Sunday, (Oct. 29), saw festival-goers returning for Day 2 of Tyler, The Creator’s weird, wild and wonderfully wacky Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival. The festival, which concluded its sixth consecutive year, finished with a powerhouse performance by elusive Cleveland-born talent Kid Cudi, whose voluntary entrance into rehabilitation in 2016 sparked extensive dialogue about the importance of mental health in communities of color.
Long before Cudi’s night-crowning set, Tyler made good on his promise that Sunday would bring just as much (if not more) excitement than the day before. There was a slew of surprise guest appearances, including Ty Dolla $ign and YG, whom OFGWKTA member Taco brought out. A$AP Rocky premiered a new song ahead of what he deemed “Flacko Joyde season,” and Steve Lacy treated fans to a medley of songs from the days he still went by Steve LM.
Solange also hit the stage, delivering an exquisitely curated show complete with live horns, and percussion, self-affirming lyrics and an impromptu audience serenade (which she recorded herself doing with a crowd-members’ cellphone).
Of course, all of these moments were unexpected, but also right on par with the festivals uniquely personal experience. And, considering many of the artists who take the stage are friends, it makes for an environment of collaboration and freedom that is singular to Flog Gnaw.
Playboi Carti Tears Down the Stage
Perhaps one of the more anticipated performances of the day, Atlanta-born neophyte turned hip-hop hitmaker, Playboi Carti shook the very ground of the Flog stage. The crowd, which was packed near-uncomfortably together despite the wide expanse of the stage, responded enthusiastically to radio smashes like “Magnolia,” which the rapper ran through with his usual gusto (and a few rhythmic shoulder shimmies). After taking some time to talk about the swag level of his jacket, Carti also launched into “*wokeuplikethis,” sending the crowd into yet another frenzy of moshing and milly-rocking.
However, it was the rapper’s performance of “Yah Mean” that took the revelry to truly insane heights. First, several people climbed trees to hang precariously from the limbs (they were escorted down by security, though it would be a lie to say they went easily). At one point, the audience also collaborated to crowd-surf a wheelchair-bound attendee, so he could get to the front and have a better view.
— Stephanie Smith (@Perstephon3) October 30, 2017
A$AP Rocky Rides with The Mob
Despite having A$AP Mob shows in both Los Angeles and San Francisco a mere week before, Rocky, Twelvyy, Lou and the other Mob members (minus Ferg) showed no signs of fatigue. Rocky initially took the stage alone, sporting a stylized mechanic suit, which matched the set theme – several damaged cars were strewn about the stage.
The Harlem rapper opened with acapella bars from “Telephone Calls,” before inviting Tyler, The Creator (whose subtle rainbow colored belt was a quiet reminder of his recent revelation) and Playboi Carti, to deliver their verses onstage.
After shedding the jumpsuit to reveal a white shirt and tailored black joggers, Rocky reprised his role as the rap game’s fashion killa, launching into “Raf” as the audience enthusiastically screamed the hook – a particularly avid admirer also managed to throw a bra, which Rocky caught one-handed.
While Rocky certainly has the charisma to own a stage alone, he seemed to be in the mood to treat the crowd to guest after guest. Next up was Famous Dex, who launched himself over the barricade to interact with the audience as the duo performed “Pick It Up.”
“I fucking love this shit, I’m so happy to be here,” Rocky later proclaimed, before announcing Flacko Jodye season was approaching, and then casually debuting a new song. Sadly, the rapper dropped no hints about the cut’s name, but it was rife with the fashion references that have become hallmarks of his music.
Most people would have been happy to call it a night there, but Rocky brought out two more guests: Lil Yachty, who had just performed his own set, and G-Eazy — both joined him on the latter’s recent single “No Limit.” “They’re gonna say Lil Yachty hijacked Rocky’s set”, the A$AP member joked soon after. The “Peek a Boo” rapper rather humorously made himself comfortable on stage, even launching into the aforementioned single.
— Stephanie Smith (@Perstephon3) October 30, 2017
Kid Cudi Makes a Magnificent Return
Kid Cudi, who kicked off a tour in support of his Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin’ album last month, drew perhaps one of the largest crowds of the entire festival, and with good reason. After having what can only be described as an overwhelmingly difficult 2016 — which fans responded to with an outpouring of love and support — it was heartwarming to see the rapper seemingly in such good health and high spirits.
Cudi opened with the Travis Scott-featuring single “Baptized in Fire,” moving across the stage with a graceful urgency and effortless charisma. “I’m so happy to be here, L.A.,” he shared, before launching straight into “REVOFEV” from the 2010 Man on the Moon II EP. The audience, who seemed to sense the irony in the lyrics (particularly in the current political climate), responded with gusto, engaging in a call and repeat style singalong.
The rapper circled back to the Passion album with a guttural take on “Frequency,” which simultaneously enraptured and frenzied the crowd. Still, the most meaningful moment of the night was undoubtedly Cudi’s nakedly emotional personal address to the audience – it was a promise to those who were struggling that things would indeed get better.
— Kiara (@_kiarangeles) October 30, 2017