Rolling Loud Brought the Hip-Hop Fix New York Needed

Rolling Loud Brought the Hip-Hop Fix New York Needed

Story & Photography by Adam Powell

Rolling Loud, the world's largest hip-hop festival, rolled through New York this past weekend with three days of music — representing the past, present and future — at Citi Field in Queens. Fans flocked from all five boroughs and well beyond to enjoy a lineup that included everyone from Rico Nasty to Lil Uzi Vert and Joey Bada$$.

As the first Rolling Loud in two years, the crowd had plenty of pent up energy. Drinks flowed, joints burned at high volumes and mosh pits erupted during every set. The music was on point, the rain held off and the mood, much like most in attendance, was high. Jack Harlow launched an earthquake when he brought out Lil Nas X to perform "Industry Baby."

Main stage headliner 50 Cent unfortunately performed alongside DaBaby, just three months after the rapper's homophobic rants that led him to reportedly meet with nine HIV-awareness orgs. Confusingly, the crowd that had just gone crazy an hour earlier for LGBTQ+ icon Lil Nas X found themselves going equally crazy for DaBaby.

While not without controversy or questionable decisions, Rolling Loud provided confirmation that NYC is and will always be the home of hip-hop — not that it was necessarily needed.

Photography: Adam Powell