Enter the Juggernaut! Founded by frontman Qaasim Middleton (American Idol, Naked Brothers Band and HBO’s Music In Me), Juggernaut War Party is quite a collective, consisting of Qaasim, (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Khalil (vocals, MPC), lead guitarists Jonah Hudson, Emmet Sher and Joseph Deadwiley, drummer Andres Valbuena, keyboardists Jack Gruber and Francisco Haye, with Ethan Cohn and Paul Johnson on bass.
You may remember Qaasim from his awesome run on American Idol Season 14, when he performed with Chris Brown and Pitbull and was lavished with praise from J-Lo, Harry Connick Jr. & Keith Urban. The Juggernaut War Party concept was birthed at AFROPUNK BATTLE OF THE BANDS BROOKLYN, on June 22nd, 2015, when Qaasim and his bandmates entered the contest to showcase their skills and original Rock/Rap/Funk fusion material. They did extremely well for a brand new group, making it to the very end, eliminated in the Finals. It was debatable, but all of the groups rocked out that year, so the band chalked it up to an awesome debut experience.
Right after that, Qaasim did his last show on the American Idol Tour at the Beacon Theater August 5th, 2015, then become a free agent. Since then he has been in the studio by himself and with the band, recording and polishing his sound for his debut release. JWP did their second show, October 10th, 2015, opening for Rakim and Corey Glover at the RESTORATION ROCKS MUSIC FESTIVAL.
This year, Qaasim & The Juggernaut War Party are back with a vengeance! They entered the AFROPUNK BROOKLYN BATTLE once again, and having won the online voting round and the preliminary round, they are back again at the finals, FRIDAY, JULY 8th, 2016! You can get tickets to the battle here. Let’s help them get this win!
The winners of the AFROPUNK Brooklyn Battle 2016 get a chance to play at this year’s AFROPUNK FEST BROOKLYN 2016 in Commodore Park, Saturday, August 27th & Sunday, August 28th. This years headliners include TV On The Radio, Cee-Lo Green, George Clinton, Saul Williams, Ice Cube, Jonelle Monae, Fishbone, Living Colour & Tyler the Creator, just to name a few, so whoever wins has the honor of rocking the same stage as those artists.
People have had questions about what Afropunk is, an organization? … a movement? … a genre? But one thing that is undisputed is that since the original Afropunk documentary in 2003, that highlighted a Black presence in the American punk scene, it has been a force to be reckoned with.
According to the organizer of AFROPUNK FEST BROOKLYN 2016,
“AFROPUNK is an influential community of young, gifted people of all backgrounds who speak through music, art, film, comedy, fashion and more. Remaining at the core of its mission are the punk principles of DIY aesthetics, radical thought and social non-conformity.”
For new artists, be they Hip Hop, Funk, Soul, hard rock, punk, alternative or experimental, if they have a live band and they are people of color, this is a platform for them to be recognized. AFROPUNK can be a voice for the unwritten, unwelcome and unheard-of. Win or lose, it will definitely be the voice of the Juggernaut! Let the war party begin!!