AFROPUNK-curates showcase ahead of its annual festival.
Three nights ago, we attended a Red Bull Sound Select/AFROPUNK-curated event featuring the amazing talents of three musicians. QUIÑ, Jojo Abot, and Leikeli47, all women with distinct messages about love, mystery, and protection, gave us a night to remember.
Cigarette smoke blew in our faces, as we joined the long line outside of Baby’s All Right. A tall man toked as he talked to a shorter woman about all that he’d accomplished. Staff checked our IDs. Next, they put bands on our right wrists. Finally, we entered—only to experience three more checkpoints. At last, they gave us a second wristband; branded.
From various parts of the world, each artist showcased personal style. I’d like to think their garbs were accurate to their geographical home bases—whether they knew it or not. QUIÑ, a Los Angeles-based woman, wore oversized glasses and a neat-fitted body suit, covered by a leopard-printed shawl. Ghanian woman Jojo Abot‘s head wrap and trousers matched her hot red energy. Her face and body were painted too.
The Brooklyn-native woman, Leikeli47, keeps it sporty, but ‘hood in every way possible. There are no conspiracies or mishaps when it comes to her choice of hairstyle, the ‘comfort’ clothing and sneakers that she wears. Her light-voice bears a punch; spewing no-nonsense lyrics and that ’round the way girl attitude we all know too well. On a deeper level, I find her anonymity to be synonymous to how we view people who are unstable or, even worse, are homeless. These people are faceless to us. Especially, in New York City.
In conclusion, the house was packed. We walked in when QUIÑ was on stage. At the end of her set, we walked to the bar because we were hungry. I hadn’t eaten all day, so I wanted to change that. Unsure about their menu, I selected things from the page that looked familiar. Kimchi’s Korean fried chicken ($8) and a salmon dinner ($14). We enjoyed the food so much that we ordered again. Happily, the serving size wasn’t overbearing. It was a balanced meal; kind of like the performances we saw: Good enough to eat again.