Thomas Dang

5 Moments That Gave Us Life At 'Rolling Loud' 2017

Miami's Rolling Loud Festival had its biggest year to date. 

Rolling Loud has truly gained momentum since launching in Wynwood only three years ago. In its biggest year to date, Future, Kendrick Lamar, and Travis Scott were announced ealier this year as the headliners, things just took fire. It’s been heralded as the best hip-hop festival in the game, even better than Rock The Bells (R.I.P.). In Miami, the annual event has become known as the “Ultra Music Festival of hip-hop.” It wasn’t as wild as the infamous EDM festival, but it definitely came close.

Over the weekend, Rolling Loud 2017 finally went down at Bayfront Park in Miami, and it was as wild as everyone expected it to be. At least 40,000 rap fans of all ages and races flooded the park each day to turn up to the plethora of artists featured on the extensive playbill. Artists like Mac Miller, Playboi Carti, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane, Migos, Run The Jewels, Lil Uzi Vert and plenty more all made the fans go crazy.

Everyone in attendance, including the fans watching at home, nearly lost their minds when Kendrick Lamar stood tall as the highlight of the weekend. However, there were a number of moments that gave us enough life during the Miami weekend.

Here are five stand-out moments from Rolling Loud 2017.

1. A$AP Rocky shows us how crowd-surfing is supposed to be done

The audience was dense with eager fans ready to see A$AP Rocky close out the first day of Rolling Loud. Once he opened up with “L$D,” Rocky couldn’t help getting turnt all the way up during his set. After performing songs like “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2”and “Shabba Ranks,” the sea of fans were prepared for any madness Rocky decided to pursue, but they weren’t ready for who Rocky had backstage. The A$AP Mob founder brought out Lil Yachty and XXXTentacion to crowd surf while X performed his song “Look At Me!” Everyone had their turn to surf especially Yachty, who went into full-on Lil Boat mode as he glided across the fans with a bottle of Hennessy in his hand. As the weekend progressed, numerous artists took time out of their sets to try and ride the wave, but no one could top Rocky, Yachty and Triple-X's crowd-surfing skills.

2. The first ladies of Rolling Loud made an impact we won't forget

When Rolling Loud first revealed the major lineup for 2017, the festival’s organizers DOPE Ent were hit with backlash after zero women were listed on the playbill, and no, Yes Julz does not count since she’s not an artist in any way. Their critic’s skeptic stance changed real quick once the lineup was updated to include performances from Dreezy, singer Teenear, and Polly A. Dreezy hit the crowd with their favorite jams like "Body" while singers like Slip N Slide singer Teenear and GhettoGoldDream singer Polly A hit the crowd with their popular singles. All three hit the stage early in the day but were able to battle the scorching heat to put on for all the ladies in the building. They all contributed to breaking the mold for not just Rolling Loud but for any hip-hop based music festival, which have a tendency for leaving women out of the equation. Hopefully, this year’s performers will encourage more women to perform at Rolling Loud in the future.

3. Mosh pits were a common theme at nearly every set.

If you’ve ever been caught up in a mosh pit and got an adrenaline rush from surviving the chaos, then you would’ve loved Rolling Loud’s bountiful mosh pits that formed for nearly every set throughout the weekend. Rappers performing at both the Postmates and Monster Energy stages like Wifisfuneral, Denzel Curry, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and especially XXXTentacion all told their fans to open up and make space to jump around in an unruly fashion. During his set on Day 2, Triple-X saw the crowd going crazy when they sent water bottles and garbage cans flying in the air, but he wouldn’t perform his infamous song “Look At Me!” unless the mosh pits were raging. Travis Scott didn’t even have to tell the crowd what to do. His ear-splitting vocals over booming 808’s were enough to act as the official signal to form the reckless circle and mosh like their lives depended on it.

4. Chief Keef kept us lit despite his outstanding warrant in Miami

Before Rolling Loud commenced, TMZ claimed the Miami PD issued a warrant for Chief Keef’s arrest after he missed his court hearing on May 2 regarding his first arrest in Miami Beach a few weeks ago. But that didn’t Sosa from going out on stage to perform anyways. Before his set, Chief Keef was asked if he cared about performing with the warrant out and he simply responded “Come and get me.” The Chicago rapper began his set with rapper Ballout to perform “Been Ballin” as well as other fan favorites like “Love Sosa” and “Faneto.” He lasted through his entire set without any trouble and even had the balls to scream “Fuck the police” before he left. At presstime, there had been no reports that police picked up Keef after his performance, but the fact that Sosa risked it all to give his fans a memorable show and secure the bag is inspiring.

5. YG & Travis Scott prove the festival's sets were crazy, but the fans were even more wild

REVOLT’s live stream gave fans at home a glimpse of what the crowds were like during each set, but what they didn’t see were just how insane a lot of the concert goers became throughout the weekend. Aside from the conductors of the multiple mosh pits, the more reckless fans were towards the back climbing trees to secure a better view of the madness at the Postmates stage. As the immense cloud of marijuana rose above the mob of attendees, people began to jump up in order to crowd surf. During YG’s set for Day 3, the Bompton rapper had all the girls who were above the crowd on someone’s shoulders flashing the stage. During Travis Scott’s closing performance, a fan made his way on stage with him. When security was going to throw him out, Travis brought him to center stage and threw him into the crowd and kept the show going. While the artists curate the vibes, the fans are the ones who really make any festival great, but Rolling Loud’s fans have to be the craziest of them all.

