Tyler, the Creator’s annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival took place at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles this past weekend. Bringing together a gold-standard list of artists including Pusha-T, Kids See Ghosts, Brockhampton, and Post Malone, the event was the most successful yet, drawing some 56,000 people over two days.
“I think it’s beautiful that I created something where all you weird motherfuckers can come and be safe,” Tyler told the adoring crowd during his triumphant Saturday night set. Now in its seventh year, the festival continues to get bigger. And with such a stacked lineup, this edition could have feasibly sold out three times over.
If you weren’t lucky enough to attend, we’ve rounded up a selection of the biggest goings on below.
Pusha-T’s Drake diss
As covered here, one of the stranger talking points from day one was seeing “FUCK DRAKE” on the screen behind Pusha-T as he performed. Drake and Push had drawn a line under their beef, so it seemed an odd if not downright petty way to fire shots.
“Corny ass tech dude fucking with my screens at @CampFlogGnaw. I speak for myself and all of you know how I make my statements!! Dissing anybody on screen isn’t part of my show,” Push explained on Twitter later, blaming the festival’s technical staff for the mishap. Given how unedifying this conflict has been, it would be best to let sleeping dogs lie and for everybody to move on.
We’re just wondering if some light tech in Los Angeles is now looking for a new job this morning.
A$AP Rocky played new songs
A$AP Rocky’s Testing might have only come out in May, but it’s clear the A$AP Mob frontman still has plenty of new songs ready to go. Rocky dropped Tame Impala-sampling new joint “Sundress” halfway through his set, before closing out with “Shittin Me,” a woozy, autotune cut that sounds like it could have come from the mind of Travis Scott.
Last month, Rocky was spotted in Berlin, where he had previously recorded tracks for Testing. Might we be getting new music from Flacko in early 2019?
Tyler, the Creator has become a world-class live act
Whether down to his own humbleness or respect for the other acts on the bill, Tyler, the Creator passed up the chance to headline the Saturday night, instead leaving SZA to close out the day (doing a more than admirable job, too).
Still, anyone who has seen the Flower Boy star in the last year or so will tell you that he has developed into a bona fide superstar performer, one capable of holding his own with any big crowd. “I thought you’d all have left after Tyler,” SZA laughed abashedly after arriving onstage.
Where Tyler used to be constantly full throttle when playing live, his sets now strike a perfect balance of energy and elegance. Sure, you can still mosh and wild out, but the slower moments are what really shine, as was the case here, with frequent mass singalongs.
Opening with “Where This Flower Blooms,” the festival curator barely missed a note as he periodically looked out at the crowd, the biggest gathering of the day, from his tree house on the stage. “If y’all success ain’t quick and fast, do not give that shit up, trust me,” he told the crowd. Tyler’s live set was a case in point.
Kids See Ghosts make their long-awaited live debut
Five months after their eponymous collaborative album’s release, Kanye West and Kid Cudi’s Kids See Ghosts debuted live to close out the festival. Emerging inside a rectangular perspex case that hung above the Dodger Stadium stage, the duo ran through the album and a string of their own hits over a breathless, career-spanning 45 minutes.
But was it any good? Technically, maybe not, but for atmosphere and spectacle, yes.
Kanye is a notoriously volatile live performer at the best of times, and here, sporting red hair, he appeared ring-rusty, missing his timings and sounding out of breath (the lowlight being an undercooked rendition of “Welcome to Heartbreak”).
They were undeniably underrehearsed, but the power of their presence and mere being was enough to carry them through. After all, it’s ’Ye and Cudi together — how could anyone watching not be hyped?
The pair closed with a performance of “Ghost Town,” which was arguably the slickest song in the set. If a tour does follow, let’s hope they get some practice time in before hitting the road.
Kids See Ghosts played:
Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1 (Kanye West song)
Kids See Ghosts
Feel the Love
Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2)
Kids See Ghosts
Welcome to Heartbreak (Kanye West song) (First performance since 2015)
Paranoid (Kanye West song) (First performance since 2015)
Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare) (Kid Cudi song)
Ghost Town (Kanye West song)
Virgil Abloh’s Instagrammable set
Virgil Abloh opened the festival with the most Virgil Abloh set ever. Getting the crowd turnt to joints by Sheck Wes, Travis Scott, and Kanye West, who watched on from the side of the stage, the Louis Vuitton menswear director was flanked by messages like “Instagram this now.” No doubt most of the kids in the crowd obliged.
Artists had fun hanging out
The majority of the artists in the lineup were well acquainted with one another, leading to a number of special guest performances. Jaden Smith teamed up with BROCKHAMPTON, Tyler was joined by A$AP Rocky, Steve Lacy helped out Kali Uchis, and Theophilus London had a dance with Virgil Abloh.
It was Taco, however, who came through with the wildest surprise act, whipping the crowd into a frenzy by unveiling Juice WRLD for a rendition of “Lucid Dreams.”
For more from Camp Flog Gnaw, you can watch performances by Tyler, the Creator and more here.