Sango Amato


afropunk atl: lucky daye’s sultry turn

October 21, 2019

The first notable detail that pops out of the lingering set delay: a 10-piece, dressed in all black, complete with horns, singers, and a guitarist in a face mask. Not to mention the huddled masses of Black faces who weathered the delay, waiting for their Louisiana king to grace the hangar.

The love flowed the moment Lucky Daye finally took center stage Sunday afternoon at AFROPUNK in Atlanta, diving right into his hazy funk/pop euphoria with a controlled boldness that doesn’t lean too heavily into reservation or over-machismo. He has a rapper’s pace and a gentleman’s grace, both deeply focused to land every run, and playful enough to address the eager ebony sea. But by the time Lucky slid into a shimmy on the tail end of “Karma” (his flip of Ginuwine’s “Pony”), the freak energy lingered in the comfortably nasty way everyone swayed.

There’s an immutable brightness to Lucky, from his sultry vocal delivery to the band’s seasoned composure when backing it. Lucky had to take his jacket off, his white tee shining in the darkness as he let his bravado trickle out with all the momentum he gained. Terrible mix aside — a common problem in the hangar throughout the weekend — the crowd was never shy from audibly supporting Lucky. He briefly traversed the barricade, and eventually combatted the opening bass notes from the neighboring stage as the delay overlapped sets. After a brief smirk, “Roll Some Mo” entered the hangar with an immediate warmth and the accompanying kush clouds engulfing the lights as if every Lucky Daye fan in there knew what time it was. Someone threw some panties; it’s unclear if Lucky retrieved them.