Though the coinage wasn't there for a full-week excursion in Brooklyn, members of the UltravioletUnderground team did make it out to witness the greatness that is Tamar Kali, and the delight that is Imani Coppola.
Our day began with alot of frustration and delays, but we eventually found the right train to Dekalb ave, despite confusion with city construction that had us scratching our heads for a spell.
We boarded the Q and enjoyed a nice, spacious ride where we were only harassed once for spare change (despite our own serious lack of coinage...), and after taking a left off of Flatbush Ave where we got off of the train we walked straight to Fort Greene Park along Dekalb avenue to partake of the glorious celebration of non-stereotypical flavor created by fellow Motherland rooted siblings.
Our first gift was the dancing man in green pants, truly getting his groove on in front of the Afropunk stage.
No doubt a boon for an ornery pair, who'd finally made it to their destination, though Q. abandoned me to toss a ball in a sand pit with new friends. The battle of the get downs soon followed, which was also disarmingly delightful.
The spins of DJ Hardhittin Harry kept the vibes afloat, though at this point I was unaware of the righteous move on Toyota's part to provide loads of cash and MountainDew's part to provide a plethora of decoratively bottled free drinks to Afropunkers attending the festival. Toyota and friends get serious props for sponsoring this.
Remind me to write Toyota and friends a letter of thanks. It is deserved.
The musical acts didn't take the stage until 3PM, to our relief. We hadn't missed a thing, and it gave us time to settle in and shake off the interrupted travel angst, though some of it still lingered... Must have been the day.
By this time Q had tired of the recreational excursion with his new friends, and returned to the patch of fresh green surrounding the stage, where Sophia Ramos emerged in all of her electric glory flashing symbolic gestures of her rock sovereignty and channeling the prowess of her masculine side with the mic.
Her song 'ArianZulu' which she announced to be a song about America, stole the set with a fitting message for the times.
"ArianZulu... All or nothing."
Excellent point for consideration.
The Dustbin Brothers took over the spins at times doing justice to Ol'skool sonic blooms of yesteryear mingling in a dance with deliciously obscure songs of today, after an announcement that urged the audience to celebrate the freeness of Afropunk as we would celebrate freedom everywhere, was made.
Afropunks of many sparkling shades donning coiffes of braids, glorious manes of dreds, afrocentric mohawks, shiny baldheads, halfbald heads, bold afros and the list goes on were a feast for our eyes. Seeing so many exquisite expressions of diversity left me wishing everyday was an Afropunk festival... In due time I know. One must be patient, so I chose to celebrate the Afropunk skate park in Fort Greene and the lovely brothers on skateboards with dusty backpacks and striped shirts billowing in the wind and they coasted down the narrow hills.
It was a lovely location.
Even the garbage bins were dipped in sunshine; painted in flowers and joyous yellows. The playground areas had fountains of water made for little feet to run through, and I found myself again considering a move to one of the NY burrows. Without over-glamorizing things, there are a lot of resources made available to city residents, and the culture is charming enough to dazzle one out of sense and wallet...
When Little Jackie a.k.a Imani Coppola took the stage at 3PM with her gorgeous vocal harmony-makers, I made my way close to the stage to capture as much video as possible, and get some good shots in. Imani is a personal favorite for alot of reasons. Foremost of these: The wit and reality she injects into her lyricism. Secondly: Imani is alive, despite the hardship she encountered coming up, and presently as an Indie artist.
Despite the attack of the spores upon Imani's newly revealed allergies, she made us giggle, applaud, and shout for the humour in her sonic storytales.
Unfortunately she had a 35 minute time limit on stage and could only connect with us a little between songs, but we accepted the gift of 35 minutes with her that was extended to us, and tried not to pout too visibly like spoiled babes when her sniffle-squashing sunshine exited the stage. The Little Jackie album was released last week. Get yours.
We took a break from the park, taking in the fly art panels surrounding the stage on the way out, holding our noses towards the entrance where the park had apparently left quite a bit of garbage instead of clearing it out for the event... Not sure why that was okay in the minds of the park administrators but... we made it through the clouds of venemous stench and skipped down the street merrily regardless, to pick up some batteries at a local bodega, because my rechargeable cells misled me at home into thinking they were prepared to take the weight of an entire day...
Q naturally wanted to stop at a small park nearby to play ball, so we stopped over for a bit before rushing back to see Tamar Kali, who was scheduled to appear at 5pm.
When Tamar Kali took the stage.... she took it.
She is my f---ing her, you know... I meant the title of the previous mini post. Tamar makes one proud to be a keeper of the flaming yoni, inspiring keepers everywhere to assume command of their fire.
The keeper of the yoni that feverishly banged 'pon the drums is also beyond homage worthy, and Jerome Jordan made furious love to the guitar. The air was literally charged without something unnameable, fierce, and vibrationally exclusive to the spirit of Tamar Kali. She's stepped into her magnificence in a way that makes her glory undeniable to onlookers and onfeelers.
I've dug her music online, but seeing Tamar Kali live is transcendental... emotional... affirming.
She's an Afropunk Titan for sure, and after she left the stage we were left with the imprint of that majesty. She came, she saw, she exulted in the the resplendence of lifeforce unscripted and ripe with being. Our hearts were definitely fed, as the host describes it.
But wouldn't you know? My memory card ran out of space for additional video after the first song, so I only have the first bad a-- instrumental intro that kicked off Tamar's set. It is however... extremely worthy so I won't complain, and instead have learned to be wise and invest in a 4gb flash card for coming events.
We did a bit more walking, revisited the ball park for Q's benefit, and then headed to catch the Dirtbombs before we made our way back to the train. Our bus tickets home were restricted you see, and we had to be at the Port Authority on time. At least we were able to hit JambaJuice for Q's Mango thingy and my wheatgrass shot (recommended) on our way to the gate.
Next year we'll have to rent a space for the week and take all of it in...
Afropunk should do a day at Coney Island in the '09.
(Afropunk: Please Oh Please do Coney Island......... *_* :: Imploring Innocent and Irresistible Blinky eyes::)
Again... Toyota and friends. Mad Props. Afropunk is a rite of passage. Thankyou for supporting it.
Enjoy the OKP's wrap up for the very last day of this year's Afropunk fete
Enjoy Underground Genius Eric Perl's Afropunk Images As Well