Ari Lennox sophomore season kicks into overdrive today with the official release of her new single, “Hoodie,” and its electrifying music video. Even more, fans’ long-awaited hopes are finally realized: The Grammy Award-nominated and multi-platinum singer-songwriter proudly announces her sophomore album, age/sex/location, will be released on Sept. 9 via Dreamville/Interscope Records.
“Hoodie” reunites Ari with longtime Dreamville collaborator Elite, who helmed eight tracks on Ari’s 2019 album, Shea Butter Baby. Their new creation is a fawning slow-jam that proves Ari is elevating all aspects of her talents for the new era. From the first note, she snatches listeners’ attention with a cool, commanding authority and stretches her dulcet vocal range to dizzying new highs in a tune ripe for romance. The electrifying video, only ups the ante – the singer straddles atop a swimming tank and dons classy lingerie as she flirts – and does more – with her man. Hip-hop titan Isaiah Rashad co-stars as Ari’s love interest in the video, which culminates in a surprise twist ending fit for a Jordan Peele script.
PLANET AFROPUNK – the theme and destination of this year’s Black cultural explosion is taking place on October 23-25. AFROPUNK’S 2020 festival pays homage to the reality that the upheavals experienced over the course of the year are far from novel; they have been central to the Black experience across space and time, which is recognized in this year’s theme, “PLANET AFROPUNK: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE IS BLACK.”
As a result of our unique partnerships, PLANET AFROPUNK will be a completely free virtual experience for its entire global audience, made solely possible by its brand partners. Festival-goers will be given an option to donate money to organizations including Black Futures Lab, Color of Change, Movement for Black Lives, Equal Justice Initiative, Fair Count, and The Bail Project among others.
Nichelle Sanders, Strategic Advisor at AFROPUNK, said: “Being Black on planet earth is like science fiction. With the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many others, we have seen the pain and trauma of the past resurrected, and all while suffering through a global pandemic. But, as Black people, our unity and creativity are our greatest weapon against oppression and adversity. To convene a global family reunion at this moment in time is therefore essential.
“Now more than ever we need the resilience and creativity of our community to keep our culture alive and thriving. In creating PLANET AFROPUNK we’ve designed a safe space for our community to celebrate and inspire, cry and shout, and to heal and motivate one another. AFROPUNK’s approach to activism and fighting oppression has always been to celebrate Black music, art and culture – and ultimately Black joy. The AFROPUNK community is global, and we’ve built this planet to connect seamlessly. All across the world we are connecting in sameness and in difference to discover the joy in our Blackness, but also in the visual and musical artists and authors. And this is what AFROPUNK enables.
“We can’t wait to see the faces, hear the voices and connect the AFROPUNK community – as unique, expressive and unapologetic as it is – to each other. Welcome to PLANET AFROPUNK!”
The line-up for the weekend is huge and includes:
Larissa Luz & Carlinhos Brown
Meshell N’Dege Ocello
Sampa the Great
And many more. In addition, there will be added experiences at:
Ideaville, powered by Target, will be one of the most exciting and anticipated destinations at PLANET AFROPUNK. With keynote speakers, AFROPUNK Solution Sessions and luminary interviews, Ideaville will empower connections between people, ideas and solutions. With AFROPUNK, Target will spotlight Black voices and stories, while creating a safe space for all of AFROPUNK’s communities, featuring a Black Queer Town Hall and community soap box. Target has partnered with Penguin Random House to uplift Black voices by featuring a selection of NY-Times best-selling authors in our Rock N’ Read Bookstore and powering author readings and conversations.
Bites&Beats will return this year delivered by Grubhub, which will be offering virtual festival-goers access to exclusive experiences and Perks from restaurants across North America. CÎROC VODKA and CROWN ROYAL REGAL APPLE have partnered with Ghetto Gastro to bring Planet AFROPUNK lively and delicious conversations about culture through cuisine in Bites & Beats. The Queen of Bounce, Big Freedia joins Planet AFROPUNK to share one of her favorite recipes: Booty Poppin Potatoes and shows us how to make a Red Bull Tropical Tequila cocktail.
Art & Times will create an immersive gallery experience, celebrating hand-picked work from South African artists in collaboration with Esprit, showcasing how unusual and original combinations create something truly unique.
Hair & Beauty Village will explore all of the facets of Black hair through the eyes of creators, innovators, visionaries and artists to manifest conversations, creativity and community. Hair plays a central role in the identity, self-concept and political consciousness of Black people, and Maui Moisture will be powering important conversations on-platform for festival-goers.
Activism Row will generate discussions on criminal justice reform, the failings of the criminal legal system and the systemic racism and segregation plaguing the public school system. Ben & Jerry’s will highlight how partner organizations like The Advancement Project National Office, Close the Workhouse Coalition, and Power U work to eliminate injustices in Black communities nation-wide. Non-profit organization AARP will also be celebrating Black roots and activism through a video tribute and encouraging voter engagement.
Spinthrift Market will feature a curated selection of Black owned vendors from around the world. Guests will discover makers and creators across many different product areas including beauty, fashion, wellness, gifts, services and more.