seem unreal. Watching the duo perform takes you into their world where the EARTHGANG movement is all that matters.