Los Angeles, CA — Traffic, it’s a staple part of living in the Los Angeles area. However, traffic was a little more jam-packed than usual on Saturday, December 14th in anticipation of the 2019 Rolling Loud LA Festival.
Getting off of the 110 freeway was a nightmare Saturday afternoon. The streets surrounding Exposition Park in South Central Los Angeles were crowded with fans who were trying to get into one of the last major festivals of the year.
The parking situation was less than ideal, too. If you are familiar with events at the Los Angeles Coliseum or at the Banc of California stadium, then you know the deal. Some parking lots were charging as much as $100 to park in their space, about a third of the price for a general admission ticket at the beginning of the month.
Despite all the delays, I was able to make my way to the Figueroa Club inside the Banc of California stadium. I was fortunate enough to meet and interview the four vocalists of 99 Neighbors, one of rap’s newest young collectives.
They reside from Burlington, Vermont, no not the coat factory, and have drawn comparisons to the likes of Odd Future and Brockhampton. Hot take alert; they may be even better than those two. Be sure to stay updated with the Ball Out for that interview featuring HANKNATIVE, Swank, Sam Paulino and Aidan Ostby.
99 Neighbors made the first noise of the day as the group hit the Zen stage at 3:00 PM and opened up with their hit single ‘Ripstick.’ It seemed like many of the fans had no clue who the young rap collective at the beginning, but by the end of their set, all those in attendance were bobbing their heads to the music.
The first Juice Wrld shout-out of the day came at the beginning of Danileigh’s set at the High Hemp State just after 5 pm. The 21-year old rapper from Chicago passed away on Sunday, Dec. 8th, a week before he was scheduled to perform at Rolling Loud LA.
Danileigh, who we had for an interview earlier this year at the Real Street Festival, kept the energy going and debuted an unreleased song titled ‘Bulsh*tting’ that will be on her next album. She did not specify when that album will be released nor its’ title, though.
Lil Mosey followed Danileigh on the High Hemp Stage and performed the late Juice Wrld’s song ‘Lucid Dreams.’ Later that evening, both Lil Durk and Nav played one of Juice Wrld’s songs during their set as paying their respects to the late rapper.
After that, there was a lull in the performances so I went and recharged at Coni’Seafood inside The Field’s LA. I ordered the fish tacos and while it was delicious, it definitely could’ve used either a bigger tortilla or fewer ingredients in the taco.
While walking around the festival, I noticed that security guards and ushers were trying to control foot traffic and sectioning off certain hallways and pathways as one-way lanes. There were plenty of confused and upset festival patrons being forced to walk around an entire loop instead of backtracking from where they came.
Nonetheless, the show went on. After Lil Durk’s performance on the Zen stage and Trippie Redd’s set at the Verizon stage, it looked like everyone migrated to the High Hemp stage to get a good spot for Lil Uzi Vert’s 9:30 set.
However, Lil Uzi Vert failed to come out at his expected time and without an announcement, it left some fans restless.
By 9:50 it was clear the rapper wasn’t going to show so fans made their ways to the other stages. I had the chance to watch Lil Baby’s set on the Verizon stage and he brought the crowd’s energy back up with the help of choreographed background dancers.
A good amount of patrons stayed at the Verizon stage for Young Thug’s set, however, a good amount of fans migrated again back to the High Hemp stage, this time in anticipation of Chance the Rapper. The Chicago based rapper did not disappoint.
He took festival patrons on a spiritual journey using a live band and a live choir to perform most of his songs from his album Coloring Book. He performed a handful of songs from older and newer projects but he finished up with his song ‘Blessings’ which concluded with an elaborate fireworks show.
Many fans began to hit the exits until Tariq Cherif, one of Rolling Loud LA’s co-founders, announced that Lil Uzi Vert would be performing a quick set after Chance which delighted some. Others continued to hit the exits as the clock struck midnight and temperatures reached below 55.
There were a handful of worn-out patrons watching from the very back while sitting or laying on the asphalt. Towards the end of his set, Uzi performed ‘Futsal Shuffle’ and proceeded to hit some fancy moves.
The first night of Rolling Loud LA finally came to a conclusion around 12:30 A.M. and despite all the little hiccups, it was still a superb experience for festival patrons.