Frank Ocean fans in their feels about his no-show
I bet it was not “God’s Plan” for Drake to get booed off stage. The notoriously viral headliner from this year’s Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival in Los Angeles, Calif. has made everyone’s hotline bling.
Media has covered the Drake story as a completely humiliating experience. Is that what really happened, however, at the Tyler, the Creator-curated festival? UC Davis students who attended this year’s Camp Flog Gnaw uncovered the warped and over-hyped version of the story.
“I feel like people are just hearing that Drake got booed off, and people are assuming he got booed off because he’s Drake and because people didn’t want Drake,” said Ali Janku, a second-year economics and history double major.
Throughout the very secretive reveal of the mystery headliner building up to the festival, everyone was confident that the headliner would be Frank Ocean, a frequent collaborator of Tyler, the Creator.
“We were really looking forward to the mystery headlining act, which a lot of people thought was going to be Frank Ocean, because there were clues on social media and stuff […] especially since he dropped new music right before,” said Minaz Ali, a second-year Spanish and psychology double major.
Ali, who attended Flog Gnaw in 2018, explained that last year, the crowd already knew who the mystery headliner was the day before. This year, however, the crowd found out who the guest performers would be only once they got on stage.
At first, Tyler the Creator came out on stage and asked the crowd, “Can I bring a friend out?” then introduced rapper A$AP Rocky for a few songs. Then, Tyler came out again asking the crowd, “Can I bring another friend out?” and presented Lil Uzi Vert to perform a few songs. A$AP and Uzi performed a total of two songs each, when Tyler introduced his last “friend” to the stage: Drake.
After a few songs, Drake continued performing even though A$AP and Uzi had stopped their sets after two songs. Something was off.
“I’m here for you tonight,” Drake said. “If you wanna keep going, I will keep going tonight. What’s up?” The silence was then filled with booing.
He wittily responded, “Well, look, it’s been love. I love y’all. I go by the name of Drake. Thank you for having me.”
The crowd booed — “not necessarily because it was him,” Janku explained. “But because they made it seem like there would be another artist after Drake.”
The actual booing was a reaction to Drake’s question to the crowd, rather than the rumored reason that he got booed off stage.
“I don’t think he would have gotten booed off stage if he didn’t ask, it was just a response,” Ali said.
“I ended up buying a ticket because of the whole Frank Ocean hype,” said Chris Bruton, a second-year statistics and economics double major. “I’m not not a fan of Drake. I wasn’t super hyped about it, but in the moment, I wasn’t going to be mad about it. Everyone thinks that he was booed off the stage because people were expecting Frank Ocean, but they really made it seem like someone else was really going to come on after Drake.”
“Yeah, I booed,” Janku said, chuckling.
Most of the booing came from the VIP section where Frank Ocean’s die-hard fans had set up camp, stood all day and even missed all the other performers specifically to see him.
“It was really not the majority of people who were booing […] it wasn’t that dramatic in real life,” Ali said.
Bruton confirmed that there was only “a little booing.”
“It wasn’t that bad,” Bruton said. “It wasn’t insane like on the videos, like how it sounds Drake was booed off the stage.”
Most of the crowd was on Drake’s side. They began to chant “f*** VIP!” in response to the section’s discourteous booing and throwing of items on stage after Drake had left.
“What bothered me about it is that if Drake was the headliner and they announced that and had a full show of a Drake concert, I would be like ‘this is sick,’ I mean, it’s Drake, you know?” Janku said. “But because it felt very disorganized and thrown together, I mean Drake was wearing sweatpants with no band or DJ, people started getting fed up with it. It really felt like a Plan B. I’m paying all this money to see a headliner, so I want a headliner show. There was really high production value in other [acts], but less so with the final performance. It just felt like such a mess.”
Given the build-up around Frank Ocean’s suspected appearance, Bruton asked, “How could they not have expected [the booing] to happen?”
“There was such a big hype around Frank,” Bruton said. “Nothing against Drake, but he doesn’t necessarily fit into the Odd Future genre. It all just kind of felt weird while Drake was on stage.”
With 20 minutes remaining, fans waited in confused anticipation for another performer who never came.
“I honestly don’t think Frank was ever going to come on, and in retrospect it makes sense because he rarely performs,” Ali said. “He’s not a performer; he never goes on live. It was kind of naïve to say he was going to be at Flog Gnaw.”
Right after the festival, Twitter hopped on the hype and blew up the internet with the story. Drake, no longer in his feels about his humiliating experience, posted a response to all his haters.
“Plot twist…just signed a 10 year residency at Camp Flog Gnaw sorry kids see you EVERY SINGLE YEAR till you are 30,” Drake humorously posted, followed by a smiley face emoji, under a picture of himself with Taco, an ex-member of Odd Future on his Instagram.
“If [the post] is real, it would bring in a different group of people to the concert,” Bruton said. “But I don’t think it is, I don’t know why they would do that.”
Ali was also “pretty sure” the post was a joke — I think he was just trying to make light of the situation,” Ali said. “[The booing was] probably a blow to his ego. Their fan bases don’t really overlap.”
Drake is no Frank Ocean to Odd Future enthusiasts, but there is nothing to be done now. Haters gonna hate.
“It was a very anticlimactic ending to a really good weekend,” Bruton said.
It seems that Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” was taken a bit too literally. Until next year, Flog Gnaw!
Written by: Sierra Jimenez — firstname.lastname@example.org