18 People On What It Means To Be An AFROPUNK

Images via Ryan Jay 

There was no better moment for last weekend's AFROPUNK fest, featuring performances by Grace Jones, Lenny Kravitz, Lauryn Hill, and a seasoned set of street style stars. With the national discourse around race as an everpresent backdrop, some 30,000 people of all colors joined together to celebrate freedom --- of expression, of creativity, of stigma. 

"AFROPUNK is a platform for people that are doing something different, people who are not conforming to the norms, and for people that embody individuality," this year's host, Jorge "Gitoo" Wright, told us backstage.

Throughout the weekend, a glowing Kelis announced her pregnancy, a 67 year-old Grace Jones reminded us why she will forever be #THEQUEEN, a tardy Lauryn Hill wooed the crowd with hits from 'Miseducation', and a magnetic Lenny Kravitz returned to his Brooklyn roots to slay hits like "Woman" and "Fly Away". But mostly, the event imbued hope as to the future of black-made music (see the artists Jesse Boykins III, Raury, Lion Babe, and SZA).  

Below, artists and attendees come together to name the 'most iconic afro' and define what, exactly, an Afropunk is. 

Most iconic afro? "Prince. Even though it's not big and he doesn't do it all the time. When Prince does an afro, it's kinda just like the best thing ever." - Jorge 'Gitoo' Wright, Host

Most iconic afro? "All afros are iconic because of what they represent, where they come from, the history and embodying your heritage." -Reign Apiim

What is an Afropunk? "An Afropunk is someone who is progressive and is always questioning." -Anthony Bryant

What is an Afropunk? "Someone who is all about being open to everyone, no matter nationality, creed, color, or gender."  - Rapper, Cakes Da Killa 

Most iconic afro? "Diana Ross as Mahogany" - Crystal Anderson

Raury. Photo via: Ryan Jay for SWAGGER.NYC

Most iconic afro? "Erykah Badu" - DJ Kitty Cash

Most iconic afro? "Well, Angela Davis." -Jesse Boykins III

What is an Afropunk? "A person of color, who's not afraid to claim our originiality and culture." - Carly Heywood

What is an Afropunk? "It's a black thing to me. This is a celebration of who we are." - Kaytranada

Most iconic afro? "Chaka Khan, her artistry lives on today."- Candace Hockett-Henley

 What is an Afropunk? "Someone who is not scared to express themselves. You're just 100% free." - Alexis Nicole

What is an Afropunk? "Someone who embraces everything about themselves from hair to style." - Theresa Tyrell 

Most iconic afro? "André 3000" -Christopher Robinson 

AFROPUNK is a place where black people can come and see a bunch of dope shit, but it becomes beautiful when other races can come and enjoy. It means we're all into the same shit. - Rex

Most iconic afro? "That goes to Dora The Explora's Dad"- Caleb Thomas

Most iconic afro? "Mine, when I wake up in the morning" -  Reid Spencer 

Most iconic afro? "Bob Ross" - Kingh Jesse 

Most iconic afro? "Blue Ivy Carter"  - Sian-Pierre Regis


Aug 25, 2015


Swagger Team