Cee Lo Green, Santogold at Brooklyn's Afro-Punk Festival
What was once a fringe Brooklyn happening held in the BAM parking lot has steadily grown into a fullblooded and duly corporatized event complete with food trucks (nothing in life is free).
But true to its DIY roots, the Afro-Punk Festival remains a haven for skaters, BMX riders and, most importantly, lovers of black punk and outsider hip-hop.
Now in its seventh iteration, the festival descends this weekend on the Fort Greene neighborhood, bringing with it enough boldface names to draw music fans that fall outside the boundaries of these overlapping tribes.
To aid in shuttling between two stages, amNewYork pinpoints some of the prime acts:
The ever-tuxedoed dancing android and erstwhile Outkast acolyte played this festival in 2008 when she wasa relative unknown, but returns with a full clip of absolute hits (“Tightrope”) and the ridiculously smooth moves to match. (Sunday 7 p.m.)
Cee Lo Green
It’s still hard to understand how the writer of a profoundly dirty ditty called “Closet Freak” ended up with one of the decade’s top hits (Gnarls Barkley’s “Crazy”), played the Grammy Awards in an acid-trip peacock suit alongside Gwyneth Paltrow, and impishly grinned his way into Americaís heart as one of the four music coaches on “The Voice.” Life’s funny that way. Let’s just go with it. (Sunday, 8:10 p.m.)
The artist formerly known as Santogold has been relatively quiet since her ’08 debut compacted hip-hop, rock and punk into a global groove that earned her frequent comparisons to fellow upstart M.I.A. She recently dropped “Go,” the fiery first single (featuring Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) from her forthcoming album “American Dreaming.” (Saturday, 8:10 p.m.)
Toro Y Moi
Multi-talented producer Chaz Bundick came up in the age of chillwave (a nostalgic, washed-out take on synth pop), but the South Carolina musician’s latest album, “Underneath the Pine,” is shot through with soul and funk influences. (Saturday, 6 p.m.)
With the lowbrow appeal of songs like “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell” and two well-received mixtapes to their credit, the contradictory Brooklyn rap group has built their brand on brash humor and a virulently referential meta-take on hip-hop and pop culture. Whether you admire their chops or their chutzpah, they are always worth a listen. (Saturday, 7:30 p.m.)
If you go:
The Afro-Punk Festival runs on Saturday and Sunday at Commodore Barry Park, at Flushing Ave. and Navy St., Fort Greene. afropunk.com. FREE