Gotta have that Afropunk: What to see at the fest

Electric youth: Flatbush metal band Unlocking the Truth are still going through puberty — but they are already signed to a major label and have a book deal.
Photo by Phil Knot

There are some mighty big names populating this year’s Afropunk Fest lineup — Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Fishbone, Bad Brains, and Meshell Ndegeocello, to name just a few. But if you are planning on making a weekend of it, you are going to catch some lesser-known and up-and-coming acts, too. And we have a few suggestions to pencil into your schedule.


Expanding on the template created by acts like Dalek and the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, this Los Angeles trio connects the seemingly disparate worlds of experimental noise and hip-hop. The results, as heard on their recently released Sub Pop album “CLPPNG,” are challenging, intoxicating, and loud.

Playing Aug. 23 at 3:45 pm on the red stage.


The various lineups of this politically-minded hardcore punk group (it has had some 12 members since forming in 1996) are coming together to play a rare show at Afropunk Fest. Their appearance doubles as a tribute to Danny Bobis, a founding member of the Long Beach group who passed away in 2011 while surfing in Indonesia.

Playing Aug. 23 at 5:45 pm on the black stage

Unlocking the Truth

An instrumental metal band made up of three Brooklynites who are barely in their teens playing such a big event is impressive enough. It only gets more remarkable when you learn that the group was recently signed to a major label deal, is about to release a memoir, and has already shared stages with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Guns N’ Roses.

Playing Aug. 24 at 5:45 pm on the black stage.

Loaf Muzik

This hip-hop crew from Bushwick looks to the ’90s heyday of the Native Tongues collective for inspiration, expanding upon their forebears’ love of warm, jazzy beats and playful, yet socially conscious rhymes.

Playing Aug. 23 at 2:45 pm on the red stage.


A fearsome MC in her own right, Cherise Gary has been called the “queen of Jersey club” thanks to her stylish and funky DJ sets, which mix together underground hip-hop and electronic dance music with high profile cuts from the pop charts.

Playing Aug. 24 at 6 pm on the red stage.

Afropunk Fest at Commodore Barry Park (Navy Street between Flushing and Park Avenues in Fort Greene, www.afropunkfest.com) Aug. 23–24 at noon–9:30 pm. Free (guaranteed entry available starting from $25).

Full clip: West Coast trio Clipping connects experimental noise and hip-hop. The outfit will be in Brooklyn on Aug. 23 to play Afropunk Fest.
Photo by Cristopher Cichocki

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