Tyler, Chance + Erykah Badu Set Out Camp Flog Gnaw [Recap]

The Energy At This Year's Camp Flog Gnaw Was Absolutely Insane [Recap]

Camp Flog Gnaw photos taken by Vickey Ford (SneakShot) for Okayplayer.

The fifth annual celebration of Camp Flog Gnaw felt like a reunion in many ways. After a bleak week in U.S History, there was a mass feeling of hope derived from wholesome merriment, comfort food and live tunes. For some, it was a reunion of OFWGKTA or at least the closest we can get to it with EarlWolf. For others, it was a reunion with their favorite artists who some might have seen once, sometime in the past.

The Carnival took over Exposition Park in Los Angeles this past weekend. From a quick glance at the crowd, majority dressed in Odd Future and Golf Wang apparel, there was clearly excitement in the air.

Tyler, the Creator did not disappoint the expectant festival goers and enlisted the help of a few friends for a well-curated festival. Camp Flog Gnaw 2016 acts consisted of rookies and veterans, spanning genres of experimental indie, R&B, soul, hip-hop and electronic. Heavy hitters include Lil Wanye, Erykah Badu, Chance the Rapper, Kaytranada, ScHoolBoy Q, Death Grips, A$AP Rocky and Pretty Lights. All the heavy hitters delivered memorable performances, while fresh acts such as Lil Uzi Vert, Gallant, SremmLife Crew, and Anderson .Paak left audience members craving more.

Tyler’s friends included The Internet, who ended their 2016 show dates with their enchanting performance at the festival. Syd Tha Kid‘s range went from mellow and meek to piercingly passionate during their set. As familiar fans were treated to songs from Ego Death such as “Get Away,” “Special Affair,” “Gabby,” and “Just Sayin/I Tried.” Highly favored was their cover of Outkast’s “Prototype”.

Another festival favorite was Chance the Rapper who leaped onstage with energy that could raise the dead. He uplifted the audience with his unique tenor, anthems, gospel vocals and brass arrangements. To liven the mood even further, D.R.A.M accompanied him on stage for their rendition of his Billboard Hot 100 tune with Lil Yatchy, “Broccoli”.

The tone boiled to rage as Tyler, the Creator took the stage boldly belting his lyrics. One of rap’s most volatile artists was on an ultra high from the success of the festival and outpouring love from the audience. Tyler even told the crowd, “I don’t know if y’all saw me, but I was dancing a lot today.” He was often seen singing and dancing with friends including Kendall Jenner and Syd Tha Kid, in front of the stage. The rapper decided to treat fans, friends and family to an exclusive 10-minute preview of Tyler’s Cherry Bomb documentary which chronicles the making of his latest LP. The audience delightfully watched the teaser which included appearances from Lil Wayne, ASAP Rocky, Kanye West and more.

Amidst the joys of a well curated festival, there was an undertone of protest against the current political climate. For Tyler, the Creator, it was his performance with Compton rapper YG for “FDT,” which has become an anthem of the Trump protest movement. DJ Mustard on the beat, affirmed during his set that he is “anti-Trump,” before playing Kendrick Lamar’s 2015 smash hit, “Alright”. However Erykah Badu’s speech was the thread that sewed all the pieces together.

Erykah Badu aka Sara Bellum aka FatBellyBella aka Medulla Oblongata aka Low Down Loretta Brown aka Analogue Girl in a Digital World simply brought down the house, or rather the field. With mesmerizing vocals, outstanding style and cheeky moves, there were bar none but she also impressed crowds with her speech as she bid farewell. “A lot of people are marching and protesting and angry; it’s because people are woke,” she stated after simply closing her set with “I love you.”

If this year’s expansion was any indication to Tyler’s vision for Camp Flog Gnaw’s, it’s safe that this will be a very successful venture in the future.

Bukunmi Grace is a Los Angeles-based writer, stylist and photographer. You can follow her latest and greatest by following her (and us!) on Twitter @BukunmiGrace.

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