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Rolling Loud New York 2021

New York, New York!

Written: Olive Uche

Photos: Ismail “Calligrafist” Sayeed

New York City lit up for Rolling Loud this past weekend. After a one-year hiatus, the biggest rap festival returns with a star-studded lineup filled with performances from Lil Uzi Vert, City Girls, Grisdela, and more.

The 3-day festival took place at the famous Queens stadium Citi Field. Transforming the stadium into a three-stage setup with activations by Kappa, Ciroc, 300 Ent amongst others. Festival-goers were entertained with electric performances and guest appearances that made each night a standout.

All eyes were on Jack Harlow as he stole the show with high-energy performances of “What’s Poppin” and “I Wanna See Some Ass”. However, the energy intensified when Harlow was accompanied on stage by “Montero” musician Lil Nas X for an encore performance of their collaborative hit single “Industry Baby”. Caught off guard by the surprise appearance, the two had fans reciting lyrics word for word and festival-goers running from stage to stage trying to catch the performance.

Day 1 came to a close with a few standout performances from Gunna, Lil Uzi Vert, and Moneybagg Yo. But the real show stopper that had everyone talking was 50 cent. Always on brand, 50 cent performed at the Deleón stage. Performing everything from “In Da Club “Disco Inferno”, “I Get Money”, I’m the Man, and “Big Rich Town”, the set went up a notch when he brought out Highbridge artist A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, A$AP Mob frontman A$AP Rocky, and “Rockstar” rapper DaBaby as he makes a return from his controversial moment at Rolling Loud Miami.

Setting the tone of Day 1 with a bang, Day 2 continued the momentum with performances from Rick Ross, Kodak Black, and Lil Yachty.  Following the high of his seventh studio album Folarin 2, Wale didn’t hold back. Joining him on stage was Rick Ross and Q Tip to perform Poke It Out/Vivrant Thing. Closing out his set with the crowd singing “No Hands”, it was a special moment as he gave himself his flowers, reminisced on his 10-year journey in the music, and gave a quick reminder for upcoming artists.

“I remember doing this s—t with Mark Ronson in SoHo. F—g with some upcoming rappers. We was just kids. Trying to get some pizza and sneakers like Kid Cudi and J. Cole. We were around each other every day dreaming of s—t like this. So to all my aspiring artists out there, this s—t can really happen for you. 10 years later, I’m doing this motherf—er” — Wale closing out to “No Hands”

As Day 2 prepared to wrap up, festival-goers were met with the toughest decision of the night. Playboi Carti or J. Cole? Fans sprinted from the Audiomack stage to the Deleón stage in the rain to see the closing acts. 

After an epic 2 days of back-to-back performances, the biggest rap festival comes to an end. Day 3 closes out with performances from Nav, Griselda, Roddy Rich, and Travis Scott. Quite like Friday, the rain wasn’t going to stop festival-goers from seeing their favorite artists. Nav performed a few songs right before bringing out Brooklyn-native rapper Rowdy Rebel to perform their joint single “Jesse Owens” and transitioning into Rowdy’s solo single “Re Route” featuring Funkmaster Flex.

The night continues with a set by Roddy Rich backed by a live band. Performing everything from “Die Young” to “Late At Night”, Roddy Rich didn’t disappoint. Despite a few artists who weren’t able to make the show due to travel delays and run-ins with the police, Rolling Loud NYC was a moment. 

However, the moment that had festival-goers on the edge of their seat was Travis Scott. Hitting the stage on an elevated platform, Travis Scott was larger than life. Scott came with the heat literally and figuratively with an electrifying performance of “Highest in the Room”, “Butterfly Effect”, “Stargazing” amongst others. Rolling Loud was an amazing 3 days full of great performances.

In case you missed the festival, be sure to head over to the Rolling Loud Youtube channel to watch.

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