Rolling Loud Festival will usher hip-hop into Southern California

Photo of Lil Uzi Vert, courtesy of Spike Jordan.

Rolling Loud Festival has become one of the premier hip-hop music festivals in the country and, for the first time, the Miami-based extravaganza will make its way to Southern California. On Saturday and Sunday, hip-hop fans will have a chance to catch some of the biggest names in the game at the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, Calif., and cap off 2017 with a bang.

Rolling Loud has hosted two festivals already this year, the first at  Bayfront Park in Miami in April and the second at the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, Calif. in October. Over 120,000 fans packed the grounds at the three-day edition in Miami, marking the third-straight year that tickets sold out.

The inaugural Rolling Loud Festival took place in 2015, as a one-day event that saw about 6,000 attendees. After successfully expanding Rolling Loud in subsequent years, co-founders Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler saw it as the perfect time to branch out to other locations as well.

“Rolling Loud is the No. 1 hip-hop festival in the world, and it’s time to take the Rolling Loud experience on the road,” Cherif said in a press release. “Rap music is the most popular and fastest growing genre of music, and the world deserves to experience curated lineups of its champions.”

Next year, the festival rotation will continue into the United Kingdom, China and Japan. Fans can expect a new lineup for each iteration, as Rolling Loud looks to keep up with the rapidly changing music landscape.

“Each show will feature a different assortment of hip-hop’s biggest superstars as well as underground heavyweights,” Zingler said. “Miami will remain as our home and premiere event as we establish the Rolling Loud brand around the world.”

With the Southern California version headlined by artists such as ScHoolboy Q, Future and Migos, it’s sure to be a high-energy occasion with mosh pits at every turn. Future and Migos had especially notable years, with Future making history as the first artist to have two different albums, FUTURE and HNDRXX, debut at No.1 on the Billboard 200 chart in consecutive weeks, and Migos riding the wave of their breakout hit “Bad and Boujee” and album Culture.

Gucci Mane — one of several Atlanta rappers slated to perform, alongside 21 Savage, Young Thug and others — staked his claim as rap’s 2017 MVP, dropping two critically acclaimed albums while documenting his personal and professional growth in his book The Autobiography of Gucci Mane, a New York Times bestseller.

USC students still upset about missing Rae Sremmurd at this year’s Springfest will be able to catch the high-octane duo on Sunday. The group is setting itself up for a strong 2018, with Sremmlife 3 expected to drop along with member Swae Lee’s highly anticipated R&B solo album. This weekend, however, fans will have the opportunity to hear smash hits like “Perplexing Pegasus” and “Black Beatles,” sure to close out the festival in rockstar fashion.

The festival will be held in honor of Lil Peep, who was originally part of the Sunday lineup until his death in November. To take his place, Rolling Loud brought in Jaden Smith to perform on Saturday less than a month after he released his debut LP SYRE, and also enlisted burgeoning SoundCloud rapper Lil Xan to perform on Sunday. USC Conquest headliner Lil Pump will also make an appearance, representing the South Florida hip-hop scene with hits like “Gucci Gang” and “Flex Like Ouu.”

Further down on the roster, there are plenty of can’t-miss sets from rising talents before the headliners take the stage. Los Angeles-based rapper Duckwrth has been a name to watch since his 2016 album I’M UUGLY, and has garnered momentum since releasing an XTRA UUGLY Mixtape in November. His danceable beats and energetic personality should make for one of Sunday’s most electrifying performances, featuring irresistible grooves like “I’M DEAD” and “MICHUUL.”

Fellow Los Angeles artist Buddy was also hard at work this year, releasing two solid EPs, “Ocean & Montana” and “Magnolia.” A vivid songwriter capable of both rapping and singing, Saturday’s performance will be his second Rolling Loud appearance of the year, after taking the stage at the Bay Area festival in October.

If you’re still in town following finals week, Rolling Loud will be the perfect place to let off some post-exams steam. One day passes start at $99 and weekend passes start at $169, with VIP options available for both You can pick up tickets here, and prepare yourself for what’s sure to be one weekend.