SoFi makes history with Rolling Loud
The world’s largest hip-hop festival Rolling Loud made history as the first festival to be held at SoFi Stadium Grounds. Tens of thousands of fans gathered throughout the three days to enjoy dozens of artists’ performances. The vibrant digitals contrasting the night sky and stream planes passing overhead as the buzzing crowd awaited some of the biggest names in rap created a vibe unique to SoFi. In signature Rolling Loud style, a number of guests made surprise appearances, boosting the energy of the crowd as they heard their favorite songs, features and all.
Opening Day acts included fan favorites like Chief Keef, Ski Mask the Slump God and Kodak Black. Attendees got a taste of West Coast sounds with performances by Kamaiyah as well as Tyga, who brought out Compton rapper YG for the track “Go Loko.”
In anticipation of headliner Playboi Carti, artists under his Opium label Destroy Lonely and Ken Carson had successive sets. As soon as Carti came on stage, the crowd’s energy soared — but became too rowdy after three songs, forcing his set to be paused when a crowd injury occurred. He returned to the stage after about half an hour, debuting a new song and closing out day one with his transcendent track “Location.”
Day two acts of Rolling Loud got the weekend function into full swing, bringing a wide range of sounds and energies across all stages and even more unexpected stars to Hollywood Park. As dusk arrived, Young Nudy and City Girls got the crowd charged up at the main stage for the night acts. Don Toliver really got the festival energy up with his set, making the crowd go wild when surprise guest Justin Bieber was brought out during “Private Landing,” a track from Don Toliver’s newest album “Love Sick.”
Bieber’s appearance was particularly shocking, as just days before he announced the cancellation of the remaining dates of his “Justice World Tour.” Fans were also treated with special guests Kali Uchis and James Blake.
Lil Baby kept the crowd hyped up after Don, starting his set off with “Wants and Needs.” The crowd never wavered in their energy, remaining hyped up as he performed hit after hit, bar for bar. Fans rapped lyrics along with him as he closed with “Freestyle.”
At the other stage, Lil Wayne shut things down with a set full of classic hits from his over 30 years in the rap game. Perhaps one of the most exciting surprises of Saturday was Nicki Minaj accompanying him for “BedRock,” “High School” and “Truffle Butter.” Minaj had intended to perform solo while on stage but experienced issues with her earpiece and stutters in music by the DJ. Despite technical difficulties during the set, the two still managed to put on a legendary show.
Filling the same time slot as Carti on Friday, fans waited for headliner Travis Scott to make his return — Rolling Loud would be his first live festival performance since the tragedy of Astroworld in 2021. Scott’s comeback was brief, only lasting about half an hour due to his late arrival and a hard cut off at 11 p.m. sharp, in the middle of his most popular song “Sicko Mode,” marking an abrupt end to day two.
On Sunday, sounds of Los Angeles dominated all three stages. OhGeesy, BlueBucksClan, Kalan.FrFr, G Perico and Rucci represented their home turf, bringing some of the city’s favorite songs to the festival’s final day. Sunday also presented some historic moments for rising rap stars. UK rapper Central Cee made his United States festival premiere, and Ice Spice performed “Boy’s a liar Pt. 2” live for the first time during her first ever festival set. Eem Tripplin saw thousands of supporters at his set, an exponential increase from the 13-person crowd he had just five months earlier.
The final acts threw it down and ended the show with a bang. Lil Yachty had an all-woman band for his set, and his audience heard several tracks from his experimental psych-rock project “Let’s Start Here.” Back at the main stage, Lil Uzi Vert delivered a unique, high-energy performance as his backup dancers jumped in a bouncy castle. Aside from his classics and hottest tracks, he also debuted a few unreleased songs. With these previews of the content of his next album “Pink Tape,” addressed the delay in the drop, telling fans he is putting some final touches to the album and apologizing for making fans wait so long.
The festival wrapped up with Future, who started his set with the song “712PM” and ended with one of his most iconic songs, “Mask Off.” As he rapped his last lyric, the light drizzles of rain mixed with bright bursts of colorful fireworks overhead as a grateful Future thanked and showed appreciation to his fans for showing out — a sensational end to Rolling Loud California. The festival will pick back up in July, where it will return to its birthplace of Miami before beginning its international leg.