5 Things We Learned at Broccoli City Festival 2017

5 Things We Learned at Broccoli City Festival 2017

“It always rains at Broccoli City.”

We whispered this amongst ourselves before Broccoli City Festival 2017 jumped off on Saturday, May 6th, in Washington, D.C. We knew it. At this point, veterans were used to this inevitable truth. We were right, but thankfully the rain was much less of a factor than it was during previous years as attendees enjoyed performances by the likes of Solange, Rae Sremmurd, Lil Yachty, Nao, 21 Savage, Chaz French, AlunaGeorge, DJ Kool Flash, Smino, Nick Grant, Kevin Abstract, Rapsody, Sir The Baptist, and Rejjie Snow.

We got a decent amount of sunshine throughout various parts of the day. In fact, it seemed like Solange’s performance actually forced the sun to come out in its full glory as the day drew to a close. The Artistic Manifesto team assembled from Virginia, Winnipeg, New York, and Florida to enjoy the day. Here are some of the most important things we learned at Broccoli City Festival 2017.

Words, thoughts, and recollections by Darren, Kyle, & Michell.

Rapsody has the spirit of a rookie and the polish of a veteran.


Photo by Ahad Subzwari

Rapsody is definitely not new to this. The North Carolina native and JAMLA veteran has been releasing quality, lyrically inclined projects for just about a decade now. That doesn’t stop her from treating each performance like it’s her first time on a big stage, or from incorporating interesting elements like a full band into her routines.

 

Smino performing on crutches is better than your favorite artist performing on two feet.


Photo by Ahad Subzwari

The St. Louis rising star took the stage at Broccoli City on crutches, but it didn’t stop him from giving the crowd a soulful, charismatic performance. He explained that a rather large fan stepped on his foot. He still gave us a set to remember, with a set highlighted by enthusiastic delivery of St. Louis slang and his “Zero Fatigue!” ad-lib. His Blkjuptr album illustrrates the lonliness that often comes with the black experience, but it was turned into a community builder amidst the many blacks in audience. His “Anita” performance might have been one of the best parts of the day.

Chaz French is a juggernaut and will destroy anything in his path.


Photo by Chynna Keys

If you’ve seen a Chaz French performance before, you know what to expect. That doesn’t stop each performance from being an amazing sight to behold. Chaz French is the epitome of the people’s champ. Almost as soon as he started to perform, he was jumping into the crowd, full of relentless, intense energy. Chaz’s music is hungry, raging, and ferocious. His performances are the physical embodiment of that. He made the D.C. area proud and gave us the most hype performance of the day, adding a community element by having his daughter and mother on stage.

Nao will outdance you and outsing you at the same time, and her hair defies gravity.


Photo by Ahad Subzwari

Nao was one of the newer additions to the set list, and some didn’t know what to expect from the London-based singer/songwriter. She won over the crowd with poise and grace, thanks to both her distinct vocals and her dynamic dance moves. Her flowery, flowing attire and beautiful hair moved with her as she stayed in almost constant motion for the duration of her set. The rain didn’t matter, as long as we focused on her.

Solange performances are scientifically proven to cure cancer.


Photo by Ahad Subzwari

The silky smooth outfits. The perfectly synced choreography. The floating, billowing harmonies. The sound of the majority of the crowd singing along to every song. Solange was one of the most anticipated performances of the entire day, and she easily lived up to the hype. Her set, which featured numerous tracks from A Seat At The Table along with a few blasts from the past, carried an aesthetic that made us feel like we had a window into a different era of artistry.


Everyone had a different experience at Broccoli City Festival 2017, and that’s the beautiful things about such a large and multifaceted event with multiple performance stages – a huge portion of what you experience is up to you.

Editor’s Note: Thank you to our photographers! Without their contributions, this piece wouldn’t have been possible. Check out more work by Ahad, Sabrina, and Chynna at your leisure.


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder


Photo by Sabrina Vaz-Holder





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