Ranked No. 2 in the nation, recent transfer Matt Corral takes the helm as Poly’s new quarterback with a lot to prove. No longer afforded the benefits of his former private school, Matt will be challenged to find a new way to lead. Over the first three games of the 2017 season, the All-American sets out on the journey that will define his legacy in Long Beach.
The memorial service—which took place in Long Beach, New York—began with a speech by Lil Peep’s grandmother Jenny Kastner (32-minute mark). She told the crowd she received a lot of encouraging messages from the rapper’s fans and that she was “very touched by how many of them really [understood] him.” Kastner went on to read a couple of fan letters, the first of which praised Lil Peep (real name Gus Ahr) for being so open and accessible to his fanbase. The second message focused on the rapper’s uniqueness and influence on the world.
“He wasn’t the modern-day Kurt Cobain, by the way. He is the first and only Lil Peep,” Kastner read from the letter (34:25), “and arguably left behind a legacy that will have a far greater impact. His kindness will live on through lots of people.”
Lil Peep’s mother, Liza Womack, took the stage moments later, recounting a conversation she had with her son Oskar shortly after Lil Peep died.
“One of the things Oskar said to me was, ‘Momma, just think of what he accomplished in barely 21 years […] Most people never get to do in their entire lifetime what Gus did in 21 years,’” Womack recalled. “[…] Gus did it. He lived his own life on his own terms. He was a stubborn, driven, talented, crafty, observant, and tender young man. Gus was also vulnerable.”
Womack went on to speak about her son’s view of the world, and how he refused to conform to society’s expectations. She said he began to display his rebellion by getting a tattoo, which led to another tattoo, and another, and many more after that. The more he looked like an outsider, the more he was treated like an outsider, his mother explained.
“Years later, Gus told me that it was easy to tell the difference between the people who saw his tattoos when they looked at him, and the people who saw him [for who he was],” Womack said, before encouraging others to look beyond superficial observations. […] Please do not make assumptions about people or events in ignorance […] Try to step outside of your own box and open your mind to new ideas. My sweet Lil Peeper is gone now, but he has surely left us a lot of wonderful material to review and consider […] I am so proud of him. You have no idea.”
You can watch the full memorial service, which included speeches by friends and colleagues, in the video above. And watch Good Charlotte's performance of “Awful Things” below.
The ComplexCon 2017 hangover is real right now, and it's time to try and recollect all the greatest moments from the two-day event in Long Beach, California. For the Full Size Run boys, the highlight of the weekend was a sit down interview with Adidas's Vice President of Global Entertainment and Influencer Marketing, Jon Wexler.
Wex is best known for being the man who brought Kanye West to Adidas, and he talked about Kanye's effect on the brand, as well as the perceived war against Nike, and whether or not Adidas won ComplexCon 2017.
The future is now and it was at ComplexCon. As part of their 2017 activation, Intel showcased some of their most innovative technologies in an interactive walkway and virtual reality experience in partnership with Linkin Park.
Intel’s ComplexCon booth (A3) unveiled an immersive, hands-on experience using Intel RealSense technology, which allows a user’s hand and body gestures to trigger the activation. For instance, making a thumbs up gesture with your hand in front of one of the sensors on the McFlyy Wall automatically changes the imagery on the screens to highlight a different piece of art. Artist Esteban Diacono’s wall also featured dancing figures that interacted with his pieces once the gesture control was triggered by someone’s body movement.
Pushing the boundaries of storytelling even further, the installation featured an exclusive Linkin Park activation that allowed fans in attendance the rare opportunity to create a virtual painting of their own while listening to the group’s latest album. As part of the installation, all three members of Linkin Park—including Chester Bennington who committed suicide earlier this year—had 3D scans of their bodies captured to literally help bring the project to life. The end result is a highly personal experience as fans can interact with their favorite band through this virtual reality experience.
Surviving band members Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda were in attendance to walk through the experience with fans and share insight on their partnership with Intel. “We’ve been friends with Intel for a few years now and I had the idea of leaving this album behind the [same] way when Superman came to earth what his parents left for him a time capsule,” Hahn explained. “We’re going to have some music video stuff, we’re going to take you through the making of the record, and how some of these moments in the studio turned into the songs basically.”
For those still in the Long Beach area, be sure to hit up the Intel booth (A3) at ComplexCon to experience this activation in real-life before the event ends. In the meantime check out our exclusive tour of the space and interviews with Linkin park and Intel executives above.
International superstar J Balvin wanted to make his first time hitting up ComplexCon extra special. Not only did he serve as part of the two-day event’s host committee, but Balvin also lived up to the title of his smash hit “Mi Gente” by putting together a special booth that was all about his people.
