Afropunk lineup: Five acts to see that aren’t the headliners

Afropunk's lineup offers a mix of big names and lesser-known music gems.
Afropunk’s lineup offers a mix of big names and lesser-known music gems. Photo Credit: U.S. Department of Justice

The 2018 edition of AfroPunk has a group of headliners that would be the envy of any festival. Names like Erykah Badu, Tyler, the Creator and Miguel, along with many others, have sold massive numbers of albums and concert tickets in their careers.

We don’t need to tell you to go see any of them, or Pusha T, or Janelle Monáe. But the lineup for the festival also features an eclectic lineup of acts that should fill Commodore Barry Park from the moment the gates open, with younger, newer or overlooked acts looking to make new fans during early sets.

Here are five of our favorites:

Louder Than Quiet

The name is an understatement. The post-hardcore quintet from Maryland brings guitar riffs for days, while undergirded by a strong rhythm section. It’s never too early for headbanging.

Stream This: “Gypsies R Us”

Nova Twins

The South East London duo brings the bass, and lead singer/guitarist Amy Love can let loose with a scream that matches that of any punk band frontperson. There are hints of Rage Against the Machine on tracks like “Lose Your Head” and “Bassline Bitch” — hard rock underlined with a funk groove from Georgia South, the band’s bassist.

Stream This: “Lose Your Head”

Blac Rabbit

The ’70s psychedelic rock is strong with this Rockaway Beach band. “All Good” sounds like it could have come straight from a Tame Impala record, and the quartet lists MGMT and The Beatles as influences (in fact, Blac Rabbit will host a Sunday brunch at City Winery all of September dedicated to the British legends).

Stream This: “All Good”


One watch of the music video for her song “Emeralds,” and it’s tough to remember the decade in which you’re living. Is it a disco slow jam from the ’70s? Are we back in the late ’90s, in the middle of neo-soul’s development? Maybe it’s the fusion of the best parts of both that tell us we’re here, now.

Stream This: “Emeralds”

Royal Sun

Alt-rockers from Atlanta, the trio can sound like it stepped off an old-school modern rock radio playlist right onto the stage, a current alternative to the aging playlists at some commercial “rock” frequencies. “Fight,” its single released earlier this year, is on the poppier side compared to videos of the group viewable on YouTube.

Stream This: “Fight”

Afropunk Brooklyn takes place on Saturday and Sunday at Commodore Barry Park, Flushing Avenue and North Elliot Place,

Navy Yard, afropunkfest.com/brooklyn, sold out.

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