The first day at the first-ever ComplexCon at the Long Beach Convention Center was a convergence of music, streetwear, sneakers, activism, weed and social media—along with 10,000 attendees. There were amazing performances, exclusive sneaker and streetwear drops, insightful panels and many more highlights on the program. But off the program were the kind of amazing random moments that can only happen when rap gods, sneakerheads, streetwear giants, TV stars (Jesse Williams) and Black Lives Matter activists collide, all in one place. Read below for a recap of the biggest, wildest, weirdest highlights from 24 hours of ComplexCon.
ComplexCon hasn't even started yet, but there are already 15 or so kids lined up outside with camping gear—tents, sleeping bags, etc. The hype is real.
Why did people camp out for complexcon 🤔🙄 ed lol— CigaretteBoats (@Cigaretteboats_) November 5, 2016
Apple's Beats 1 Radio begins broadcasting live with Ebro Darden and Zane Lowe from the lobby of the Long Beach Convention Center.
The doors open—a minute early. People literally start running to line up at the Nike, UNDFTD, Bathing Ape and other installations.
Minutes before the "The Future of Our Schools" panel with Pusha T, Jesse Williams, Complex cofounder Marc Ecko and others begins, prominent Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson nods his head as Solange's "Cranes in the Sky" comes on.
In the Best Sneaker of the Year panel with DJ Clark Kent and others, Wale flips off new-school "hypebeasts" and points to his sneakerhead roots as a reseller and back-in-the-day NikeTalk.com commenter. "Some rappers talk about they used to sell drugs...I used to sell sneakers!"
At "The Future of Streetwear" panel with Jeff Staple, Vashtie, and more, Bobby Hundreds is the final person asked to define what streetwear is. "Streetwear is really an attitude," he says. Vashtie nods enthusiastically.
Later at the streetwear panel, Jeff Staple notes that luxury fashion designers try to identify with street brands—but fail. "You ain't street culture!" says Staple. The audience bursts into laughter.
Vince Staples hits the floor for an impromptu Sneaker Shopping episode with Complex's Joe La Puma at the Nike Air Force pop-up.
At the "Has the WWE Finally Crossed Over?" with Wale, Action Bronson points to his body: "This is what happens when you get off steroids."
Jesse Williams leads a #ComplexConversations audience in a massive #mannequinchallenge.
At a panel moderated by Complex's Alex Gale, Pharrell is at the Adidas exhibit discussing his Hu Collection, the recent visit to the MHA Nation reservation in Dakota that inspired it, and the standoff between Native American activists and the government over the Dakota Access Pipeline. Pharrell says he thinks Native American culture is being deeply disrespected. "I'm watching my culture go through this as well," he says.
"Why are we expendable?” DJ Two Bears, an MHA activist who worked closely with Pharrell on the Hu campaign. “Do they think we're not valuable enough?"
In the Green Room before the live taping of the Open Run Podcast with Maverick Carter: "Hey Jesse," Rachel Nichols says to Jesse Williams, "are we drinking during the podcast or after the podcast?"
Cam'ron is sitting on a throne made of FourLoko cans. Seriously.
At the Taylor Gang pop-up, Wiz Khalifa throws weed out into the turned-up crowd and leads a sing along to Montell Jordan's "This is How We Do It."
At the Merry Jane-sponsored "Business of Weed" panel, moderated by Merry Jane EIC Noah Rubin, Action Bronson shouts to someone off stage, who brings up a giant ziplock bag of weed. When Bronson sits down with it, Game thrusts a wad of cash in his direction. Eventually the panel becomes a giant hot box. Business of weed, indeed.
Travis Scott, toward the end of destroying his ComplexCon set—a preview of his new tour, by the way—curses out security on the mic for not letting Mike Dean "light up" on stage.
Fresh out of rehab for depression, Kid Cudi is back onstage, smiling, and the crowd gives him a full 30 seconds of applause.
A triumphant Cudi jumps down to the front of the crowd all night signing autographs. Travis Scott attempts to join and quickly gets overwhelmed by eager fans. "I'm too old for this shit." Scott is 24.
As Cudi closes the show, a fan gives him what looks like a clay version of Rodin's "The Thinker," only it's Cudi. "This is heavy. This means a lot. I'm going to go put it somewhere in my living room."
Surrounded by confetti and laser blasts, Day 1 headliner Skrillex is standing in a spaceship while performing. ComplexCon ended with an appropriately out of this world moment.