USC community rallies for Rolling Loud

The R&B and hip-hop music festival will feature a four-day lineup for the first time ever.

Rolling Loud will kick off Thursday at the Hollywood Park Grounds in Inglewood. (The Come Up Show / Flickr)

The world’s largest hip-hop music festival, Rolling Loud, will take Los Angeles by storm Thursday to Sunday for a weekend filled with live performances, carnival rides and more at the Hollywood Park Grounds. 

The festival will feature prominent rappers ranging from Nicki Minaj to Post Malone with special artist collaborations from ¥$, composed of Ye and Ty Dolla $ign, to Future X Metro Boomin. Overflowing with a high-profile lineup, Rolling Loud 2024 will be the first in the festival’s history to have a four-day schedule. 

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“Rolling Loud has always been pretty well-known for getting super famous mostly rap artists,” said Melanie Toh, a senior majoring in computer science. “If you’re a rap or R&B lover, this is the festival for you.”

Toh bought the tickets based on Nicki Minaj headlining Friday and the artist’s new album “Pink Friday 2,” but she said the festival’s variety of acts offers opportunities for discovering new music. 

“It’s also a great way to find new artists or listen to artists that you wouldn’t normally shell out the money for to go see solo,” Toh said. 

Located adjacent to SoFi Stadium, the festival venue will feature three stages for artist performances, multiple art installations, carnival games, fair rides, drinks, food and more. Ticket prices range from $139 for single-day passes to $799 for a three-day VIP pass that includes 10 meals and exclusive merchandise. The VIP section also boasts a tattoo shop and private lounges. 

Kimya Jalinous, a junior majoring in international relations, attended Rolling Loud in 2023 and said she felt the festival offered a “holistic experience.” 

“There was a lot to do if you weren’t going to be at the shows explicitly,” Jalinous said. “It was just a very much catered experience and there was always something going on.” 

Jalinous, who has worked backstage at concerts and frequently attends shows, said she thought the production and music at Rolling Loud was an experience unlike any solo music performance. 

“The thing [about] festivals and big venues is that it is a whole experience, like it’s a very shared experience and you see how all these people come together,” Jalinous said. 

Toh, who has attended two music festivals in the past, said she is excited to not only hear her favorite artists live but also to experience Rolling Loud with others who have the same taste in R&B and hip-hop music.

“It’s really fun to just hang back near the back without any crowds or pushing and just enjoying the songs with your friends,” Toh said. 

Musical festivals continue to grow and become more immersive yet inclusive after each year, fostering new shared experiences across a wider range of audiences. 

Josh Kun, vice provost for the arts and a professor of communication, said music festivals such as Rolling Loud will likely expand to become more curated to different cultural audiences, tapping into various genres of music such as Rolling Loud with R&B and hip-hop. 

“Music festivals now play a very different role than they did in the past,” Kun said. “They are some of the most important musical experiences for musical consumers. They’re highly profitable, and they’re in high demand.”

In contrast to previous lineups, Rolling Loud 2024 will incorporate more diverse artists who tap into the local L.A. hip-hop scene and cater to a wider audience. 

Introduced as “Special Guests” at the bottom of the lineup, Junior H, Fuerza Regida and Natanael Cano are all Mexican or Mexican American artists and band members who capture some L.A. residents’ desire for diverse music.

Kun said he was not only excited to see an increased representation of Mexican musicians but also a further musical and cultural connection between Rolling Loud and the diverse individuals of L.A. 

“This is crucial because, to me, that’s a sign that Rolling Loud is paying attention to the fact that some of the most important artists in contemporary Los Angeles are Mexican artists who are blending traditional Mexican music with contemporary hip-hop,” Kun said. 

Rolling Loud will begin Thursday with a special solo Thursday night performance by ¥$ and its collaborative album “VULTURES 1.”

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