Wassup. Rasheed and Paige here to drop some knowledge on y'all in regards to the best music festival there is. Here lies our re-cap of Camp
D.R.A.M FLOG Gnaw. No but really, D.R.A.M was a guest appearance on damn near every set. If you haven't been to Camp Flog Gnaw yet, YOU'RE TOTALLY F***ING BLOWING IT. The only issue with the entire festival is that it was too stacked. Out of all the shit that could go wrong while putting on a festival, your best-case scenario is having too good of a line up. There were free rides for all (I can't tell you how they were because I'm a huge pussy and terrified of any sort of theme park). When you won a carnival game, your prize was OFWGKTA merchandise – so brilliant branding move Tyler, brilliant. And there were these lil "general store" stands, which sold rolling papers, lighters, cigarettes – you know, just the absolute festival essentials. As you probably know, you always miss the first act you want to see. I don't care if you leave at 12:30 for a 3:00pm show, there WILL be a unicorn blocking the road for an hour and a half to make it impossible for you to make it to the show. Bet. However, here is a recap of who we did make it to see.
Paige: So I wanted to make it for Alina Baraz, but the unicorn cockblocked us. So our first set was Domo. And I must say, he was a really great icebreaker. He hyped the crowd up by playing Dre and Snoop and Nate Dogg and then continued to play all his bangers. Like "Me & My Bitch", and "Dapper" with Anderson .Paak were probably my favorite performances. His squad and him also looked like they were genuinely having a good time up there, and you love to see that. Right Rasheed?
Rasheed: Dom had a pretty great (but underrated) debut album come out this year, so it was great to see him kill it with the live band. Dude was also maaaad funny and could do one hell of a harlem shake. Great way to start off the day.
P: Ok SZA had me the fuck in my feels. For starters, her voice melts like butter. Her hair is like a lioness goddess. Her presence is like a new age Badu – she's a strong ass woman that should be praised for her craft. She brought out Isaiah Rashad and I'm pretty sure people tried to mosh pit. The entire crowd swarmed forward and my 5' 3" ass almost died in the stampede. But it was totally worth it Isaiah played "Free Lunch" and as I wished he played "Stuck in the Mud" with SZA, it was still just a really nice surprise to see him on stage. D.R.A.M came out and he and SZA did an emotional ass version of "I'll Take Care of You" and every girl cuffed the dude next to them. Strangers, hook ups, boyfriends, a dude you met 3 seconds before – everybody getting cuffed out here.
R: This was a bittersweet set for me as I got pushed behind a tree and was also wedged between a couple of curly-haired goddesses ;), but the set at least sounded pretty great. It was my first time seeing SZA and I was quite impressed with her vocal range and stage presence. She even brought out Isaiah Rashad for a couple tracks which was pretty sick even though the crowd almost ran me over.
I don't know why they didn't give D.R.A.M. his own set. He was practically everywhere this weekend.
P: I love me some Syd the Kyd. I once tweeted "how can I make Syd be my gf" she never interacted or probably saw it but I did make an effort on my part cause like, you lose 100% of shots you don't take or whatever. She sang most the bangers from Ego Death and a couple classics from Feel Good. She had a flav stage presence and turned most straight girls bi.
R: This might be the 7th time I've seen The Internet live, but every time is better than the last. Their band synergy just sounds so natural & Syd has really come into her own as a performer. They blew through their set with seamless transitions and had the crowd grooving the whole ride.
Chance The Rapper
P: I've seen Chance live before, shit is like a gospel sing-along. He makes everyone so happy, the sickest part is no one is aggressive in the crowd. You can mozy on by and people would be like "good day sir!" Homie is up for a grammy and will only be building on his authentic sound and remarkable stage presence. And surprise, D.R.A.M came out.
R: Holy sh*t that was amazing. I didn't even like Coloring Book all that much but I felt compelled to revisit it after this set. He ran threw the gamut of his best known songs & features and had the crowd chanting every word. This dude's energy, command over the band, and engagement with the crowd was entertaining as f*ck. A Top 3 set of the weekend sure.
D.R.A.M. performed Broccoli and I definitely knocked down someone's $14 IPA tryna turn up.
P: Alright. So I've seen A$AP a couple times now. I love homies sound on a tape, he has this deep unique voice that makes my panties wet. But for some reason when he's on stage he starts yelling on the microphone and it doesn't really sound like him. Not hating, just really prefer to listen to him in my whip.
R: The giant arcade game stage setup with the custom AWGE visuals were quite sick, but were also sadly one of the few good things about this set. The microphones were a bit too low so it sounded like they were struggling to yell over the back track the whole time, and there were just too many people on stage making it was hard to focus on any one person. It was also obvious that the crowd was not all that familiar with the group's newer material (Cozy Tapes Vol. 1). I was quite disappointed that they didn't bring out Tyler and Playboi Carti to perform the project's highlight "Telephone Calls".
