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Must-See Artists at AfroPunk 2017 by Day (And the Songs to Know too.)

Afropunk is literally around the corner and we couldn’t be any more excited! For those who aren’t familiar with Afropunk, it’s THE festival for the young, black and creative as well as an epicenter for everything black and proud.

Starting as an alt movement for the “atypical black kid,” AfroPunk hosted its first festival in Brooklyn at BAM (the Brooklyn Academy of Music) in 2005. Later it moved to the Commodore Barry Park, and for years, was hosted for freeuntil it got too large. (But we’re so here for the come-up!) While it was originally created to counter the mostly white punk subcultures, the festival has expanded to include genres of all types.

For the 2017 festival, AfroPunk has put together a seriously awesome line-up with Solange headlining. We want to see the entire line-up, but that’s impossible. Here, we’re choosing artists that we really, really, really want to see.

Feel free to berate us in the comments section if you disagree.  




With her new album on absolute fire, SZA is a definite must-see at AfroPunk this year. If you haven’t already, get familiar with her latest album CTRL along with her more throwback smoke and chill hits like “Childs Play” and “Babylon.”



Wildly entertaining, Sinkane’s effervescent style is reminiscent of Tink and the Bangas (who totally killed it last year.) The group grabs inspiration from the lead singer’s Sudanese roots and pairs thoughtful lyrics with smooth dance worthy sounds. Before the show, jam to Sinkane’s songs “Uhuh,” “Favorite Song,” and “Deadweight” as performed on Tiny Desk for NPR.



While we will still twerk a little something to Willow’s “Whip My Hair,” the sound of Willow today is on an entirely new level. Her sound is definitely 90s-esque, experimental and effortlessly cool. We seriously can’t believe this is coming from a 16 year-old girl but we are definitely here for it. Familiarize yourself with the new Willow sound by vibing out to her songs “9,” “Flowers,” and “F Q-C #7”


This in-your-face female rap artist has a serious girl-power cult following (and we may or may not be a part of the slightly rowdy crew). A self-proclaimed bruja, she brings good magic and good vibes to every set plus a crazy amount of energy. You’ve got to learn the hooks to “Tomboy,” “Excellent,” and “Brujas.”



While the Skins are debuting a newer, softer rock style, we’re sure they won’t disappoint with their third showing at AfroPunk. The band consists of siblings Bayli (singer), Kaya (bassist) and Reef (drummer) McKeithan, along with guitarist Daisy Spencer and Russell Chell. Check out their songs “Bury Me,”“Runaway,” and their throwback: “Rude Girl” (an ode to Solange).



Let’s get one thing straight, Thundercat definitely knows how to put on a show. The multi-genre bassist will take you through a symphony of musical styles including smooth jazz and funk.

Watch Soul II Soul live at AfroPunk 2017


All we have to say is “Back to life. Back to reality!” Get ready for an epic dance party in the middle of Brooklyn when these legends of music hit the stage. 

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About Jordan Edmond

Hey, I’m Jordan. 28. Just married. Mother. Vegetarian attempting to be vegan, but DAMN - my momma makes some banging baked macaroni & cheese. Total advocate for part-time veganism... You can do it!

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