Rolling Loud Fest III: Field Notes 🌴💨🔥
The 3rd annual Rolling Loud served up a lot of firsts for the Museache team. It was our first time assembling as a team in Miami, our first festival coverage of 2017, and our first time seeing some of 2017’s Hip-Hop all-stars.
The Starting Lineup
Colin: My first trip to Miami almost got cancelled before I even got a chance to book my plane tickets. Luckily all the politics got sorted out and we received a trio of golden tickets to join an all-star cast of photographers and videographers down in Bayfront, Miami to cover Rolling Loud Fest III 2017. From radio dominating headliners—Kendrick, Travi$ Scott, and Future—to the mumble rap champions Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTENTACION, Rolling Loud was probably the biggest Hip-Hop festival of the year. This was going to be like no other event we’ve covered as a team and individuals.
Christian: As a Florida native, there was no way I could miss this line up. The festival was essentially the biggest conference for anyone who loves “2017 Hip-Hop.” I was already plotting a way to bring in my camera. After receiving news that I no longer had to finesse my camera, I made sure to get my college finals out the way and bought a bus ticket down to Miami.
Brandon: After I saw the Rolling Loud lineup the first thing I did was, hit the group chat, rallied some friends, and bought my ticket the moment they were available. Having grown up with Topaz Jones, I already intended being there early enough to see some of the other emerging artists. Never had I been down for such a pure unadulterated Hip-Hop experience.
Brandon: I saw a guy stuffing a quarter ounce into his shoe before he checked in. I saw people light joints, blunts, light joints with blunts, vapes, you name it. I saw people share weed, share water, share clothes, share food, share social media handles, and share the experience. Those who were sick or overheating got a free crowd surf to safety.
Colin: Rolling Loud was definitely brought to you by blunt after blunt, water, and XXXTENTACION’s crowd favorite, Look At Me. I probably heard that song during every DJ set, in between performances.
Christian: Ironically, I didn’t smoke much during Rolling Loud. I enjoy recreational use when I’m alone and/or listening to music. However, I knew socializing high is something I’m super awkward at. (Glad I didn’t go that route)
“My biggest regret was that I had to regularly decide between the two stages at the end of the day. Lil Wayne or A$AP Rocky? Kendrick or Young Thug? Future or Travis Scott?” – Brandon
Day one, I chose Wayne. I came in heavy for that performance, crawling to the very front. Dead center, first row, on top of a chair. Lost a shoe and dropped my glasses in the mosh pit several times. Kendrick or Thug? Honestly, it would’ve been Thug, but Damn, if Kendrick didn’t just drop some amazingnes! Travis Scott or Future? I chose my health. Things had moved a little less smoothly on the third day. The most notable, was when Migos switched stages causing a brief moment of pandemonium. Not to mention, the sun was beating down like a grandma with slipper in their hand.
Colin: Every artist, that I saw, performed like they were the headliners. Especially, the openers who had to work twice as hard to get crowd moving; starting mosh pits, swan diving off of architecture, and bringing out surprise guests. I’ll admit I wasn’t too blown away by some of the performances, I won’t mention any names. I’ll just blame overused 808’s and hi-hats. Also, while the lineup was stacked with recognizable name, it was not truly representative of the diversity of 2017’s Hip-Hop. Something I hope next year’s lineup tackles.
Christian: Playboi Carti and co. had a early summer party with his super soaker and Bones was mad that the venue didn’t allow the kids to mosh freely.
“In comparison, Kendrick Lamar was like a wise grandpa that had all the respect from the attendees without flexing his status.” – Christian
Brandon: Some of my most enjoyable interactions were with the people that were working the festival. Shout out to the pop selling beer to us, who wouldn’t stop smiling and enjoying the festival himself. Shout out to the security guards that lied to me on the first day, before I cut my press pass off. Shout out to the security guard that busted my friends trying to sneak liquor in, only to pull me aside and show me how it’s really done. Yes, there were lots of white people saying nigga, but they mostly stuck to song lyrics and there was nothing but good vibes outside of that.
Christian: Musicians to photographers, everyone was embodying the Florida heat, ignorance, and the youth culture. Off the top, some of my favorite conversations came from talking with Robert Gallardo, a humble and amazing visual artist on the AWGE team. I think he may hold the world record for the longest streak for wearing nothing but grey. I also met Gyasi, a down to Earth soul that took Polaroids of artists and got to know them better by asking what they would do with their last day on Earth.
Here are some of our favorite faces:
“This is probably indicative of the state of Hip-Hop, but where were the women?” – Colin
Sureee they had singer-songwriter Polly A, and … Exactly. For an audience that was easily over 50% women, the lineup lacked diversity. Plain and simple. There are too many talented women who support Hip-Hop for them to be so poorly represented on the bill.
Brandon: Never listen to the security guards. Never cut off your press pass. Always bring more weed. Rolling loud is still a young festival, but they are making major strides to become one of the cornerstone festivals in Hip-Hop. I think they did a great job and though there were some questionable moments, they were able to overcome them with grace. Remember, the true test isn’t when everything’s going right, it’s when everything goes awry. The festival throwers created an atmosphere where I could escape and enjoy. Not only that, but there WERE enough bathrooms. Major pro.
Christian: I hate the fact that the media loves to perpetuate that Hip-Hop causes violence. Rolling Loud is a testament that 40,000+ people, of all age groups and skin tones can come together, consume weed, and embody a rebellious spirit without causing harm to one another.
It was also nice to see Florida on the map for rap.
“Miami doesn’t have Hip-Hop legends like cities such as Atlanta, New York, Chicago, but it sure has planted a seed in its youth, who are filled with passion for the future of Hip-Hop.” – Christian
All Photos Should be Credited to Museache