Tyler, the Creator, ASAP Rocky, and Ludacris Kick Off the Inaugural Agenda Festival

Tyler, the Creator headlined the Agenda Festival with a little help from his friends.
Tyler, the Creator headlined the Agenda Festival with a little help from his friends.
Eran Ryan

Agenda Festival
Long Beach Convention Center
July 15, 2017

Pretty much any company worth anything in the streetwear, surf, and skateboarding worlds is already plenty familiar with the Agenda Show that goes down in Long Beach (among other places) every year. But this year, Agenda switched things up a bit by opening its doors to the public on Saturday for the inaugural Agenda Festival — bringing a handful of big names in hip-hop and some of the Burger Records roster to the space just outside of the Long Beach Convention Center over the weekend.

Following afternoon sets featuring everyone from Lil Dicky to social media personality Yes Julz, the main card for the evening really started a little after 4:00 when Cam’ron took the stage. Although the bulk of the young crowd likely only knew Dipset from their older siblings (or parents, for some of the smaller Odd Future fans), he still brought out the classics with enough energy and vigor to make up for wearing neither pink nor mink.

Ludacris sped things up to the mid-2000s when he stormed the stage with “Welcome to Atlanta” not long after Cam’ron finished his set. For the next hour or so, the Atlanta-based rapper performed nothing but the hits while expertly playing the crowd. Overall, he proved that his rapping is still far more skillful and entertaining than pretty much anything that’s happened in a Fast & Furious movie in the last decade.

Aside from his own classic tracks ranging from “Blueberry Yum Yum” to “Move Bitch,” the multitalented performer also nailed some of his most memorable features like Usher’s “Yeah” and DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win.” Alongside his faithful companion Lil’ Fate, Ludacris thrilled pretty much everyone in the crowd old enough to remember when Disturbing tha Peace came out and introduced to the younger kids why he’s not just an action movie star.

Ludacris at the Agenda Festival 2017.
Ludacris at the Agenda Festival 2017.
Eran Ryan

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But the real star of the first Agenda Festival was the headliner of the evening. After an extended opening DJ set from Taco (the resident turntablist of Odd Future, although there were plenty of tacos for sale at the food trucks as well), the music began to build up to what was sure to be an electrifying appearance by Tyler, the Creator. Once the crowd had appropriately buzzed and cheered for Odd Future’s fearless leader, Tyler and Jasper Dolphin leapt on to the stage to an explosion of applause.

Unfortunately, things didn’t work out exactly as planned and Tyler slipped as soon as he hit the stage. After calling out security for not drying off the stage and demanding that they start everything over from the beginning, the duo walked off once again and left Taco to reboot the set.

Following the brief wave of confusion that spread over the crowd, Tyler and Jasper were back to perform “DEATHCAMP,” “Tron Cat,” and a wide variety of other cuts new and old from his handful of records. But while much of the pink doughnut and cap-wearing crowd was there to see their Odd Future heroes, arguably the highlight of the set featured the leader of one of hip-hop’s other top crews when ASAP Rocky joined the performance beginning with the lead single from the upcoming Scum Fuck Flower Boy, “Who Dat Boy.” The ASAP Mob boss (and auxiliary Kardashian) stayed and contributed for several songs before Tyler half-jokingly kicked him off the stage to continue his set.

Toward the end of the 45-minute set (cut short due to the 8 p.m. curfew and aforementioned slipping incident), Tyler took a request for “She” and cracked a joke about streetwear icon Ben Baller being old before closing the festival with the crowd-favorite “Yonkers” and a new track.

Although it may not have been as over-the-top as his annual Camp Flog show last fall or as intimate as his brief local tour in April, Tyler proved that he can still headline any modern hip-hop festival with the best of them. Along with ASAP Rocky, the duo seemed like a particularly fitting headlining set for Agenda, as no one in the scene has nearly as much pull with the youth when it comes to style and culture (outside of maybe Kanye, but we all remember how that went with the overhyped ComplexCon).


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