Rolling Loud Manages to Rid Itself of Last Year's Hiccups

We could smell the weed tucked away in sports bras and bookbags four blocks away from Mana Wynwood. The name "Rolling Loud" suddenly made sense. A smoke-out was in full effect for Dope Entertainment’s second annual Rolling Loud Music Festival, hosted by Miami’s YesJulz, and there was nothing the security could do about it. At 5 p.m, kids, aunts, grandmothers, and even a baby in a stroller lined up around the block for the impressive lineup of Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, and South Florida natives Robb Bank$, IndigoChildRick, and more.

Last year’s show had flaws in just about everything from the entry to that damned smoke alarm that wouldn't stop going off, and weather equivalent to a small-scale monsoon. But in a recent interview, Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif promised a better show, and they delivered. The sound, the visuals and lighting — it was all better than last year. A portable roof provided shade and, thankfully, the weather was on their side this year.

The sold-out festival spanned two days and had three stages along with a silent Revolution headphone room. The Dab stage hosted all the mainstream acts outside, the Sauce stage contained a few crowd favorites inside, and the Citrus Rap stage, in the corner of the festival grounds, was home to unknown locals.

On Friday night, Robb Bank$ burned millions of collective calories jumping on the stage with his 40-person crew to everyone’s favorite tracks. The Coral Springs native set the tone for the rest of the festival, causing mini raging sessions in the crowd, a sore throat, and some twerking in the front row.

Lil Yachty wasted about three cases of water on the crowd, and, when apparently that wasn't enough, filled water guns and proceeded to soak the pit area while jumping up and down to his hit single “One Night.”
Playboi Carti performed his crowd favorite “Broke Boi” in a mint-green fur coat while Lil Yachty came out again to swing his head around on the opposite side of the stage, managing not to lose any of the 200 clear beads he had in his hair. He jumped into the crowd only to get stuck on the other side, where security had to come to his rescue.

Standing barely five feet tall, Lil Uzi Vert spent most of the time jumping on speakers to give the crowd a better view of his show. He, too, jumped into the crowd for a surf session and ended his set shirtless, which we could have done without.

Toronto artist Jazz Cartier took his performance to new heights by climbing the side of the stage and swinging from the support beams. It was one of the best sets — hands down — on the Sauce stage. He took crowd-surfing to a whole new level. Like Jesus walking on water, Jazz Cartier walked on his crowd, his fans holding his feet up while he walked over them and finished his set.
Ty Dolla Sign sang four tracks to a somewhat uninterested crowd of over 10,000 people, who remained uninterested until he brought out Jeremih. He took over the end of Ty's slot with his hit single “OUI” and made Ty's hour set less painful to watch.

Young Thug killed his hour-long set and was the highlight of day one. While he performed everyone’s favorite songs, a girl in the crowd got bold and enjoyed half the show topless from a guy’s shoulders.

Behind the scenes, a few very famous faces stopped by to show Rolling Loud some love. Andre 3000, Rich the Kid, and Sonny Digital all were spotted bouncing between stages.

Day two kicked off with Miami’s Zoey Dollaz on the Dab stage, making the Miami crowd show up early. The folks in general admission knew all the words to the Miami native’s set and even threw what was left of their savings accounts in the air to his hit single “Blow a Check.”

2 Chainz blessed the Dab stage along with some dude in a wheelchair acting as his hype man. The self-proclaimed Hairweave Killer indeed sweated out weaves as he performed “Birthday Sex” and “No Lie.” By the end of his set, the guy in the wheelchair ended up crowd-surfing near the pit. Yes, he crowd-surfed in a wheelchair because anything is possible at a 2 Chainz show.
Curren$y gave us a breath of fresh air during his set with true lyricism. One of the few artists to not have his entire family onstage while he performed, Curren$y's true fans rapped along to every song during the hour he performed. 

This was Lil B’s first Miami show and he killed it. On the Sauce stage, he came out rocking a pink bandanna on his head and a yellow “Miami, FL” Versace shirt, which Twitter claimed to be worth over a thousand dollars. The Based God premiered his new single, “My House,” produced by Metro Boomin and the crowd went wild. Shit went left when he threw the Versace shirt in the crowd and fans almost lost their life fighting over a sweaty-ass button-up that even a stylist couldn’t find a fly fit for.

A week prior, South Florida's own Kodak Black landed himself in jail over drug and firearm charges, but that didn’t stop him from showing love to his home at Rolling Loud. His mouth full of gold shine in the dim lights, he uttered every other word to his single “No Flocking.” It wasn’t the best Kodak experience, but we’ll take it.

The crowd grew annoyed while waiting for Future to end Rolling Loud on a high note. Staff stalled with a horrible DJ set, dead silence, and Zoey Dollaz came out for an awkward encore. After over an hour and a half of complaining, Future finally showed up to shut everyone up. The headliner performed an array of songs from his earlier projects — Pluto and Monster — to his most recent projects — What a Time to Be Alive and Evol.

Overall, Rolling Loud ran a lot smoother than last year, and the lineup made the long lines and pushing and shoving and the occasional fight in the VIP section worth it. Dope Entertainment plans to take its smoke-themed music festival to California soon in an attempt to make Rolling Loud a global ordeal.
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Cristina Jerome is a freelance music writer and event producer based in South Florida. She spends her time listening to R&B and making purple flower crowns. Follow her work on