Afro Punk Rocks!!!
Afro Punk in the simplest terms is a merge between people of African descent and punk, rock, or other alternative forms of music. On the global scene, “black music” consists of soulful melodies, wicked bass rifts, and is modular or minor based in structure. As people of color we are expected to listen to music from Gil Gelberto, Alicia Keys, Aretha Franklin, and James Brown, to Mos Def and Mary J Blige. Now they are all amazing in their own right but AfroPunk is a true work of art as well. The fusion of so many genres and sounds is a challenging yet exciting task for the talented musicians who choose to delve into the culture. Many people don’t realize how many similarities there are between these styles of music. In 1977, Bad Brains, one of the most popular bands in the Afro-meets-punk-meets-Rock genre, was formed in Washington, D.C. They also had a heavy reggae influence in their music.
Today my favorite AfroPunk band has to be Game Rebellion. Check out their latest video http://vimeo.com/22968840 “Blood on the Dancefloor”, produced by Royal Ras Productions and Artful Dodger. They are all such incredible people. I saw them live for the first time at AFROPUNK ’10 NYC at the Comodore Barry Park in Brooklyn, NY. The band was too live for the stage. Netic climbed on top of vans. Emi killed the keys, and as a pianist myself I couldn’t help but appreciate his raw talent. Yohimbe hypnotized members of the audience with his outrageous guitar sounds. I mean the entire band was just WICKED. This of course was my first experience in a mosh pit. Which lasted only a few seconds because I just don’t like the concept of someone knocking their body into mine in the middle of a concert. Then I saw The Bots. http://thebotsband.com/media/I_Like_Your_Style.html The most adorable duo you’ll ever hear. 14 and 17 year old brothers who know how to rock the stage and maintain an audience. Bad Brains was there too and dominated the end of the show. I seriously had never seen anything like it before and hope to attend another AfroPunk or similar festival in the future.
From my experience the shows are very energetic, loud, aggressive, and if you know what to listen for, you can hear the heavy percussion that is fused with an African sound… So it’s summer time again and I hope to catch Game Rebellion, Black Vampires or The Bots sometime soon.