Toro Y Moi
P: Rasheed was so adamant that we went to Toro. It's hilarious cause a Toro concert at OSL would be packed to the back of the lawn. But at a hip-hop festival – we were damn near front row. It was pretty lit and a nice lil indie change up for a quick minute. They are crazy with their instruments and are a true BAND. Strong camaraderie on stage and you can tell they don't only fuck with each others crafts but are also homies as well.
R: Chaz Bundick is a don. Toro is another band that I think I will never get sick of seeing live as they have that sh*t down to a precise science. In fact if you haven't yet, go listen to their Live from Trona album RIGHT NOW.
P: We like to call this the "holy fuck" part of the concert. I've seen DJ mustard live before and homie played all the bangers. We saw him here and literally the only ting that comes to my mind is "what the fuck". Shit was mad crazy, yo. I'm not even sure how to explain it, I've never heard a set like it. It was like intense grunge techno mixed with some hip-hop then some indie then some trap and some screamo or something. Maybe there wasn't screamo but I'm going to throw it in there for dramatic effect.
R: This was the most confusing set of the whole festival. When I first heard that my dude Dijon was going to bless the stage I was expecting nothing but the finest ratchet booty jams of the early and late 2000s. But when we walked up dude was playing a dubstep remix of some Weeknd song and then proceeded to play nothing but top 40 EDM x Hip-hop mash-ups.
He then brought out YG & Kamaiyah to perform "Why You Always Hatin", but their microphones didn't work so we just saw em walking around the stage looking dumbfounded for about a minute.
But thank god D.R.A.M. came out and performed Broccoli again.
The Flatbush Zombies
P: This was tight and intense. But mainly tight. You can tell Flatbush Zombies probably enjoy doing acid. In fact, I sorta felt like I was on acid because of their set. And I wasn't mad at it. PLUS THEIR BACKGROUND GRAPHICS WERE UNREAL. Matter fact, every single persons graphics were so impressive. If for one second you weren't feeling a song as much, you could easily stare at the background of a set to entertain yourself till infinity. Bravo to whoever was in charge of that shit.
R: These dudes were live. They ran through their 3001: A Laced Odyssey album (so underrated) from start to finish with some super psychedelic visuals in the background. The members paraded and flexed around the stage, taking turns hyping each other up and killing their respective verses in true a tag-team fashion. Don't sleep on the Zombies.
Taco & Friends
P: Dillion Francis was there and this was actually a really dope hip-hop set. Vince came out which was nutty and I'm pretty sure D.R.A.M did also. It's probably safest to assume he came out and preformed Broccoli. Still not sick of the song btw. I got equally as turnt up every time he showed face.
R: This set really surprised me. I've seen Taco "DJ" a number of times before and although it was always fun, it was never anything too crazy. But this time he was going back to back with none other than Dillon Francis (who held it DOWN) and had a very curated array of current and throwback jams. Towards the end of the set they also had a very very dope surprise performance by Vince Staples who never disappoints.
Broccoli has now infiltrated my psyche and is the only thing I hear when I close my eyes.
P: I love Kehlani. Power to this females pussy. She speaks for all the women and all the love sick shit we go through. She always keeps it super treal with her fits and dances her heart out on stage. Good shit KK.
R: Heard Kehlani performing in the background but I was too busy getting a $14 IPA. (I wanted to see Tyler).
P: So it was between Lil Wayne and Kaytranada. Although I listen to Kaytra more in my present life, there was no way I was missing Wayne. I've seen Kaytra and will absolutely see him again (on New Years at 1015 Folsom in SF, get there) and will likely never see Wayne again. HE SANG ALL OF THE BANGERS. And he was undoubtedly fucked up on some weed & lean. But WOULD IT REALLY BE WAYNE IF HE WASN'T ON DRUGS? Does ANYONE ever want to see sober Lil Wayne preform? It pretty much is against everything I stand for with his sound. He sang shit from all the Carters, Sorry 4 The Wait, features he was on, etc. He must have said "CASH MONEY RECORDS SUCK MY DICK" in between ever song and then he gave this whole speech about his next guest being his brother and guess who he brought out? Rasheed I'll let you take it from here.
R: Tunechi is a bonafide legend and you are a god damn fool to think otherwise. This man ran through so many hits and classic mixtape cuts within that hour that I felt like I was back in 2008. I honestly forgot he had blessed us with soooo many of these classics man. He absolutely crushed them too, rehearsing every verse flawlessly with no back track only pausing to occasionally talk sh*t.
He also had a very dramatic moment where he announced he was going to bring out an artist who he respected, considered his brother, and was being demonized by the media. Many options started to immediately run through my mind..
