By Assistant Lead Designer Jordan Vongsithi
Camp Flog Gnaw Festival. Originally called the Odd Future/OFWGKTA Carnival, it is one of the biggest music festivals/carnivals year-round (yes, it is also a legitimate carnival). The hip-hop and alternative-heavy event frequently features high-profile performers and artists as part of their lineup.
One of the consistent performers of the event is Tyler, the Creator, which makes sense, since he created the hip-hop collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, which led to the original OFWGKTA Carnival. However, once the supergroup went on an indefinite hiatus, seemingly breaking up, Tyler took the Odd Future brand and skyrocketed with it. OFWGKTA has developed into Golf Wang, a clothing brand that frequently collaborates with Converse, and Camp Flog Gnaw, bringing this arc full-circle.
This year’s Festival took place the weekend of November 9th and 10th, and the lineup was as big as possible. Along with Tyler, the Creator, fellow Odd Future alumni Earl Sweatshirt and Taco were advertised, as well as BROCKHAMPTON, 21 Savage, YG, Clairo, the list goes on.
However, upon browsing the website for the 2019 lineup, there is a “???” in the first row of guests, with nothing but a black square accompanying it. An obvious hint that there would be a special guest appearing at the event. But who could it be?
Naturally, the inclusion of an unknown artist led to a lot of speculation as to who “???” would be. There were many guesses, some of the bigger ones being ASAP Rocky and Kanye West, both of whom have performed at the event before. However, the vast majority of fans were predicting Frank Ocean. While it seems a little out of place, the Flog Gnaw crowd had a bit of logic and reasoning as to why the Grammy-award winning artist would be revealed as the surprise at the end of the event.
For one, Tyler and Frank have a very good relationship professionally, with Frank joining OFWGKTA in 2010, as well as personally, as Tyler was one of the first people Frank came out to before he announced he was gay in 2013. Secondly, Frank had only performed at one other Festival, back in 2013, so a return to the event would have warranted him being a special guest. Lastly, in the weeks leading to Flog Gnaw, Frank Ocean released “DHL” and “In My Room”, the first bit of music he has released since his 2016 album Blonde. Should he be the special guest, it’d be a perfect way to reignite the hype of Frank Ocean and get everyone heavily anticipating his next project.
With this speculation, a lot of fans were dead-set on the special guest being Frank Ocean. Everyone was ready to hear “Thinkin Bout You”, “Chanel”, all of the artist’s greatest hits. Everyone in attendance did not predict Frank Ocean would be there. They knew Frank Ocean would be there.
But they didn’t know, because he wasn’t there – Drake was there.
At 9:55pm, on the final night of the 2019 Camp Flog Gnaw Festival, the audience watched as Drake graced the stage and began his set with “Started From the Bottom”. It was not until eight songs later where Drake realized that the crowd was not exactly hyped to see him. In fact, he was getting booed.
After playing “Feel No Ways” and “Wu-Tang Forever” at the request of Tyler, Drake asked the crowd “Like I said, I’m here for you tonight, if you want to keep going, I will keep going tonight. What’s up?” In several videos posted online, the crowd replied with negativity and boos, to which the “Hotline Bling” artist said goodnight to the audience and exited stage left, ending his set, and the festival itself, about twenty minutes early.
The reception to this event was discussed among music fans throughout the world, some claiming the crowd had the right to react how they wanted to, while others called the Flog Gnaw crowd ungrateful. Drake himself responded to the night in a lighthearted manner, posting an Instagram post with the caption,
“Plot twist… just signed a 10 year residency at Camp Flog Gnaw sorry kids see you EVERY SINGLE year till you are 30 :P”
Tyler, the Creator, however, expressed his frustration with a series of uppercase tweets. “I THOUGHT BRINGING ONE OF THE BIGGEST ARTIST ON THE F*****G PLANET TO A MUSIC FESTIVAL WAS FIRE!… SOME CREATED A NARRATIVE IN THEIR HEAD AND ACTED OUT LIKE A**HOLES WHEN IT DIDNT COME TRUE AND I DON’T F*** WITH THAT,”
Tyler, the Creator went on to tweet, “THAT S*** WAS MOB MENTALITY AND CANCEL CULTURE IN REAL LIFE AND I THINK THAT S*** IS F*****G TRASH” which was one of his most liked tweets in response to the incident, indicating many of his fans are in agreement with him.