Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap]
Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap]
Photo Credit: Golden Voice

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap]

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Photo Credit: GoldenVoice

Clothing, cartoons, festivals... oh my! Tyler, THE CREATOR.

Just two days after opening his Golf Wang flagship store in Los Angeles, Tyler, The Creator's 6th annual CAMP FLOG GNAW festival commenced and all the flower boys and flower girls united for two days in Tyler's utopic carnival.

At just 26 years old he has built an empire. In addition to amusement park rides, games with branded carnival prizes, a small stage for deejays and all the cotton candy a girl can dream of, there was floral patterns galore, tidal waves of concert-goers decked in GOLF merch in every directions, clips from his animated show, The Jellies! on the screens, and... a stellar two-day lineup.

Despite a majority of the attendees being under the legal drinking age, it wasn't as rambunctious or hectic as you would imagine. Remember when Kanye West said "Listen to the kids?" These were the "kids" he was talking about. Carefree, friendly, with a premium on having a good ass time. Leave any thoughts of Trump possibly getting us into WWIII at the gates. This was about straight up FUN at the behest of President Wolf Haley.

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From Solange being unapologetically black AF to a surprise appearance from Thundercat to catching feels for Jorja Smith and finally seeing my fairy godmother Kelis perform live, at last, this weekend was stacked with dream-come-true moments.

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Saturday - Day 1

After a lengthy but very organized route to festival entry, I kicked off the day at the Flog Stage with funk legend Roy Ayers. The crowd was young but their taste in music wasn't; they're were hip, hollering "My life, my life, my life, my life in the sunshine" as the sunshine so fittingly beamed down on the crowd.

Like clockwork, the line up forged ahead. Kamaiyah hit the stage with a burst of Bay Area bounce, dropping a few new promising jams on us. Kelela floated onstage like a seductive siren, putting the crowd in a state of bliss with tracks from Hallucinogen and her latest release Take Me Apart. Festival staff apparently prompted to wrap it up but not without one more, "Rewind."  She warned, "cut the music if you have to." Bad ass.

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Camp Flog Gnaw 2017


Atlanta's own 6LACK was the first to launch the series of more elaborate set designs for the evening. The crowd was cleary amped. No longer is he restrained, snipping off the dreads that once hid his face was a true transition to a newly undisguised confidence. The Internet's leading lady, Syd, dropped in to catch a few songs. Later I learned 6LACK showed love at her solo set as well, performing their track "Over."

After an intermission for some much needed iPhone charging in the press area, I made my way to the Camp Stage for Mac Miller. He brought out who he described as "one of my best friends," Thundercat. After a rendition of "Drunk," I kinda wished he had his own set but, nevertheless, his appearance was possibly the best (and only) surprise guest I saw for the day.

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Camp Flog Gnaw 2017


Finally, the evening's gracious host, Tyler, was up.  The man of the hour hit the stage with energy on a 1,000, performing tracks off of Flower Boy, which is possibly my favorite album of 2017. Surprisingly, there were no surprises. I crossed my fingers for an appearance from Frank Ocean, but, no luck there. Eventually, I realized he was probably just prepping for his Paris Is Burning 30th birthday bash.

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Camp Flog Gnaw 2017

Sunday - Day 2

A superfan of Jorja Smith, she was a must-see on my list. Thanks to an officer at the lengthy entry line, I made it just in time after sliding in through a side entrance. The UK singer performed some Project 11 heavy -hitters and towards the end, gave us a taste of her upcoming album which she tells the crowd is dropping next year. The Internet's Steve Lacy followed up with a performance that seemed truly dedicated to his day one Soundcloud fans that knew him when he was still just "Steve LM."

Next, I made my way to Kelis who was adamant about it being time to party! She gave new life to her hits, performing remixes  of "Milkshake" and "Bossy." At one point, she dropped a snippet of reggae, dancing across the stage and infusing us with the needed boost to carry on the rest of the night. A large crowd gathered for Odd Future affiliates, The Internet, Syd's swag radiating to ends of a seemingly endless audience as the crew did tracks off Ego Death. My love for the album quadrupled leading to the realization that for this very reason, festivals and live shows are important for me.

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Camp Flog Gnaw 2017


A$AP Rocky brought out The Mob, with Twelvyy, Lou and Lil Yachty joining in one of the weekend's most guest-friendly performances, eventually welcoming G-Eazy and even Tyler to perform "Who Dat Boy." This was a small reward for anyone who may have missed his set the night before.

Haven't seen Solange perform all year and it was more than I could've dreamed of.  It was clear she had very special instructions for her side screens.  Even if you were too far to see her on stage watching the screens were just as satisfying and amazing production in itself. Performing for a majority white audience, Solange was unapologetic AF singing "I'm not really allowed to be mad, but you are, and you are...," pointing into the audience. She also took me away with "Losing You" and "Somethings Never Seem To Fucking Work" from her True album. I've played these songs 890,234,364,712 times in life!

Camp Flog Gnaw is a Utopia for All The Flower Boys and Girls [Recap] Camp Flog Gnaw 2017


And for the perfect closeout, Kid Cudi made a triumphant return and he's happy. Donning a huge smile throughout his set was a testament. There was no better song for this crowd than "Marijuana." The set design got a little trippy and blunts were fired up. The rapper who has been pretty silent on social media for months since he entered rehab for depression at the top of the year, took a moment to address the crowd. "I'm here, I'm happy, I'm good, I'm alive. This is better than a tweet, this is from me to you, this is a direct message." And then he went into the perfect survivors' anthem,  "Pursuit Of Happiness."

All in all, this was one of the chillest, best-organized festivals I've ever been to. My only grievance: wish I had more time for that damn ferris wheel.

Catch all of the highlights in a gallery below.

Evanka W. is a weapon of mass construction. Follow her (and us!) on Twitter @LOVEvanka.