West& AFROPUNK 14 w/ Cakes Da Killa and TeamCakes
August 23-24, 2014 marked the 10th Anniversary of the AFROPUNK festival which, was held at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn. In the past I’ve had the pleasure of attending the festival for several years and admiring the diverse musical acts, beautiful people, and the dope fashion. This year however, was peculiar because I was set to hit the stage with Cakes Da Killa. In addition to that I co-choreographed the dynamic, ferociously, precise 30min set along with Yinka Parris.
This was quite a task but these two equally ambitions Virgos are not one’s to compromise a vision. The set not only consisted of clean synchronized choreography, it also featured animated breakdowns to complement Cakes rapid-fire flow. There was also traditional West African/ my own Afro-Fusion flava and Jazz influenced movements added to the rep. And we still managed to incorporate elements of twerking with a dash of vogue, which are crowd favorites. When Cakes takes the mic he always delivers impeccable thought provoking lyricisms that leaves you
A) wondering how the hell did he did come up with that?
B) how did he manage to deliver it without barely taking a moment to breathe?!
And it’s our job to deliver choreo that equally complements that which, if I must say so myself we do pretty well.
This time around another female dancer was added to the team. We added Bidi Smalls who has a strong dance background although most people may recognize her more for her great sense of style and green hair. Bidi gets it in and showed another side at AFROPUNK! Tata Milan the destroyer also came back to storm with tremendous technique, great hair and always camera ready. You can always count on her to sell it! Dorwin Jaye AKA stretch, who is a true Nola Gem and such a powerhouse! He makes the impossible look easy and is such a sweetheart. Yinka Parris the man with a vision and unparallel talent. He out did himself with some great choreographic moments. His dance style is so clean and filled with ultra confidence. And I added my own style to mix things up. I’m very high energy, banji but yet traditional. We all worked our behinds off and according to social media the #TeamCakes Slaughter house did just that, SLAUGHTERED! Firemag had the following to say about our performance:
The show felt truly amazing. The multifaceted Terry Lovette and Fat Tony also added great moments to the full-out set. Terry belted to a slowed down remix of the crowd favorite Paid&Published produced by LSDXOXO. To top it off she sang a few of Cakes bars acapella with her soothing, melodic, Jazzy vocals, which made the crowd roar. But that wasn’t it the set concluded with a marching band (Brooklyn United) intruding into the periphery of the stage. Trump.Vice summed up the moment best in the following statement:
“He looks at them in horror. “Ya’ll trying to upstage me?” He searches for a way to clamber down the stage into the pit. “How do I get over there?” The crowd roars in approval, and he accepts their love as enough of a placation, gracefully sashaying back offstage. “
AFROPUNK’s red stage felt the wrath and got our all. Thank you to all the supporters and people that enjoyed the show and showed love via social media, we’re so grateful. Special shout out to Dr. Martens for supplying us as well as Cakes with some custom boots. Thanks to all the photographers whose work I featured in this post. And a huge thanks to AFROPUNK for 10 years of the promotion of non-conformist black music and culture, which I find to be empowering! Until next time, keep following the journey.