Everyone Was Rolling Loud in San Bernardino REVIEW+PHOTOS: ROLLING LOUD @ NOS EVENTS CENTER 12/16/17 - 12/17/17
SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Hundreds of fans sprinted into the NOS Event Center for Rolling Loud SoCal to see some of the most popular rappers in the Trap scene thus far. The Miami based festival expanding worldwide in the coming year put together a premiere 2-day experience in partnership with Revolt TV. Live-streamed for all to see, Rolling Loud was one for the books and just in time to close the year off right with headliners like Future, Schoolboy Q, Migos, Gucci Mane, 21 Savage and dozens more. Rappers from across the hip-hop spectrum brought together listeners that have been riding with them since day one.
When you entered the venue, circus tents towered over enormous stages with massive sound and lighting systems. There was a variety of food vendors, benches, and hydration stations to help prevent fans from passing out. However, some still fell victim to the heavy crowds and were getting carried out through the pits. At the start of the event everything seemed well thought out but by the end of the weekend security was getting overwhelmed and the crowd got out of hand fast.
Day one at Rolling Loud was about soaking in all the newness of this highly anticipated festival. As an avid concert goer, I appreciated the consistency of set times and was able to catch almost all the acts I wanted. The lineup conveniently displayed on the huge LED screen led us to the first performance we saw on the main stage. Dumbfounded was warming up the crowd. Followed by the lively Saint JHN and bay area group SOBxRBE who really set it off for the night. In between performances, we were able to catch dope names on the Dab Stage like Maxo Kream and Kodak Black on the second stage. Of all the acts, I was excited to see Curren$y since it was my first time hearing his smooth flow live.
One of the most memorable events of the night was Jaden Smith’s set. While I was skeptical of his live performances I was actually impressed. His performance unveiled a much more mature artist, passionate about the future and ready to be an icon for future generations. Jaden had the crowd fully engaged with visuals from his latest “George Jeff” displayed on the huge LED screens behind him as he sporadically moon-walked across the stage. It was inspiring to see the 19 year old spread positivity to the youth, you felt that he would become a legend and spark a new movement of consciousness.
The living icon said it was the “best fucking tour I ever been on in my life!”
After seeing Jaden my favorite set of the first night was Gucci Mane. The trap god took the stage iced out with his wife Keyshia Ka’Oir on stage to turn up with him and his fans. By the time Gucci Mane left the stage the crowd was packed to capacity. General admission people were hopping into the VIP sections and the fire marshall was supposedly going to shut the event down. We just made it in the pit for Migos and the trio brought Gucci Mane back on stage to join them for “Get The Bag.” The three killed their set and the crowd kept the hype up for Schoolboy Q to close off the night.
If you have ever seen Schoolboy Q live, you know that he strongly feeds off of the energy of the crowd. At Rolling Loud, Q encouraged mosh pits and gave one of the most energetic performances I’ve ever seen him deliver. Although we were cut off from the pit during his performance, we were able to catch him in the pit during Migos’ set. All eyes in the venue were glued on Q’s performance with hands in the air, bodies bouncing and joints hot boxing the massive circus tent. He expressed how grateful he was to be back home in Los Angeles and you could feel his energy through out every song. The grammy nominated artist performed throwbacks, Oxymoron favorite and new Blank Face tracks like my favorite “Dope Dealer.” It was definitely a great way to end the night of what was just the beginning of the festival.
Day two of Rolling Loud SoCal edition was a blast. Chaz French was crowd surfing and starting moshpits with fans. Lil Peeps closest friends had a moment of silence for the 21-year-old rapper who passed away this November. His team said a few words of respect, displayed a video honoring his musical legacy and released pink balloons in the air in his memory. It was a touching moment that brought the crowd back to reality.
One of my favorite performances of the night was Nef Tha Pharoah. Bay area rapper with some of the hottest songs out like “Big Tymin” and “Bling Blaow.” If you haven’t jumped on his stuff you are sleeping. His energy was unmatched, busting out all the classic bay area moves and getting all the girls hyphy. Perfect music if you are trying to turn up your boring party.
A big crowd favorite was definitely Young Dolph. Fans were running to catch the recently shot Memphis rapper. Everyone was spitting all the words throughout his set. The energy in the pit was wild when he came out in an ambulance and started rapping “What’s The Deal.”
As we ran between performances we were able to catch up with two upcoming rappers Tyla Yahweh and Cassow. Tyla Yahweh, came a long way from the first Rolling Loud in Miami and has been following the festival ever since. Although he was busy all weekend with interviews he chopped it up with us to let us know how dope his fans have been during his live performances. Cassow was also chilling in the media room, we talked to him about his journey throughout the event and he said his favorite set was Gucci Mane’s so far.
Back at the main stage, fans were losing their shit over Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang.” Next up was Post Malone, who had the whole crowd singing along to his multiple hits like “Too Young” and “Celebration.” We rushed over to the second stage to catch the end of 21 Savage’s set but made it just in time to see Young Thug close the stage for the weekend. Some of the hottest tracks he did were “Digits” and “All About The Money.”
By the time Rae Sremmerd took the main stage with banger after banger, the festival was a mess. Security had given up all effort to stop smokers and lost track of credentials. As the madness grew, the SremmLife duo brought all their energy for this wild RollingLoud crowd. Fans went in on every song from “Look Alive” to their now classics; “No Type,” “No Flex Zone,” and more.
As the night came to an end Future wrapped the show up with some of my favorite songs from the weekend “Jumpman” and his current hit “I’m So Groovy.” Future set the year off with a weekend to remember, his set reminded me of how much I actually listen to his music from “Move That Dope” to “Where Ya At.” The energy was so strong throughout his performance it felt like the ground was shaking especially when he brought out Young Thug to perform “Digits” and “Relationship.” Future brought the house down with “Mask Off” and ended the festival performing one of the hottest songs of the year.
Kimberly Quitzon is a L.A. based music journalist and digital marketer…follow on social media: @kimquitzon.