Day 2 of FYF Fest photography shot by Ural Garrett for Okayplayer.
Denzel Curry isn’t worried about how you old heads view the turn up generation. “I was into metal when I was growing up,” he told the packed out FYF Fest crowd. “Certain bands like Slayer and Suicidal Tendencies [interested me].” To watch him on stage is to witness a whirlwind of sounds, arms flailing in spontaneous jubilance, his voice a taut string or exploding like a trigger pulled. The Carol City rap artist performed with a host of friends during Day Two of the FYF Fest, as Boogie joined him on stage, buttressing the black metal terrorist during the cut, “Today”. Afterwards, Rob Stone appeared, jumping on stage for the raucous, “Chill Bill” remix that saw a mosh pit develop like a whirlpool. Denzel is incredibly skilled lyrically, but he’s okay with the older generation thinking that they’re hip-hop and not him. “Speaking on my generation, we can take what the older [guys] did because everything does repeat itself. And if they want to say [that] it’s not hip-hop, it’s not. Y’all got hip-hop. Fuck it, y’all can keep that.”
Extremely wise in that opinion because all music morphs and changes. What the older hip-hop heads don’t realize and dismiss as random mashing is a youth frustrated, battling the same demons and more than Generation Y. “It’s mixed and pretty soon down the line it is going to become a genre and we’re going to tell the kids that are doing something different from what [Lil’] Uzi [Vert] or [Lil’] Yachty or myself or whoever else is doing it that they’re doing that [what we did] and they’re going to be like, ‘It’s not that at all.'” All the while Denzel Curry has been giving us something new and charged up to rejoice to, the whole world was absolutely emerged into the awesomeness that is Grace Jones, who gave us a set that was born out of the earth itself.
35 years since the art of nightclubbing was evolved. 35 years since “Pull Up To The Bumper,” and Grace Jones still had the oomph and pizzazz as she torpedoed on stage in a Keith Haring-styled white body paint suit and a mask that we’re still feverishly fact-checking. Jones, 68, never failed to look ill-at-ease on the stage. It was truly her home. Slinking across the limelight, she started her set off with “Nightclubbing,” a massive hit single from her fifth album of the same name. You could look out into the wide swath of people and see them as they Googled the songs as she sang them. Instantaneously, Grace Jones made 500 new fans right there and took her set beyond simple nostalgia. Later on in the evening, Blood Orange would groove his way through dusk on the main stage. He would bring out Carley Rae Jepsen and Sky Ferreira for “You’re Not Good Enough” and “Better Than Me,” respectively. Sky and Dev have a storied history, and he chuckled whenever she pulled out a piece of paper to read lyrics off of.
That’s true BFF stuff right there!
It was the kind of thing that defined the upstart festival turned Los Angeles wunderkind. Father John Misty reminded us all well why we’re all terrible, and we ate it up like a meal at a five-star restaurant. At one point he mouthed, “I’d like to welcome Grace Jones to the stage,” and the crowd erupted just long enough to see that John made the universal sign for, “Oh, no?” And we laughed! But while the uproarious Father John’s ironic jumping around made audiences smith, the real turn up would happen late into the night.
Rae Sremmurd has already been killing the clubs with their latest effort, Sremmlife 2, which is out in stores now, but they brought the college-aged nightcrawler together for a vigil of the get down! Taking place on the Trees stage, in what feels like a leafy canopy, Swae and Jimmy zig-zagged across the stage like Helios across the sky. It was a bit of a trek for those who wanted to see the brothers get busy, but it was worth it. Food trucks lined the yellow-brick-road, while kids lounged sleepily on fairly clean grass. Rae Sremmurd showcased how they were made of pure energy, as they had every hand in the air during “No Flex Zone,” “Come Get Her” and Throw Some Mo'”. During their set, they also illuminated the night with their new hits, ending their maniacal blowout with “Black Beatles,” which features the legendary group, The Migos. They even got a bit radical during the night, screaming, “Fuck Donald Trump” into the vast blackness of the night.
Their feelings mirrored Denzel Curry’s, hell, as all of us seeming aren’t feeling The Donald’s behavior. This comes especially after Hot 97‘s Ebro Darden called them out last year when Complex Magazine put them third on their list of the best albums of 2015. There is one striking difference, though, as Denzel Curry just wants to disappear from it all, saying, “I want to win a Grammy, several Grammy’s even. After that I want to make cartoons, you know, do shit for the kids. I will say this, after I win a Grammy for making the hardest album of all-time, I’m just going to stop rapping. I’m going to say ‘fuck that shit,’ because Andre 3000 did it.” We let him know that 3-Stacks is a special kind of dude and his retort was absolutely priceless.
“And I’m a special kind of n***a.”