Where the fuck am I?
That’s how Tyler, The Creator began speaking to the audience on June 4th, at the 7 Flags Event Center in Clive, Iowa. This is an understandable statement as Iowa isn’t necessarily thought to be much of a “hip-hop haven.” However, I would like to note Drake, Future, and Waka Flocka are coming to Iowa in October. Is this the start of a possible movement? (Editor’s note: It’s also important to note that this is indeed where all the white women are at.) Anyways, Tyler’s day one homie, Taco, opened up the show with a DJ set. Taco played a variety of hot rap songs off his laptop like “Uber Everywhere” and “Pursuit of Happiness” while making sure everyone’s hands were in the air. Taco’s energy was needed to get the crowd going as he started his set about 35 minutes late, which I expected as a lot of artists start a little late but a half hour isn’t too bad, although some in the crowd weren’t fans of this timetable. One of the biggest highlights was “Father Stretch My Hands pt. 2” during which everyone went nuts to the “Panda” sample. Taco began playing “Wanna Fuck Right Now?” and by that point the crowd was definitely warmed up. When Tyler’s verse was about to start, he and Jasper ran on stage causing everyone to scream.
This is when Tyler began communicating with the crowd, saying he had no idea this place existed until the day before, but that we had the best skies and nicest clouds he had ever seen. Any Tyler fan knows the rapper loves clouds so as an Iowa native that was super dope to hear. Because it’s true. We do have the best skies.
It seemed almost impossible that the energy from the opening song could be matched, but Tyler definitely kept it up and even surpassed it at points throughout the show. He kept longtime Tyler and Odd Future fans happy with nostalgic performances of “She” and “Bitch Suck Dick” among others; newer fans were kept happy with performances of hits from Wolf and Cherry Bomb. As a big Tyler fan, what bugged me was that some people near me seemed to be more excited for Taco playing random songs of other rappers than when Tyler actually started performing his songs. Granted this could have been due to the fact Iowa kids were like “yeah, I’ll go to this rap show cause I’m cool” when they weren’t big fans to begin with. The crowd was great despite an instance which I’ll bring up later.
7 Flags isn’t a super huge venue so Tyler obviously couldn’t bring his wild stage set ups that he has been touring with, but the backdrop screens on the front of Taco’s DJ table and behind were as goofy and beautiful as you’d expect. The screens aired clips from Tyler’s videos or other things he compiled such as Teletubbies and race cars. A very visually pleasing performance and one of my personal favorite songs was for “Bimmer.” A beautiful sky was projected behind him, transforming Tyler into an eccentric silhouette.
The energy at this show was unbelievable. Tyler made sure there was never a dull moment and with his heavy crowd interaction, it made us feel connected to what was happening on stage. A trait like that splits Tyler apart from most, making him a top tier performer. Tyler even took the time to call out VIP ticket holders, most of which were girls wearing “club” dresses up on a side balcony. Tyler told them that they were stupid to pay 40 more dollars for a “fucking side view.” Which oddly enough, I said the same exact thing before his show started.
In the middle of his set, Tyler’s most well-known song and video “Yonkers” started to play. During the song he busted out a GOLF – WANG – GOLF – WANG chant of epic proportions that left everyone feeling satisfied as we got our “Yonkers” fix. The high energy never seemed to tail off and practically peaked during the performance of “The Brown Stains of Darkeese Latifah,” where Tyler had everyone take two steps back and kneel down before blowing up at the beat drop. One dude in the crowd wasn’t kneeling and Tyler called him out, prompting the guy to flex his muscles which Tyler responded with, “You’re not buff.”
This was everything I expected and more out of a Tyler, The Creator show. I mean where else are you going to get to chant “Usually I just stalk, and masturbate?” To close out the show, Tyler made a fan give him a dollar to play “Tamale” where the endless moshing ensued. The set lasted for about two hours and 10 minutes; you couldn’t really ask for more when they performed at such a high level the whole time. Tyler expressed his surprise at how fun the show was and that he would be back. After a performance like that, Iowa would welcome him back any day.