The Hollywood Park Grounds in California hosted the largest Hip-Hop festival in the world, Rolling Loud, this past week from March 3-5. The festival was headlined by Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Future with Lil Wayne as a special guest. The anticipation for this year's event was high, as this was the first performance by Travis Scott since his Astroworld concert incident in November of 2021.
Scott did not disappoint, as his performance on Day 2 of Rolling Loud was one of the highlights of the weekend. The crowd was electric as Scott began his set with "Hold That Heat" and proceeded to play hits such as "Butterfly Effect", "Way Back", and "Antidote". Scott even dug into his mixtape bag, as he performed "Mamacita" from his 2014 mixtape Days Before Rodeo.
As Scott ended his set with "Sicko Mode", the sound was cut off abruptly and a message flashed on the screen wishing the audience a good night and safe return home. However, Scott continued rapping while only the house monitors gave off sound. Despite the sudden ending to Scott's performance, the Rolling Loud audience was overwhelmed with excitement to see the Houston rapper back on stage.
Another highlight of the festival was Lil Wayne, as though he was featured as a "special guest", he performed on his own stage at the same time as Scott. Wayne appeared on stage rocking a pink fur coat as he performed "Blunt Blowin'" with a live drummer. He exclaimed that he was at Rolling Loud on behalf of Young Money Records to a huge ovation from the crowd.
The rapper also brought 2 Chainz on stage to perform their collaborative songs "Rich as Fuck", "Duffle Bag Boy" and "Watch Out." However, the surprises were not done there as Nicki Minaj, Wayne's long time friend and associate, joined Weezy on stage. Minaj and Wayne performed hits that have spanned the last decade such as "Bed Rock", "Chun-Li", and "Truffle Butter". Both Wayne and Minaj showed why they have been on top of the rap game for so long, with Wayne performing around thirty songs, all of which are hits. Wayne finished his set with his classic song "A Milli".
Playboi Carti's set was cut short due to a rowdy crowd. According to Rolling Loud security, fans of the Atlanta rapper hurdled over the barricades by the stage only three songs into Carti's set and the "Magnolia" rapper was escorted from the stage and forced to stop performing. After a thirty minute delay, Carti was able to finish his set with his song "Location" from his first, "Self-Titled" album.
The show also featured a performance from New York rapper Ice Spice to great fan-fare. Over the past few months, Ice Spice has exponentially grown in popularity due to the success of songs such as "Munch" and "Bikini Bottom". While Ice Spice is relatively new to the Hip-Hop world, her confidence and swagger on stage made for an incredible act. Spice even performed her recently released song "Boy's a Liar pt. 2" with Pink Pantheress for the first time.
An additional newcomer who showed off their star potential at Rolling Loud was Destroy Lonely. Lonely, an Atlanta rapper signed to Playboi Carti's "Opium" label, began his set with "If Looks Could Kill", a song he released only days before on March 3rd. However, an unofficial leak of the song surfaced the internet months before, so its live debut was one of the highlights of the entire festival for many members of the audience. Lonely arrived on stage in all black, a now trademarked look of the "Opium" label, and the crowd showed its mark of approval for Lonely throughout his entire set, as they sang along to the majority of his songs. Lonely also performed hits such as "Neverever", "VTMNTSCOAT", and "Bane" and ended his set with probably his most popular song "NOSTYLIST".
Lil Uzi Vert
Along with many relative newcomers, fan favorites of the Hip-Hop world such as Lil Uzi Vert also performed at the California show. Uzi entered on-stage in an all-red suit and a new hairstyle which was reminiscent of many punk-rockers from the late 1990's to the early 2000's. The Philadelphia native previewed three new songs during his set while also playing many of his hits such as "Money Longer", "XO TOUR Llif3", and "20 Min".
However, the highlight of Uzi's entire set was his performance of "Just Wanna Rock". He even played it twice. While Lil Uzi Vert's last solo full-length album, "Eternal Atake" dates back to 2020, it is apparent that fans around the world are eager for more from the Philadelphia rapper.
A staple of Rolling Loud, Lil Baby, also performed at the California show, and as per usual, his set was one of the standouts from the entire event. The Atlanta rapper has cemented himself as one of the most popular artists in the country over the past few years and his performance here showed why that is the case. Baby began his set with a cover of his song with Drake, "Wants and Needs". The rapper then displayed just how many hits he has accrued over the past five years as he played songs such as "We Paid", "Drip Too Hard", and "Pure Cocaine". He finished his set with "Freestyle", which was obviously a crowd favorite, as the entirety of Hollywood Park Grounds rapped alongside Baby word for word.
Rolling Loud 2023 provided all Hip-Hop fans in attendance an incredible weekend, as the hottest rappers of today all arrived with the intention of giving California a show they would not forget. Rolling Loud showed why they are the largest Hip-Hop festival in the world as both upcoming artists and icons of the industry took the stage in Hollywood Park Grounds. The next Rolling Loud event will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida on July 21st of this year.