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Tyler, the Creator Brings Comedy, Fireworks to Coachella Headlining Set

Tyler, The Creator headlined the second day of Coachella on Saturday night — a momentous occasion for one of rap’s biggest stars, coming 13 years after his Coachella debut as a member of Odd Future in 2011.

Tyler pulled out all the stops for his show, bringing out a star-studded guest list that included Childish Gambino, A$AP Rocky, Kali Uchis and soul singer Charlie Wilson, the famed lead vocalist of The Gap Band.

“These are Epstein hours!” exclaimed the 33-year-old rapper at the start of his set, which he began at 11:40 p.m. on the dot. The stage was set to resemble a campsite outside of the scenic Monument Valley. Dressed as a state trooper, Tyler opened the show by cooking fried eggs inside his makeshift camper trailer, before ejecting himself through the wall. (He raps, he sings… he even does his own stunts!)

Tyler started heavy on songs from his 2021 album Call Me If You Get Lost, delivering high-octane performances of “WusYaName” and “Lumberjack.” He performed his 2023 Estate Sale cut “Dogtooth,” then turned back the dial to 2019 and performed “I Think,” the funkadelic number from his fifth studio album, Igor. Childish Gambino, a.k.a. Donald Glover, surfaced in a knit bucket hat to sing the melodic Igor ballad, “Running Out of Time.”

“You know what’s sick? I used to hate that n—!” said Tyler to the audience upon Glover’s departure, his timing as sharp as a stand-up comic’s. “I don’t know, I had to go to therapy to figure it out… I was in conflict with myself. Now the tables ave turned and this n— barely returns my calls… I love you, thank you for existing!”

INDIO, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 13: (FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Tyler, the Creator performs at the Coachella Stage during the 2024 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at Empire Polo Club on April 13, 2024 in Indio, California. (Photo by Arturo Holmes/Getty Images for Coachella)

Getty Images for Coachella

A week before his set, Tyler had unveiled a billboard on the highway to Indio, telling festivalgoers that he wanted to “see y’all’s faces, not your phone lights” during his show. While that request predictably didn’t come to fruition — fans lost all sense of propriety once A$AP Rocky hopped onstage to perform 2017’s “Who Dat Boy” and 2018’s “Potato Salad” — but most of the crowd had no trouble matching Tyler’s excitable energy. “You know what’s crazy? I used to hate that n— too!” said Tyler of Rocky.

Although rumors abounded of an Odd Future reunion — which would imply a meeting of Frank Ocean, Steve Lacy, Syd and others — it never materialized. Still, Tyler soldiered on with some Odd Future-era cuts, like “Tamale” and “IFHY” from 2013’s Wolf — taking a beat mid-way to snack on a sandwich — and even pulled 2009’s “Odd Toddlers” from the vault, a song he wrote when he was 16 years old. Tyler then ushered in “Uncle” Charlie Wilson to join him for a tender duet of his 2019 R&B hit, “Earfquake,” which incorporated glimmers of The Gap Band’s 1982 number, “Outstanding.”

And in her first performance since giving birth to her baby boy with Don Tolliver, Kali Uchis appeared to sing lines from their saccharine duet, “See You Again.” Kali’s ethereal appearance, while appreciated by Tyler and his fans, was all too fleeting.

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“I have four minutes left!” said Tyler to the audience, citing the impending curfew and a burgeoning wind storm. “To everyone who came to see me, [and] to everyone who didn’t come to see me, and just walked in… thank you for coming to see me. I am so excited to clean my dick and go to sleep… If you do molly and you end up in an orgy, use protection, because n—s is dirty.”

Tyler wrapped his set just at the strike of one a.m., sending off Coachella with a bang — or several. Closing with a heated performance of his tempestuous 2019 song, “New Magic Wand,” the rapper dodged firecrackers onstage as he ripped from verse to verse… only to suddenly vanish in a plume of smoke. If Tyler was going to headline Coachella, he was bound to leave thousands of festivalgoers laughing and scratching their heads in his wake.

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