Festivals and conventions have grown in popularity over the years, catering to a variety of audiences from music junkies to comic book aficionado, there are a couple days out of the year for this audience.
The city of Long Beach recently held its 3rd annual ComplexCon. Complex is a media platform for the youth and pop culture. The bi-weekly magazine covers a range of topics from music to fashion, sports, art, with an emphasis on style and hip hop.
Imagine Coachella, ESPN, and an art gallery all had a baby, that is ComplexCon. This is an event that has something for everyone. Music performances by Future, T-Pain, Rae Sremmurd and many more graced the stage while Pharrell, Karen Civil, Nas, and many more held influential panel discussions.
If music and table talks aren’t your thing, do not stress. There was also live artists creating pieces for everyone to watch. The entire foundation of this event is based on art and talent just in different forms.
“I think its super dope to have something like this, it’s not like your typical convention” commented anttendee Taylor Ancona when asked what made her want to attend the event. “There are so many different things to see, experience, and learn in such a short amount of time but I refuse to miss T-Pain’s performance so some of this stuff is going to have to wait,” she stated while laughing.
ComplexCon pulled no stops in representing for the culture and honoring historical staples in hip-hop.
Death Row Records is known by almost every hip-hop lover and even some who are not listeners. The label is responsible for the rise of Snoop Dogg and Tupac as well as former N.W.A. member Dr. Dre before progressing into his solo career as a producer.
The company eventually paved the way for artists such as Eminem and 50 Cent. Death Row was honored with a booth set up showing all of the great things that fell under their umbrella as well as merchandise.
“Tupac is my favorite rapper so I was excited when I was walking by and saw the Death Row symbol. It is one thing to just know the story but its a different to feel immersed in the culture” said Xavier Hamilton.
It goes without saying that this is not the only booth hosted, brands such at AAPE or Bathing Ape, Adidas, Champion, and rapper YG’s company 4Hunnid along with an extensive list of many more were all in attendance.
Remember going to Universal Studios and getting on those rides that were not really rides? They were more like sitting in a movie clip. Well, they had that too!
With Christmas approaching everyone is living for a bit of nostalgia and going through Dr. Suess’ The Grinch experience which told the story we all know and love. Creed II also had their own experience where you get to immerse yourself into the boxing world watching sparring matches and getting your own photo in the ring.
It doesn’t just end there, Vans also had their own experience but it was different from what you would think it would be.
Vans held an experimental workshop designed for artists and photographers to pick each other’s brains sharing viewpoints and different perspectives to help enable creative expression.
From novice to experts artists, Brock Fetch, Ray Barbee, Daniel Arnold, and Miranda Barnes all took individuals on a journey helping them to find their own perspective.
“Photography was a big passion of mines and it kind of fell off due to personal issues. I didn’t plan on stopping by here but I’m glad I did” said Femi Orokunle. “I just started getting back into it and listening to others who have been in my shoes find success and overcome similar obstacles just further pushed me to keep grinding.”
In a sense, ComplexCon is just a breeding ground for many people to come together who share common interests even if they don’t think they do. The sneakerhead and person obsessed with flowers could both awe over the Air Jordan 1 made from hundreds of roses.
After placing an order at Afters Ice Cream the cashier made the comment, “there’s literally something for everyone.”
He went more in-depth by saying, “if you think about it there is a bunch of random stuff in one building yet it somehow meshes and makes sense. Like I would never think 1800 tequila would have an art booth or Old Spice having arcade games.”
The nameless employee just might’ve been onto something. A convention or some type of festival is sure to pop up on many bucket lists.