ComplexCon Day 2 Panel Highlights: Raekwon, French Montana & More Discuss Generation Gap in Rap, Timbaland Talks Producing for Jay Z
Cool kids swarmed into the exhibition hall at the Long Beach Convention Center in California on Sunday (Nov. 6) to get a look at the latest streetwear style, informative panels, and even surprise celebrity cameos for the second day of ComplexCon. The event, curated by music mogul and superproducer Pharrell Williams, as well as Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, rolled into Sunday providing new gems from industry heavyweights. Zip through the panel highlights of Day 2 below.
The Great Rap Debate
In the ballroom, the star-studded panel moderated by Power 105.1's Angie Martinez and artists Raekwon, Vince Staples, Pete Rock, French Montana and Scarface spoke on the relationship between the old and new school of hip-hop on the "Music Generation Gap Debate" panel. While the Wu-Tang Clan MC was understanding of some of the new school’s ignorance around hip-hop history, saying “[they] may not come from that time when we was doing our thing," Scarface and Pete Rock were more critical about today's hip-hop.
Martinez brought up a statement Rock made in the past saying, "I can’t understand the mumble rap shit. What the hell is that,” referring to some of the melodic and more slurred hip-hop songs on the radio. Scarface pointed at record labels for not helping the lack of hip-hop talent, saying, "The door for great shit is closed now. They don't sign great shit." The group did note that there are great rappers selling out arenas, like Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole. At the end, Rock extended an olive branch to newer MCs saying, "I just want to say sorry and learn about this new generation."
Producers on That Beat
Another music-centered panel, “Wax On It: A Listening Session of Unfinished Work,” featured producers Timbaland, Mike Will Made-It, DJ Mustard, Wondagurl and Young Guru discussing the production process today versus years ago, and the inspiration that drives creativity. Mike Will Made-It commented on how it takes a village to make a production by explaining, “A mastermind is a collective of minds." In discussing the difference between a producer and a beatmaker, Timbaland noted, "A producer is somebody who sees the whole vision.” He even chimed in on his relationship with Jay Z, saying, "What makes Jay Z so great today is he always listens."
Celebrities Mix and Mingle
Other notable presentations included Pharrell Williams and Scott Verner, who filmed a live taping of their Beats 1 radio show OTHERtone. Snoop Dogg made a special appearance on the show. Kid Cudi, who had performed the previous night, showed some love to fans by walking the exhibition floor for a short while. A highlight of the activations were Skrillex, Takashi Murakami and Future Wife’s art installation. The cool installation allowed for patrons to touch a giant globe as music and images shifted with every touch.
After lighting up the Pigeons and Planes stage, Lil Yachty stopped by a Bathing Ape pop-up shop while Timbaland visited SubPac, the music technology company he partnered with in June, and Dipset's own Juelz Santana was also spotted in the crowd.