Rolling Loud 2019 Day Two: Travis Scott, Young Thug, and Kodak Black (or Lack Thereof)

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With many of the day-one issues and complaints addressed on social media by Rolling Loud’s team, festivalgoers expected a better day two — if they had the courage to show up. The sunny sky and cool breeze allowed a smooth first half of the day, with performances by Yung Baby Tate and Florida’s own Sylvan LaCue, but it wasn’t until nightfall that things went left once again. Luckily, a handful of performances made it worthwhile.

Sheck Wes. Is Sheck Wes, the 20-year-old New York rapper who blew up when his song “Mo Bamba” went viral last year, bigger than his biggest hit? It depends on your criteria. Over the course of his 35-minute main stage set, the 20-year-old Harlem native proved to be a much more interesting person than one would expect, but his music outside of his most recognizable hit fell short of the same pleasant surprise. Sheck’s assertion that he’s currently fasting seemed to endear him to the crowd, likely because of the unifying Miami heat and humidity. Most attendees couldn’t imagine making it through a day at Rolling Loud without eating or drinking, much less performing for thousands on the main stage. Unfortunately, his live performance proved to be seriously underwhelming. His vocals were off throughout his time on stage, and the high energy that he started out with faded away quickly. Appearing to close with “Live Sheck Wes” following the absolutely massive hit “Mo Bamba” seemed like a strange choice, until he doubled back and performed the smash single again to end his set. Unfortunately, by the time “Mo Bamba” made its second appearance, the damage was already done and fans were streaming away from the Loud stage in droves. So, at this point in his career, is Sheck Wes more than just “Mo Bamba?” As a personality, exceedingly so. As an artist, not by a long shot. — James Biagiotti

Blueface. When an artist has one hit that fans look forward to, it almost makes waiting through their entire set unbearable. In Los Angeles-born artist Blueface’s case, his entire set was unbearable, not because we didn’t care for his music, but because he spent his stage time mumbling over his backing tracks and showing his ass for the crowd. Literally. Blueface started his set with high energy. He strutted on stage wearing a matching denim jacket and jeans set, wearing his pants well below his crotch, showing off his crisp white boxers. He jumped into his single “Next Big Thing,” but the crowd still was not having it because Blueface continued to rap off beat. “What the fuck is up Miami,” he yelled into the mic. His few fans yelled back. He proceeded to pull out his phone to Instagram the moment. “If you’re from Miami make some noise,” he said as he started an IG story video. The DJ continued his offbeat set, only to stop again for Blueface to MC more. “Want to see Blueface crip walk?” he said over the mic. He pulled out a fresh blue bandana and started do his version of a crip walk up and down the Loud stage. The crowd was not impressed. He then jumped off the stage and was carried to the center divider to get closer to the crowd. As his set went on, we could only wonder when he would perform “Thotiana,” his hit single that made him relevant. He finally gave the people what they wanted: an opportunity to do the dance he does in the video and call someone a thot. — Cristina Jerome

J.I.D. Even J.I.D seemed stunned that anyone turned up to his 7:55 p.m. performance on the Audiomack stage, which was stacked up against Lil Baby’s massive Loud stage set. Those who did show up were treated to a master class in rapid-fire lyricism and a set that barely paused to catch a breath over its too-short 25 minutes. The East Atlanta rapper and J. Cole disciple didn’t waste any time getting started, leading off with his recent hit “151 Rum.” Shortly after, he even premiered some new material, telling the crowd "I don't care if Cole gets mad, we're gonna do some exclusive shit, you're only gonna hear this right here," before launching into an unheard track from the unreleased Revenge of the Dreamers III. My biggest complaint about J.I.D’s set was that it only clocked in at a paltry 25 minutes, though the rapper himself didn’t seem to take issue with the short runtime. "I'm trying to hurry up so we can all go watch Lil Baby and Gunna,” he told the crowd. Don’t ever accuse J.I.D of lacking music festival courtesy. — James Biagiotti

Kodak Black (or lack thereof). Kodak Black isn’t having the best year. Following his many public faux pas over the last few months, which include an arrest and the claim that he wanted to date the girlfriend of a slain hip-hop icon, Kodak was set to grace the main stage at Rolling Loud 2019 with some major demons nipping at his heels. Unfortunately, the Pompano Beach native did nothing on Saturday to dispel the notion that he’s a complete mess, missing his set entirely after being arrested on federal gun charges. The massive crowd that waited around for over an hour got 21 Savage instead, and no on-site explanation for Kodak’s absence. There’s always next year’s Rolling Loud, if he’s out from behind bars by then. — James Biagiotti

Young Thug. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word inconsequential as “of no significance; unimportant.” With apologies to any die-hard Young Thug fans out there, this definition also applies to his Saturday night Rolling Loud set. Directly following the evening’s XXXTentacion tribute set, fans waiting for Young Thug tolerated 15 full minutes of his DJ before the Atlanta rapper finally took the stage 30 minutes past his scheduled time. What followed was a set that felt like more dead air than actual performance, as the rapper allowed copious amounts of time to pass in silence between songs. With Waka Flocka Flame’s nearby set both audible and visible and Travis Scott’s headlining set fast approaching, it didn’t take long for fans to start defecting. Hits like “Pick Up the Phone” barely got the crowd stimulated, and before long Young Thug’s set faded away into the night, seemingly without an impact on anyone who attended. — James Biagiotti

Travis Scott. See more photos from Rolling Loud 2019 day two here.EXPAND
Photo by Sage Pacetti

Travis Scott. The only reason many fans attended day two of the fest was to see Lil Wayne and Travis Scott, the two reigning Kings of Rolling Loud. Lil Wayne disappointed once again by not showing up, and guests waited over an hour for Travis to take the stage. For an hour, we watched the production crew turn the stage into “AstroWorld” by setting up more screens and a DJ booth. “Is Travis even here?” whined a festivalgoer as she sat on the ground. By midnight the autotuned wail of Travis Scott’s voice finally made an appearance. He started his set with firey graphics and mesmerizing visuals before giving the people “Stargazing” from his last project Astroworld. Travis always performs with high energy. He easily burned 500 calories in just the first two songs by running and jumping back and forth on stage as the ice on his neck shimmered in the flashing lights. The crowd was eating it up until another faux shooting broke out, causing nearly half of the crowd to run for their lives once again. The music stopped as the crowd made a swift exit. Some assumed that it was a false alarm and lingered around because after all, it is Travis Scott, but with a 15-minute silence on stage, guests became unsure. The lights turned off, rebooted and Travis continued his set. Disgruntled fans stuck around for Travis to run through "Bystanders" and "Sicko Mode," but after walking around the grounds all day, waiting for almost an hour for him to start, and running in fear for the second time, enjoying his set wasn’t easy. — Cristina Jerome

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