Tyler the Creator’s eighth annual Camp Flog Gnaw festival was closer to the spirit of the 2019 Met Gala definition of “camp” than the roast-marshmallows-around-the-fire type. A band of Gen-Z attendees flocked around the Dodger Stadium grounds in Los Angeles over the weekend in ‘90s garb and eye makeup straight out of an episode of HBO’s Euphoria. On the lineup: 20 of the hottest acts in R&B and hip-hop right now (some better received than others).
EW was in the crowd and have documented some of the best and most bizarre moments from this year’s festivities.
Thundercat’s cat fever
Phoebe Buffay’s Central Perk catty composition “Smelly Cat” has become a thing of the past since Thundercat’s “A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II).” Plus, Buffay never committed to cat ears like the singer/producer did at Flog Gnaw. If lyrics like “everybody wants to be a cat” and “I wish I had nine lives,” were not on-the-snout enough, the artist’s background vocalists chanting “meow, meow, meow” certainly solidified the feline fete.
YG brought out Stormy Daniels
YG knows how to work up a crowd. During a performance of his incendiary protest anthem “F— Donald Trump,” the rapper brought out former adult film star Stormy Daniels, who admitted being paid hush money before the 2016 election to stay quiet about her alleged affair with Donald Trump. “My name is Stormy F–ing Daniels,” she screamed from the stage, “and I am the reason that Donald Trump is f—ed.”
DaBaby’s diva dance-off
The sumo-baby backup dancers had nothing on the four ladies who were pulled straight from the Flog Gnaw crowd to dance onstage. DaBaby eliminated the less enthusiastic competitors one by one, but the winner in psychedelic bell-bottoms was the obvious champion from the start. After all, when DaBaby picked her from the audience, she jumped the front row rail like it was nothing.
Solange’s twerking cowgirls
The younger Knowles sister put in one of the weekend’s best performances, thanks to an angelic falsetto and break dancing while chanting “I can’t be a singular part of myself.” Another highlight: her live rendition of “Down with the Clique,” which featured twerking cowgirls in leotards while Solange twirled a mic cord over her head like a helicopter.
Jaden Smith’s surprise cameo
Willow Smith’s soulful vocals and guitar shredding during “Pretty Girl” already had festivalgoers whipping their hair back and forth. But the crowd went wild when Jaden Smith, pink hair and all, ran onstage and served up some lines with his sister. The sibling act earned a unanimous sway of hands during their duet of Willow’s “Summer Fling,” and a chorus of cheers when Jaden exited the stage by hyping his sister up to the crowd.
Juice Wrld’s legends tribute
“All legends may fall in the making” but they certainly are not forgotten. Juice Wrld’s video montage of late rap artists like Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller was a reminder of that sentiment during his performance of “Legends.”
FKA Twig’s costume changes and pole dancing
“Mary Magdalene would never let her loved ones down” and neither would FKA Twigs her fans. The sultry singer’s entire performance was sensory overload, from a sword-wielding dance that would give Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark a run for her money to an eerie moment when she was surrounded by tribal-masked figures clothed in Us red jumpsuits during “Home with You.” But her acrobatic flips and turns on a pole left us wondering why she wasn’t cast alongside Jennifer Lopez in Hustlers.
H.E.R.’s “Earthsong”/”Fate” Mashup
The 2019 Grammy-winning R&B artist drew a dedicated fanbase to the “Flog” stage during her set, and she certainly gave them what they came for: a honeyed voice on singles “Hard Place” and “The Best Part” before breaking out into a seamless mashup of Michael Jackson’s “Earthsong” and her own “Fate.”
Drake getting booed off stage
Frank Ocean’s recent album drop and tight friendship with Tyler, the Creator had fans assuming that he was the not-so-mystery performance of the night. Rather, Drake followed A$AP Rocky and Lil Uzi Vert as “another friend” that Tyler brought on stage for the night. Not even beloved throwback tracks like “Forever,” “Started From the Bottom,” and “The Motto” could spare Drake from the crowd’s wrath. Tyler’s response: