Bayfront Park was not ready for Rolling Loud, but even still, this year the festival was able to solidify itself as probably the best hip hop fest around.
In terms of rap music, there was no competition for the Rolling Loud line up this year. Festival organizers Dope Ent. were able to secure some of the biggest names in the industry right now as well as up and coming rappers straight out of South Florida.
So much was happening that it was hard to keep track, from Cheif Keef performing despite the warrant out for his arrest, YG filled in for Kodak Black since he is locked up, the location of Migos’ performance was switched with no prior announcement and rappers from were making guest appearances during almost every set. Yet, even through the whiplash, I was able to have an amazing time, here are some of my highlights:
The fashion killer closed Friday night with a bang. Between blow up pools, girls twerking on stage and guest appearances by Lil Yachty, XXXTENTACION, and members of A$AP Mob, the set felt much more like a club appearance than a traditional set but in a way that can only be expected from Rocky. Even over the next few days, this set remained among the most lighthearted and fun of the festival.
Over the last few month, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding Broward native XXXTENTACION making him one of Saturday’s most anticipated acts. The performance was one of the most aggressive and energetic shows I have ever been to. X made it clear that he was not afraid to interact with fans as he crowd surfed and jumped into the pit to join the mosh. He also brought out other South Florida acts on the lineup, many of which are frequent collaborators, like Wifisfuneral, Ski Mask the Slump God, and Denzel Curry
Mac Miller was the epitome of cool at one of the most chill sets of the weekend. His set perfectly blended the evolution of his sound over the years. From Cinderella to Break the Law his flow was as impressive as ever and it was a great addition to the vibe of the festival.
Fresh off the release of his acclaimed project DAMN., Kendrick Lamar is untouchable right now and his performance only reinforced this. The set featured highlights from his discography and the best of DAMN. with visual interludes that showed us what Kung Fu Kenny is really about. From the size of the crowd, it was obvious that fans had high expectations for the set and it is safe to say he exceeded them.