You keen for Afropunk 2018?

2018-08-05 00:00
The Internet

Johannesburg - Following a successful introduction to local audiences last year, the Afropunk Festival has fondly lived on in the memories of those who were lucky enough to be there.

Now, Afropunk returns with an even better line-up, and Phumlani S Langa has a few favourite picks.



Genre: Pop/gqom

This week she made news headlines after it was reported she was assaulted by police at an airport in Namibia and the pop star also won an urgent case brought by her former manager. While all this was happening it was announced that she would be one of the acts at this year’s Afropunk festival. Her style is somewhat provocative and this makes feeble-minded individuals uncomfortable. I wasn’t feeling the music when I first encountered Moonchild at Basha Uhuru a few years ago. But lately she’s fused the quirky elements of her indie-pop sound with the very in-sonic flavours of gqom. I’m not too proud to admit that this might make her one of the best pop stars in the country. Her feisty lyrics and stage presence, with that almost croaky voice, make this woman a very interesting feature on the local soundscape.


Genre: Hip-Hop

This is hip-hop royalty in the flesh. I shouldn’t have to say too much more but I would like to. This duo used their music to spark a militant movement against white oppression. Chuck D and Flavor Flav used their microphones to tell the truth and give insight in songs like Don’t Believe the Hype, Welcome to the Terrordome and, in the crown jewel of their songs, Fight the Power. Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, one of only five rap/hip-hop artists to earn that distinction.


Genre: electronica

I recall hearing a song called Tea Leaf Dancers and watching the crowd at Kitcheners in Braamfontein absolutely pulsate to the sounds of this man’s
sensual and primal productions. Flying Lotus has released five studio albums
all of which are bangers. He has produced music for Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Thundercat, Wiz Khalifa, Thom Yorke
and Erykah Badu, as well as much of the bumper music on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. His track Spicy Sammich was one of my favourite tracks in 2011.


Genre: funk

The Los Angeles native’s latest album Drunk is a 23-track epic journey into the often hilarious, sometimes dark mind of the Grammy winner. He roped in the artistic efforts of people such as Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell Williams, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and fellow Afropunk performer Flying Lotus. His last performance in Cape Town was something people still talk about. His sound is
steeped in solid fundamentals and yet it is unlike anything else out there. This man is a must-see.


Genre: R&B/Soul

Remember Syd Tha Kid? She used to run around with Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All; and she lived with US rapper Vince Staples. Well now she has a band – The Internet – who have more than just a little soul about their work. I listen to The Internet and almost wonder if their sound is not a couple of years too late. I could easily picture them in the era of artists like Floetry or back when D’Angelo held the reins of R&B. These days R&B sounds like a knock-off of hip-hop and it isn’t really made to last. But their music is.


Genre: Hip-hop

Let us not beat about the bush too much. This guy is your favourite rappers’ favourite rapper. His latest album Yungloon Taliboom, a collaboration with producer Maloon TheBoom, is hip-hop – done the right way. Earthy instruments and a boom-bap beat structure are almost extinct in local rap. But he can flip it on you and do something a little wavy just for the “skrr” heads. One thing to look out for is when he busts out in a freestyle ... off The Dome.

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