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5 Stories From Meek Mill's #CRWN Conversation That Flew Under The Radar

Meek Mill made his return to Elliot Wilson's #CRWN conversation on Sunday (Dec. 2) for an in-depth discussion of Championships, his behind-bars experience and prison reform.

Live from New York City’s Playstation Theatre, the stage was set with two throne-like chairs as Mill and Wilson's fans began to swarm through the packed house. Loaded with fans from Philly, Jersey and NYC alike, the crowd was buzzing in anticipation for Meek’s grand arrival. Introduced by Wilson, the veteran journalist briefed in-house and live-streamed listeners with his relationship with the Philly rapper, discussing the many times the two have linked “from the MMG days to now.”

“It’s just amazing to see how he’s continued to fight this adversity and continued to deliver great music,” says Wilson, engaging in a back and forth conversation with the crowd. “When you put out a title and say you’re going to name your album Championships, you better deliver,” Wilson continues. “And he delivered.”

Appearing on stage sporting a mid-length fur coat and glistening jewels, Meek and Wilson exchange a quick embrace as the live audience jumps to its feet to welcome their champion. Taking his experience to lean into activism, Meek engaged in a 90-minute conversation with the journalist, answers fan-questions and candidly tell his story as he sees fit.

But as tabloid fate would have it, one of the sole stories to come out of the meaningful conversation was his awkward date with then-girlfriend Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z and Beyonce. The memories Meek decided to share like adorable moments with his son, his newfound position in the battle for criminal justice reform and recording Championships fell to the wayside.

But don't fret. Here are some other memorable moments from the interview.


1. Meek's Best Day in Jail Included a Visit From Kevin Hart

Meek's final day in jail was similar to the others. He woke up, successfully avoided jail food by making his morning oatmeal and knew his day was heading in a good direction when he won five consecutive ping pong games against his daily opponent– who want the smoke?

After heading back to his cell, Meek's day got a whole lot better when Kevin Hart and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin had pulled up on him by surprise. "They come on the block and I was like, 'Man come in my cell and see how this sh*t look,'" Meek starts. "So Kevin Hart and Mike, they come in the cell and they like 'It's not that bad,' they tryna make me feel good, I'm like 'The hell you mean it's not that bad? I got my boxers hanging up on the f**king string'" the rapper jokingly recalls. After the much-needed hour-long visit, Meek returned to his daily jailhouse activities when he learned that he would be released from jail within hours. What a day.

2. Friends and Family Would Send Him IG Post Printouts Through Mail

When Meek packed his cell to go home, he had over 10,000 photos to sift through since his tribe brought the world of Instagram to him through the mail. "I used to tell everybody like, 'Yo, just send me everything that's going on on Instagram, I wanna see everything that's  going on in life.'"

The rapper separated his photos by importance, keeping the photos of his family in a separate pile with his other pile (filled with pictures of all the IG models and famous ladies) holding a different level of importance to those who stood behind bars with him. "It was valuable cause some guys in there they got 25 years in this s**t, they ain't never see the fake a**es yet and the girls with the new bodies, so you know, they all in my cell like, 'What's up with these pictures?'"

3. He Purposely Steered Away From Lending Tekashi 6ix9ine Advice

While breaking down Championships cut "Respect the Game," Meek spoke on hip-hop's freshman class including Tekashi 6ix9ine, Lil Durk and YoungBoy NBA. "[Tekashi] used to be poppin' so much sh*t on Instagram, I be like 'I don't even wanna say nothing to this young boy, this young boy start sayin' all this crazy sh*t to me on the internet," he joked.

On a more serious note, Meek speaks on the real issue he had with 6ix9ine, sharing his concern for the 22-year-old's habits in starting drama with some of hip-hop's most dangerous faces. "With my music, I wanted to reach all of 'em," he said, explaining how when the music speaks for itself, you don't need to ensue controversy to sell records.

4. His 7-Year-Old Son Already Has a Rapper Name

Give it 10 years and we might see Meek Mill's son on the Billboard charts. Answering a fan question about "Lil Drip," Meek clarifies that Lil Drip is actually his son Papi's, rapper name. "Sometimes I be in the studio I be like 'Yo, I give you $500 if you go in the booth and rap right now and he just go in the booth and lay it.'" Sampling a few adorable bars, Meek reveals that his son consistently shocks him with his material, bringing up some of the most trivial experiences he's shared with Meek.

"He be like, 'Private jet/ Who I met/ Ben Simmons/ That's a bet,'" spits Meek, referring to a previous birthday trip he's taken with Papi.

5. Jay-Z's Verse on "What's Free" Was a Pivotal Moment in Meek's Career

A Jay and Meek collaboration has been a long time coming. In Meek's promotional single "Stay Woke" featuring Miguel, the rapper spits, "When I talked to Em and Hov, they said, "I'm proud of you/ You stood tall back when everyone doubted you"/ My reply is, "I did what I gotta do/ And I need that verse 'fore you retire too."

During the conversation, Meek speaks on "What's Free" with Rick Ross and Jay-Z, remembering the first time he heard Jay's 44 bar verse. "When I got it back I was in the bathroom, I was just standing in the mirror listening to it," he says while bopping his head, fully immersing himself in the moment.

"I represent the path that HOV created," Meek tells Wilson. "I always wanted that Jay-Z feature and he came through this time, shout out to HOV."

Stream the entire conversation here.

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