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AFROPUNK FEST - Atlanta 2018: 5 Unmissable Sets

Uncompromising in its ethos to promote alternative and experimental black artists, AFROPUNK FEST has transformed from a local celebration of the unique subculture into a global community. From Brooklyn to Atlanta, from London to Paris, and now Johannesburg, AFROPUNK FEST highlights the exceptional artists that don't necessarily fit into the mainstream agenda. 

In only a matter of days, AFROPUNK FEST comes to Atlanta once more; musicians join forces with influential film-makers, fashionistas, influencers, and visual artists, showcasing a glut of hip-hop, experimental, punk, and electronic music across the two-day lineup.

With all of the aforementioned at your disposal, here are five sets that are simply unmissable:

Death Grips


Hostile, intelligent, sometimes terrifying, but uniformly enthralling. Death Grips is an experimental project you may've come into contact with due to their fervent cult following rather than recognising a specific song, album, or mixtape of theirs.

The avant-garde hip-hop group prefer to remain elusive, intentionally avoiding any flirtations with the mainstream. Ironically, however, their reputation has placed them firmly on a pedestal in regards to live performance, and therefore are almost constantly in demand.

In the flesh, unruly frontman MC Ride and drummer Zach Hill as performers (athletes, even) are genuinely unparalleled; muscular, sweaty, constant, raging, their discordant music can at times be unsettling, yet their visceral stage presence will captivate you almost immediately.

Yves Tumor


Knowing that Yves Tumor's primary musical influence is British visual arts and industrial music purveyors Throbbing Gristle, you can see why the Tennessee-born, Turin-based artist's music under this moniker is both experimental and risky.  

Lauded for the raw, punk nature of his onstage persona, visual art is entrenched in Yves Tumor's challenging yet fascinating live performances. 

Mosh-pits are a regular occurrence, so keep on your toes and prepare to get messy.

Little Simz


Her philosophical, caustic, and assured approach to themes of mental health and modern-day uncertainty has seen Little Simz rise in the ranks of the UK's most absorbing contemporary hip-hop artists.

Grabbing the attention of Kendrick Lamar, Lauryn Hill, and Damon Albarn is both unsurprising yet no mean feat, and her Sunday set offers a platform to receive the recognition her ambition warrants.

Benjamin Booker


One of the artists on the bill that aligns with the Afropunk subculture's traditional values (before the movement became more inclusive of black artists from varied genres) simply because of his guitar-based punk-rock roots. 

Expanding his sonic repertoire into the realms of gospel and soul on his 2017 album Witness, his gravelly voice remains the anchor of what promises to be a trademark energetic, raucous, and magnetic performance.



No stranger to the AFROPUNK FEST stage, Kaytranada returns to headline his first major festival.

Winning the Polaris Music Prize for his debut album 99.9% elevated the hip-hop/house hybrid producer to new heights, and with his extensive list of collaborators you never know if Anderson .Paak, Craig David, or Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano will join him for mouth-watering renditions of 'Glowed Up', 'Got It Good', or 'Bullets'....

Maybe, maybe not. Regardless, AFROPUNK FEST Atlanta's closing performance is not to be missed.

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