At last weekend’s third annual Camp Flog Gnaw Carnival, Tyler, The Creator had what may be one of the greatest days of his life. As rambunctious as he may seem, Tyler’s always proved to be very smart and honest without an ounce of shame, especially when it comes to discussing Pharrell and N*E*R*D’s influence on him as a performer and person.
Therefore, it was hard for him to hide his emotions when Chad Hugo joined Pharrell’s solo set at the Odd Future event, leaving Tyler visibly shaken. But the love didn’t stop there. After Pharrell finished his performance, Mass Appeal arranged for Tyler to interview his idol. The love and respect isn’t a one way transaction as Pharrell, with emotions clearly welling up, describes the chance to perform with Tyler at the OF-hosted event as one thing he envies yet appreciates.
“For me, to have these moments…the stories you used to tell me about listening to our albums,” Pharrell explains, “and then to see you have a show and we’re out there performing and it’s your show: that means more to me than it does to you…because I would have died to have that with Q-Tip. Died! But we never did that, and you’re a different generation” P’s likely referencing the opportunities created by the growth of festivals across music and rap’s heavy presence at many of the events, two things that didn’t exist prior to the late 2000s.
“I love that this generation has its anchor: that’s Odd Future,” he continued. “So I’m not worried about…we’ve got a lot of help now; it’s not just us…. As long as you stay where you are and stay loyal to your beliefs, and secondly your curiosity, no one can touch you.” The small but telling exchange ends up being memorable for others aside from Skateboard P and Tyler. In it lives that connection between different generations of rappers that hasn’t existed as visibly as it did between those prior generations.
Rap isn’t a young man’s game and the genre tends to discard its old after a certain point. Still, between some, there exists a mutual level of admiration, respect and collaboration that helps connect younger fans to the culture’s icons of days seemingly gone by and also creates a new respect for new school artists for old school rap fans.