Since Rolling Loud’s inception in Florida three years ago, the festival has kept growing. This past weekend, the massive hip-hop line-up headed to the Bay Area. Two enormous stages were placed in the Oracle Arena parking lot, and thousands upon thousands of fans clamored through multiple security checkpoints to reach the madness. For the number of people packed into that parking lot, the drama was relatively low. Of course, the drunken vomiting young college kids made an appearance, as well as the young girls who try to finesse their way past security in seductive outfits. But outside of the stereotypical neon colored outfits and smell of cigarettes and marijuana, Rolling Loud carried along with minor drama.
What made Rolling Loud stand out in the Bay was the inclusion of several local artists. Without the Bay Area artists incorporated in the line-up, Rolling Loud would have felt like another generic festival with obvious artists like Travis Scott or Wiz Khalifa. Locals artists that lit up the stage included P-Lo, Saweetie, Kamaiyah, Mozzy, ALLBLACK, SOB X RBE, and of course, E-40. Bay Area residents felt a connection to the artists that came up from their cities, and you could feel the pride in the air. Many fans who were not from the Bay, such as myself, felt lost when the crowd broke into choruses and rapped along to songs that painted pictures of cold Oakland nights. The inclusion that was shared by the Bay Area residents and the rappers that hail from their cities will undoubtedly bring the same fans back next year. It was also the perfect touch of authenticity.
The two-day festival came and went like a blur, filled with great music and festival food. The weather fluctuated between hoody and scarf weather to a shorts and tank top climate almost as rapidly as artists hopped on stage. Although there were more performances occurring than I could watch in one weekend, here are the most memorable moments of Rolling Loud Bay Area.