Daily Archives: February 8, 2015

Common & John Legend Perform Glory At The Grammys

Common and John Legend closed out the Grammy’s with their performance of “Glory” from the Selma soundtrack.


Jocelyn Cooper Talks Afropunk, The Triptych & D’Angelo (Interview)

On Monday February 9th, Black Public Television’s World channel will air Afropunk’s The Triptych, a film showcasing the work of visual artists Wangechi Mutu, Sanford Biggers and Barron Claiborne. Terence Nance, who received critical acclaim for his 2012 feature, An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty, is the director of The Triptych. In its 12-year existence as a wormhole for Black creativity outside the mainstream, Afropunk has produced a film about Black punk rockers, the Afropunk Music Festival and the marketing and promoting of D’Angelo’s Black Messiah. Claiborne is famous for his iconic hip-hop photography, more specifically, his styling of Biggie Smalls’s famous crown portrait. Sanford Biggers’s work engages spirituality, transformation and race; his 2003 Ghetto Bird Tunic was a pimped out feather coat designed to shield Black men from the police. And Wangechi Mutu’s electric interdisclipinary meditations on Black women’s bodies are known for their critique of globalization, colonialism and exoticism. Jocelyn Cooper, who has been on board with Afropunk for the last 5 years, co-produced The Triptych with Afropunk co-founder Matthew Morgan. She is also D’Angelo’s longtime music publisher and in this interview Cooper discusses the film, Afropunk’s cultural significance and the launching of Black Messiah after D’Angelo’s closing performance at last year’s festival.

They are some of the most outspoken artists and each of them has an amazing sense of history and culture

How did you choose Sanford Biggers, Wangechi Mutu and Barron Claiborne as the subjects of The Triptych?

Barron Claiborne is a dear friend and Sanford we knew for a number of years and Sanford and both Barron suggested Wangechi. They (the films) sort of lead into each other because they are friends and they are contemporaries. Barron has worked with both Wangechi and Sanford I believe and taken their portrait, it was just a natural focus. We also chose Wangechi because she’s a woman and the three of them also live in New York. We thought it was the best way to kick off the series of films we’d like to do.

What is it about their work that speaks to the Afropunk creed where you wanted to make them the first faces of visual art series?

Definitely, they are some of the most outspoken artists and each of them has an amazing sense of history and culture.They bring an independence and they are folks who are highly motivated and intelligent and their work speaks to our community and what the ethos of Afropunk is. They were the obvious choices and I think they all love Terence Nance’s work, he is the director and Barron co-directed. They enjoyed collaborating with Terence so it was an amazing natural fit.

How did you end-up partnering with the National Black Programming Consortium?

We worked with 13 there’s an amazing woman at 13 who’s actually no longer there. She introduced us to Christian at the National Black Programming Consortium. Once we, understanding the history of Afropop and the programming and the artists they work with, it was the most exciting and amazing partnership we could imagine it’s the best of both worlds. We really wanted the series to be on public television and to collaborate with them just made it even better.


D’Angelo At The Apollo

D’Angelo made his Apollo debut last night and here are some of the songs from the show including “Really Love,” “Sugah Daddy,” “Back To The Future (Part 1)” and “Untitled (How Does It Feel).” Black Messiah comes out on vinyl this week.


Throwback: Hashim-Al-Naafiysh (The Soul)

HASHIM al-Naafiysh 12

Jerry Calliste Jr. was 17 when he recorded the electro classic, “Al Naafiysh (The Soul)” as Hashim for Cutting Records of which, he was a co-founder. All factions of urban dancers were entertained by “Al Naafiysh” whether it was played straight or used a break for b-boys and girls. Calliste’s song was the first release on the label and he was vice president until co-founder Aldo Marin bought him out.”Al Naafiysh (The Soul)” was a funk disco hybrid that defined the electro genre of the early ’80’s along with Afrika Bambaataa’s “Planet Rock,” The Jonzun Crew, Kraftwerk, Mantronix, George Clinton, Whodini and Herbie Hancock. The New York City native didn’t record again and has since spent most of his time working as a partner and co-founder of cloud technology startup Simplestream.