A sea of dilated eyes and clouds of smoke lit the perfect backdrop for the first Rolling Loud Festival in Southern California on Dec. 16 and 17. Before the festival existed, “rolling loud” just meant rolling up a blunt of some very “dank” weed. Now it means rolling up a blunt of some very high quality marijuana, while listening to your favorite hip-hop artists live.
A couple years ago a festival like this, which was explicitly touted as a weed and hip-hop festival, would have been for a more niche crowd. However, the boom in the popularity of rap music and the recent legalization of medicinal and now recreational weed in California has created the perfect home for the Rolling Loud Festival.
After debuting in Miami two years ago, this festival finally hit the West Coast this past October before debuting in SoCal this past month. The two-day festival underscored hip-hop’s current position as the most dominant force in music with an insanely stacked lineup of chart-toppers and Soundcloud/ underground rappers, headlined by Future, Schoolboy Q, and Migos.
The festival held at NOS Events Center saw the center transformed into a trippy, surreal park for attendees. Three performance stages were held under huge brightly colored tents, which did the exceptional job of creating a huge hot box. Along with that there were booths selling carnival food and artist merchandise. An art installation set with rap album covers surrounded a lake that set as the perfect scenery for hundreds of Instagram posts.
With a whopping 76 performers that were heard by over 25,000 attendees, the festival which lasted 12 hours a day for its two day span, highlighted not only the success of the hip-hop industry, but also the prominent party culture that is associated with today’s hip-hop community.
Every performer made sure to let their crowd know to ‘smoke that shit’ as if their life depended on it. Performers like LA based Shoreline Mafia, Lil Pump, Playboi Carti and Rae Sremmurd even took it a step further by throwing pounds of weed and bottles of codeine into the crowd.
One thing that separated this festival from other California festivals like Hard Summer or Day N Night, was the openness of the drug culture that would be undoubtedly present at the performances. There was no need to hide your drug use because it was supported and even encouraged by the Rolling Loud organizers.
The event organizers did an amazing job of creating a healthy and safe environment for those who did choose to smoke or partake in other drug use. This may of been directly related to the uncharacteristically low amount of health issues during the festival. There were zero reported hospitalizations compared to the 19 reported hospitalizations during the past Hard Summer festival in SoCal.
This allowed the focus of the event to be purely on the music. Headlined by a performance from Future, who is arguably the King of Trap music, the festival also saw performances by Lil Uzi Vert, Gucci Mane, Post Malone, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Kodak Black and many others.
Rolling Loud SoCal saw the debut of four new songs from the rap group Rae Sremmurd off of their forthcoming album titled “Sremmlife 3”, which is set to release in Jan. 2018 and the debut of a new song by LA native RJ.
The festival not only highlighted the significance of rap music for todays up and coming generations, but the importance of music in uniting people of all backgrounds. Which was seen time after time as people sang in unison songs that ranged from the anti-Trump anthem ‘FDT’ by YG to the trap banger ‘Bad and Boujee’ by Migos and Lil Uzi Vert.
Serving as inspiration for future artists, the Rolling Loud Festival marked the shift in how ‘Pop’ music has historically been perceived. The Rolling Loud Festival not only showed that Rap music is here to stay and even dominate charts. Rolling loud also showed the sheer force of the internet era of music. An example of the rearrangement in how to make it big in the music industry.
I think it’s safe to say Rolling Loud will be back just as strong for years to come in its new Southern California location.
Disclaimer: Multi Mag does not think Codeine/opioids are cool. If you or loved one are struggling with an opioid addiction call – 1-800-662-HELP (4357)