Jame Spooner and the term “Afro-Punk” go hand in hand. But more than a name there is a story of James The Kid and his band- of -outsider like friends and music taste that compelled him to do the documentary Afro Punk.
The first time I watched this film was while he was in the post-production process. I called him to get the sneak preview even though the buzz surrounding it was already in Newspapers and among conversation topics in various circles. It was during my last year of Grad School and and he let me watch it at his Mom’s house in Crown Heights.
I remember being speechless and then breathless talking about how much I could relate to the movie, how I was the only black kid who liked the Misfits and the Clash and wore studs on my Chuck’s in 8th grade wet. The silhouettes and interviews were with people that I had seen mostly hung out with before. The ones I mostly felt connected to since moving to Brooklyn from North Carolina the prior years before that. People like Kip of TV On The radio, Mica an infamous New York rocker type who wears fur and huge sunglasses, It was almost like a flashback of all the questions I wanted to ask them in bars.
I was feeling a mix between things and mostly relieved, chocked, and wanting to debate some of the conclusions and idea, while trying to relate my experience to him.
He had heard it and seen it all before. You could tell in his face., stoic and barely moved.
Years Afro Punk has become a movement, cult classic while James acts as its cult star.
My first experience of seeing this was when running into him at the Idlewild premiere, he was dressed in a tux- slinky model girlfriend at his side and capturing the room with authenticity and realness.
Over a phone interview again, years later, he reveals he is still listening to the same things he did when he was 15, likes LA, and has plans to come out with more films and things, and overall have fun embarking on a community getting bigger and bigger.
Afro Punk has broadened its horizon’s to concerts, social networking sites, products and more all in the name of, well AfroPunk.