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Kanye West surprises crowd at raucous Odd Future carnival

November 10, 2013|By Randall Roberts, Pop Music Critic
  • Fans react to Tyler, the Creator at the Odd Future carnival known as Camp Flog Gnaw in the park outside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Fans react to Tyler, the Creator at the Odd Future carnival known as Camp… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Just when it seemed as though Tyler, the Creator was concluding a typically frenetic set during Odd Future's second annual Camp Flog Gnaw carnival, the rapper, producer, designer, director and merchandise king let on that a friend had arrived to perform a few songs. Tyler, who co-founded Odd Future, has many friends, but few in the crowd expected what came next.  

Tyler introduced Kanye West, an impressively kept secret, and the crowd in the park outside Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum bellowed with baffled joy. West, who recently had to postpone his own tour due to tech issues, waltzed out to a hero's welcome in his adopted town, and for two songs confirmed for the youth both his power and influence.

As a Ferris wheel spun and a nearby ride called the Zipper prompted panicked cries from its inhabitants, West, with Tyler helping him, pushed through "New Slaves." DJ Taco bounced on a platform above him, delivering that minimalist beat to fans who recited every word.

In typically honest fashion, Tyler then gushed that he was having a fanboy moment and was about to do one of his favorite songs alongside one of his favorite rappers. As the synthetic strings opening "Late," from West's 2005 album, "Late Registration," echoed over the acreage, the entire carnival seemed to levitate.  

Those who missed it in person can find solace in knowing that of the thousands in attendance, most  recorded it on their smartphones. Small comfort, sure, but still. 

Pop & Hiss will be publishing a full review of Odd Future's carnival, which featured on its stages Odd Future members, friends and affiliates including Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, MellowHype, Mac Miller, Trash Talk and others, in the coming hours. But if you want proof that this happened, bask in the glow of a poorly shot (and not safe for work) YouTube fan clip


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