ComplexCon excels in first year Inaugural event brings together art, fashion, music, food and education
#ComplexCon is a real life twitter
— YoungKing (@Malique4k) November 7, 2016
When Pharrell Williams and Complex announced in May that they were launching ComplexCon, nobody was really sure what to expect. Of course, the superproducer and media site both hold separate and important places in society, but with the massive expansion of “cons” (conferences) in the past 10 years in other realms of culture, who knew what to expect. Done in conjunction with Williams‘ creative outlet “i am OTHER,” the two-day event in Long Beach, California, from all appearances, appeared to be a rousing success. They did it by sticking to their strengths in creating what Marc Ecko called an “intellectual discovery event,”described as Art Basel meets Bonnaroo.
Snoop Dogg headlined in his hometown, Skrillex performed and Kid Cudi made a triumphant return to the stage after checking himself into a mental health treatment facility and dealing with Drake’s low blows. The hypebeasts were out in full force to support their patron media saints’ inaugural affair.
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And there were sneakers upon sneakers upon sneakers. Speaking of Long Beach, their new prince Vince Staples also stopped in to do some shopping for kicks while he was there. Note the plastic-wrapped sneaks, which is just perfect.
It wasn’t all just fresh fashion and banger performances, the panels included a discussion about the future of our schools (which featured Pusha T and Jesse Williams) as well as a talk about the growing business of legal marijuana (featuring, unsurprisingly, Wiz Khalifa and Action Bronson, among others). WWE wasn’t left out, either. The ever-present generation gap in rap was up for debate, too.
Overall, this event was all over the TL with the aforementioned events, art installations, #MannequinChallenge feats and otherwise tremendous fanperson moments. With an historic election coming up Tuesday, it was the perfect antidote to the craziness of campaign season.