Last week, Kanye West and Drake made history. Two of rap’s biggest artists took the stage at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in hopes of bringing more awareness to the case of Larry Hoover, who is currently serving six life sentences behind bars. The event also marked the end of a longtime, volatile beef between Ye and Drake. It was a surreal moment for all who attended or watched the live performance online, and the whole thing came together in just 18 days.
Gabe Fraboni, founder and creative director of PHNTM, who was Ye’s production lead on the Hoover show and produces his Sunday Service shows, tells Complex that an arena concert usually takes a year to produce, but the number was cut all the way down to 18 days for this event. The vision for the show was ideated by Ye and his designer, but it was up to Fraboni and the team to make it a reality. As chaotic as that sounds, Fraboni says it only contributed to the fun of putting the show together.
“Everything that Ye does, it’s as big and as far as you can take an idea,” he explains. “That’s one of the more exciting aspects of working with him. It continuously evolved. Literally, right up until the night before the show, it was evolving.”
The visual concept for the show revolved around using low-lying fog to make it look like Kanye and Drake were above the clouds. To pull it all off, they used 5,000 pounds of dry ice underneath the stage.
Gabe Fraboni walked Complex through the 18 days leading up to the show, speaking about what it’s like working with Kanye, and what’s next for PHNTM. The interview, lightly edited for clarity, is below.