ComplexCon 2016 Was What So Many Conventions WISH They Could Be

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I first heard about ComplexCon a few months ago.  Being a former Complex employee, I knew that it was something I had to be a part of.  Complex has risen to be the media industry leader for all things cool including music, sports, fashion, art, and all types of lifestyles.  If you are under 40, Complex has something for you.

A little-known story is that HMJ spawned from me reading an article in Complex magazine about bloggers making money. Back in 2006 or 2007 they wrote a compelling piece about Hypebeast, Drunken Stepfather, Perez Hilton and a few other bloggers who were well known in the game at a time. I read this thinking, “if they can do it, so can I.”

So I did, and with the things I learned from doing it, I ended up getting a job with complex doing social media.

I used the money that I made there to make the move to California so that I would be able to cover the progression of the cannabis industry and all of the crazy cannabis and Music festivals happening here. The ironic thing is, being here put me in a perfect position to be able to cover ComplexCon which took place at the Long Beach Convention Center.

I’ve probably been 50+ large events/concerts in my four years in California but I would unequivocally say that ComplexCon was different than anything I’ve ever been to. It was the biggest and the baddest event that I’ve ever seen.  If you don’t believe me, ask my man Bobby Hundreds who called this event “the future.”

It was massive, with a wide range of exhibitors and a ton of stars just walking around checking everything out for themselves.  There were over 200 of the largest companies in the music, streetwear, miscellaneous cool spaces.  Puma, Nike, adidas, VLONE, VFiles + many many more.  Here is the full list of exhibitors

Another unique and important aspect of ComplexCon was the Complex Conversations.  They had several amazing topic ideas with top industry leaders in art, design, fashion, music, entertainment, media and my favorite, weed.  Some the conferences included the business of E-sports, the business of weed, the future of sports media, language in the digital age, the music generation gap and more.  Here is the full list:

Here are a few more pics from the conversations I attended:

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There were two stages for concerts so music heads were able to get their fix. There was the pigeons & planes stage and the main concert hall which had a capacity of 30,000. The pigeons & planes stage was going all day and the other state started from about 6 PM on. All the headline artist performed in the main concert stage but there were plenty of amazing artist who performed at the pigeons and planes stage including my homey Topaz Jones.  I pretty much grew up with him in Montclair, New Jersey as black buddhists and now he is making a big splash on the music scene. Watch out for his upcoming European tour and go cop Arcade right now.

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I mentioned the Star Power that was on display at this event was extremely apparent.  Here are some of the things I saw and heard:

  • When I first walked in the building on my way to the Press area, we ran into Camron and Pharrell.
  • D.R.A.M. performed at the Nike Booth
  • Snoop Digg brought out Pharrell Duron his set.
  • During a taping of Hot Ones with Tony hawk, D’Angelo Russell walked on the set and grabbed a wing.
  • Takashi Murakami did a meet and greet, and also got some wings from Hot Ones.
  • Joe La Puma went sneaker shopping with French Montana and Vince Staples
  • Wiz Khalifa showed up at the Taylor Gang Booth, it was lit:

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And so much more…..

The “First we Feast” area had 20+ food trucks with dish options from all over the world.  Anything you could have wanted from a burger to a falafel you could get there.  I got chicken tikka masala ?.  Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart had a booth there promoting their new VH1 show, Potluck.

Even with all of these amazing things that happened, the biggest highlight for me was overall camaraderie of the event.  It was Complex’s first convention but I’m sure it won’t be their last.

Check out my full gallery of the event below.

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Author: Lenny

Women. Weed. Weather. @LennyGaiter @hail_mary_jane

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