AP AFTER DARK: ALICIA KEYS, RICH MEDINA + ALL Y’ALL
August 26, 2019
You can generally break down great after-parties into two categories: the sweaty banger, and the super-secret jawn. The beauty of AFROPUNK Brooklyn’s After Dark on Saturday night was that, if you knew where to go, you could catch either one of those experiences. It was an evening when Alicia Keys led a remarkable superstar jam session with her band at the Sultan Room, when Rich Medina and DJ MOMA were making the twerkers at the Brooklyn Tap House sweat, when Femmepremacy took over Basquiat’s Bottle and shook it, and when both official and unofficial (shout-out Afro Gaze) parties were popping up all over Brooklyn.
The secret spot to be at was The Sultan Room, a great kitsch-filled club in Bushwick. If you showed up for the DJs Bae Bae and Gianni Lee, the turnt-up R&B of ĀJŌ, and a post-festival set by the great MC, Chika, who finished her performance with an incredible cover of Frank Ocean’s “Novocaine,” you would have noticed a stage full of instruments, and maybe Gary Clark Jr. in the corner of the room. That, the chatter and the in-streaming of people could have tipped you off that something else was up. Alicia Keys arrived at around 1:15 a.m. to a packed room that included Janelle Monae and the artist Wangechi Mutu among the 150 or so lucky humans, and proceeded to do her damn thing for the next hour and a half. That thing could be summarised as a musical life-giving force. And she wasn’t alone – Alicia’s cracking band was aided and abetted by the saxophonist Kamasi Washington (blowing downbeat fire), Clark (who got his Beatles on with not one but two classic covers), and the great MCs Leikeli 47 and Rapsody.
Over at Brooklyn Tap House on Myrtle, a huge crowd rolled out for two Brooklyn’s finest DJs, the inimitable old-school AFROPUNK fave Rich Medina, and DJ MOMA, one of the forces behind the great Everyday People party. On the evening, they were also joined by DJ Nativesun, a D.C.-based young cat who is equally comfortable in globetrotting through the riddims of the world in his sets. Moving through dancehall and soca, through gqom and disco, the three men were making that room gyrate in nasty nasty fashion. We can’t unsee some of the things we observed at closing time y’all.
Other things that had Brooklyn rallying post-festival on a gorgeously cool August night were Femmepremacy, one of our favorite NYC parties by the ladies and for the ladies, where Boston Chery had the dancers on lock. Kari Faux showed up as a guest performer at the Back To Life party at Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg. And last we heard, the great DJ tandem of South African bass queen Doowap and our local fave Gabsoul were holding to down for the cocktail sippers at Bed-Vyne in Bed-Stuy.
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