written by Mara Mannella
Run-of-the-mill carnivals evoke images of sticky, piled high cotton candy and strapping into various thrill rides with harshly exposed nuts and bolts tightened mere hours earlier. Tyler the Creator’s brainchild Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, taking place November 12 & 13, has a taste of these traditional carnival experiences, but with a soundtrack that will blow the clown nose right off your face. Let’s grab some ride tickets and see what this downtown L.A. event has to offer.
Your favorite ride: THE SWINGS
You’ll like: KAYTRANADA, PRETTY LIGHTS
Wind through your hair, legs kicking free, just taking it all in – that pretty much describes any high-flying swing adventure, and music by Kaytranada and Pretty Lights is no different. Kaytranada takes listeners on a soulful journey, zooming through genres like R&B, rap, even tastes of disco. Combined with thought-provoking visuals and a calm, collected stage presence, Kaytranada brings something special to this year’s carnival. Pretty Lights commands audiences with his unique blending of soul and hip hop with soaring synths. With a larger than life show that lives up to his name, prepare to be awe-struck.
Your favorite ride: THE FERRIS WHEEL
You’ll like: KEVIN ABSTRACT, JOEY BADA$$
A carnival favorite, the Ferris Wheel offers views from above the trees before swooping you back down to the earth below. The artists mentioned here do the same through their music with lyrics that depict the highest highs and the lowest lows. In an era of rap where storytelling often feels like a lost art, these two headliners prove there’s still a reason to listen closely when the stage is theirs.
Your favorite ride: GRAVITRON
You’ll like: SCHOOLBOY Q, ACTION BRONSON
Get on, buckle in and brace yourself. Just like the dizzying, stuck to your spot ride, Schoolboy Q and Action Bronson will grab a hold of you from start to finish and send you off into the world stumbling. Coming off the release of his hotly anticipated Blank Face LP, Q is sure to blast his hometown of L.A. with his gritty life lessons. Action Bronson knows how to please a crowd, offering up east coast swagger and rhymes that cover everything from relationships to raisin bread. Audiences will walk away from these sets impressed, and probably a little hungry.
Your favorite ride: THE ZIPPER
You’ll like: A$AP Ferg, Lil Wayne
There’s no doubt the zipper is one of the more raucous and unpredictable rides at the carnival but a classic nonetheless. Moments of calm followed by whipping 180 degree flips define the ride as well as these two stars of the rap game. A$AP Ferg will serve up his irresistible snarling trap to the A$AP Mob faithful and with featured album collaborators Lil Uzi Vert and A$AP Rocky on the lineup, who knows who might appear on stage. Lil Wayne needs no introduction as one of the more established rappers on the lineup. Weezy has more than fifteen years of hits to choose from so expect this set to attract a wide range of loyal followers.