In collaboration with Buchanan’s Whisky, J Balvin curated a collection of pieces from emerging Latin designers at his “Balvin Airlines” booth. Set up like an actual airport terminal, it features staff dressed up like flight attendants and pilots, a mini conveyor belt, and check-in counters where merchandise from MCM, Kappa, Ron English and more are available for purchase.
Complex News’ Natasha Martinez caught up with the reggaeton singer on the ComplexCon Marketplace floor to get his insight on the inspiration behind the one-of-a-kind booth. “This booth basically I’m not just focusing on the Latino [community], I’m focused on the global movement that we’re making,” he explained. “We’re making something real cool for the culture.”
If you’re in the Long Beach area today, be sure to check out the booth B1 for yourself on day two of ComplexCon. To hear more on Balvin’s creative process and thoughts on Latin music’s global appeal and dominance check out our full interview above.
UPDATED 10/14/17 2:20 p.m. ET:Vince Staples wasn’t done. Hours after he explained his criticism of Eminem’s BET Hip Hop Awards freestyle, the Long Beach rapper returned to Twitter to answer more questions on the matter.
Staples reiterated that his problem wasn’t necessarily with Eminem; it was with the people who applauded the “trash” freestyle. He spoke about his respect for the Detroit rapper, but insisted his bars received more praise then they deserved. Staples said he believed this was a result of white privilege, which many Shady fans fail to acknowledge.
Do you feel like the general public has no idea what good bars are and that's why they don't get the Em freestyle criticism?
Vince Staples is entitled to his own opinion. One in particular, where he weighs in on Eminem’s Trump freestyle at this year’s BET Hip Hop Awards, might have been taken out of context. At least, according to him.
Pitchfork ran a story this evening with the headline “Vince Staples Calls Eminem’s Trump Freestyle ‘Trash.” In the piece, Staples is quoted from his appearance at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art for the publication’s In Sight Out series. He says Em’s freestyle was “trash” and that “he can do better.”
He later explained if he were to rap those same lines, he wouldn’t of have the same impact. “If I said, ‘This is for Colin/Ball up a fist/And keep it balled up/Like Donald the bitch,’ they would be like, ‘Get this ni**a out of here.’”
Vince did share what he actually liked about the freestyle. “My favorite thing about the Eminem freestyle is the wall of dark-skinned black people behind him,” he said. “That was great.”
Shortly after the piece was published, Staples went on Twitter to clarify his words and said it was all in good fun.
The mnm statement was all in good fun I like him & Kim. @Pitchfork took it out of context because they thirsty. Lemme get these jokes off.
As we learn more about the group of artists first classified as “SoundCloud rappers,” the title feels increasingly inadequate. Smokepurpp is the latest South Florida phenom to break big, recently signing with Alamo Records and landing features from Chief Keef, Travis Scott, and D.R.A.M. for his Deadstar release.
Now that he's fully in the public eye, we wanted to see what Smokepurpp was thinking about during his rise—so we took a trip in Twitter's time machine and asked the Miami rapper what was going through his head when he forgot what a chicken was.
Watch the latest episode of Trending Topics above, and listen to Deadstar below.
Catch Smokepurpp live on the Pigeons & Planes stage at ComplexCon, which goes down November 4 and 5 in Long Beach, California. Tickets are on sale now.
Injury Reserve don't take themselves too seriously. Ritchie With a T, one of the two MCs in this rap trio, is trying to work out if he can float in the pool on a pink inflatable ring while we conduct the interview for this video. Unfortunately, he's sinking. In the end Parker Corey, the group's producer, and rapper Stepa J. Groggs decide to sit either side of a partially submerged Ritchie.
We're at Injury Reserve's base on a quiet, pine tree lined street in Pasadena, California, their new home since moving from Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year. After seeing success with two independently released projects (Live From the Dentist's Office and Floss) they decided a change of scenery was in order. Their new EP Drive It Like It's Stolen was recorded at this house, and it tackles themes like isolation and loneliness (“North Pole”) as well as having some straight up bangers (“See You Sweat”). Quite simply, it's their best work yet, and it's out September 29.
We spent a day with Injury Reserve go-karting, hiking, and enjoying the pool to get to know one of the most exciting rising acts in rap. Watch what happened above.
Catch Injury Reserve live on the Pigeons & Planes stage at ComplexCon, which goes down November 4 and 5 in Long Beach, California. Day time expo tickets allow entry into the event from 11am-7pm, and include access to the P&P stage, marketplace, and panels. They are on sale now at ComplexCon.com/tickets.