Photo by Brian Addison
After launching in Long Beach last year, ComplexCon returns to DTLB November 4 and 5—and it is bringing the return of Pharrell’s founding group, N*E*R*D, along with other hip hop, R&B, and urban powerhouses that include Gucci Mane, MIA, DJ Kahled, Young Thug, and A-Trak.
Complex, a cultural publication founded in 2002 by urban fashion designer Marc Ecko and one that brings some 57 million unique visitors monthly on its website, is the go-to source for urban culture and high art. Its unique blend of pop and high-brow has drawn a loyal legion of followers—including Pharrell and famed contemporary Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, who joins Pharrell on the committee overseeing ComplexCon for the second year running.
“When Marc Ecko approached me about being on the host committee the first year, I met with him in their office on 50th Street and felt firsthand the good vibe and untamed, youthful energy they possess,” Murakami said. “It was that spirit that led me to participate in the project and continue to do so.”
Ecko and crew weren’t light in their description of the first event: from “the first World’s Fair for this generation” to “a mix of Art Basel and Bonnaroo,” Ecko assured his dedicated following that ComplexCon would live up to what the brand has already created through print and publication.
And it did: sold out and bringing the return of Snoop Dogg to his hometown—the first time he had performed in Long Beach in decades—ComplexCon set a new standard to how festivals-as-conventions could operate in the city.