But the special guest was none other than our favorite gang-banging, woman-beating, R&B fixture: Bhris Brown with a heavy rendition of the 2014 hit "These Hoes Ain't Loyal".
P: Gallant sounds like a sweet baby angel making love in a cloud to a unicorn.
R: Gallant is in a whole other league from a lot of these faux-R&B dudes out right now. Go see him immediately. Shoutout to my Mind of A Genius fam y'all about to do it big at the Grammys.
P: If you haven't seen .Paak live you're absolutely cock-blocking yourself. He is the best performer I've ever seen in my life. I may be bias as he is my favorite artist but I think everyone would agree he was one of the top three acts at the festival. He does crazy drum solos, body rolls, lil bit of storytelling and a WHOLE LOTTA SOUL. Brotha breaks it down like none other. The best part about it all (for me personally) is when he calls out the early .Paak fans and plays shit from his first tape Venice. But I'm one of those bitches in the crowd like I FUCKED WITH YOU WHEN YOU WERE BREEZY LOVE JOY. I KNEW YOU WHEN YOU WERE BREEEEEEZY!!!
R: One of my most anticipated performances of that night, and I wasn't disappointed in the slightest. He is an absolute force of nature on stage capable of throwing down the intricate drum solos on the fly all while holding a croon that would make Prince proud, all without missing a beat. He has a natural swagger to match the best of them (a la James Brown & Curtis Mayfield) and is very much aware of it. He ran threw his medley of hits and guest collaborations with finesse and even brought out Mac Miller for their acclaimed single "Dang!".
P: On to Queen Badu. This woman is nuts in all the right ways. I call this the "Fuck Trump Set". She talked mad politics but then smoothed over her rants with the sweetest, most soulful, magical set. She comes out wearing a crazy amount of hardware and layers. I mean LAYERS. Homegirl must've been wearing four shirts under three sweaters with raincoat in between and a trench on top. In classic Badu style, she stripped her layers off - song by song - on stage. She sang long versions of classics and looped versions of her new remixes. For a quick second I though Andre 3000 was going to come out, and then I thought she was going to bring Kendrick out as she started singing "Alright". Turns out it was just a huge blueball for the crowd – however I would put her as top three acts of the festival as well.
R: This was a very special set for me as I have been trying to see Ms. Badu since about 2008. She of course took her sweet time arriving to the stage (arriving 20 minutes late), but the anticipation made her sudden appearance that much more impactful. Her very presence shook the crowd at it's core, but once she let out that first angelic croon we were all cast under her spell. I've made note of the amount of great bands/backing bands who played the festival, but hers was probably my favorite. The way they bobbed and weaved through her discography and blend songs into each other was astounding. I think I cried a little fam.
P: Rasheed turned soft af and balled like a lil bitch. But same.
P: Yo I fuck with Earl just as hard as the next dude. But the mosh culture was strong. So incredibly strong. So being 5 foot 3 and already making a dance-floor under 6 footers armpits - the mosh was entirely too much for ya girl. I was even conveniently positioned behind "the mosh ring leader" who was like a 4 foot 8 leprechaun that hopped from shoulder to shoulder amping up the other mosh members. Maybe I got punched in the face. Nah, I didn't. But I was emotionally fucked from the set plus I almost lost Rasheed in the mosh mess.
R: The whole weekend everyone and their moms was speculating about who the unannounced (TBA) performer on the set-list could be. Most guesses ranged from Andre 3000 to Frank Ocean (my money was on Frankie), but boy were we all off. As soon as that nifty animation started to reveal the word "EARLWOLF" the crowd immediately lost all sense of chill and I was quickly reminded why I fell in love with Odd Future in the first place: The energy and camaraderie between the members is unmatched, and the fans are f*cking crazy. People were getting slammed and shoved every which way as EARL and Tyler ran through their set of cult classics including "Orange Juice" and "Drop".
I lost Paige in the crowd and she never forgave me.
P: Rasheed made me go. I had a panic attack.
R: This set was coinciding with Schoolboy Q's so It was pretty empty compared to earlier sets, but the small crowd was completely about it. Bodies were being thrown at full force into each other at full force while dust and sweat filled the air. MC Ride played the role of orchestrator from hell as he turned us all into rabid animals bent on nothing other than ripping each other apart. Paige watched from a distance and looked very very concerned.
P:I had just seen Schoolboy on his tour, but he still kept it super lit and super TDE.
R: We were pretty much spent by his set but we could tell it was pretty great from the bleachers.
All in all, I'd have to say this was one of the best festivals I have ever been to. Liberal Arts did an awesome job with handling the PR portion of the festival, if there was a crisis, no one knew about it cause they are a seamless squad. The branding was beautifully done, THE FOOD WAS F***ING DELICIOUS and the vibes were on point. I wont ever miss this event again – this festival was food for thought.