Rolling Loud day 2 pics & review (Kendrick Lamar, Run the Jewels, Joey Bada$$, Young Thug, more)
Day two of hip hop festival Rolling Loud happened Saturday (5/6) in Bayfront Park in Miami. Saturday's lineup offered twice as much as the day before, with performances from Denzel Curry, XXXTentacion, Action Bronson, Run the Jewels, Joey Bada$$, Kendrick Lamar, and Young Thug in the latter half of the day. Essentially every single one of these artists had something fresh and exciting to offer, with no performance feeling repetitive.
Denzel Curry and XXXTentacion offered up a lot of Miami-based hype, since they're both from the area. Denzel Curry put on an intense show, mirroring the type of aggressive energy you can hear in his music. XXXTentacion put on a show with a similar energy, but with an element of performative emo-ness. Before performing his song "Suicide Pit," he asked the crowd to separate and open a gap in the audience so that he could jump into it and die. He also added a quick "Fuck Drake" during his show, a comment upon his current feud with the rapper.
Action Bronson is a pretty likable character, though largely because of his non-music endeavors that fashion him as somewhat of a millennial Anthony Bourdain. His show felt largely non-sequitur - he never really finished a song, and occasionally transitioned into momentary versions of songs like Phil Collins' "Sussudio."
During Bronson's set, the camera people kept zooming on girls' chests, encouraging them to flash. I guess I don’t necessarily see that as an issue per se, but the fact that the festival is all-ages means there’s no way to guarantee that these cameras weren’t inadvertently pressuring some sixteen-year-old to broadcast herself.
Run the Jewels put on such a badass and energetic show, but by then the crowd seemed too tired to get as into it as RTJ deserved. There weren't many decent places to sit (much of the ground was covered in woodchips), food and drinks were expensive, and the bathrooms were dystopian. There was never much of an overlap in sets, so most of the crowd made the trek between the two stages at about the same time. Given the conditions, the slight cold front that hit Miami this weekend was an absolute miracle.
Ultimately, the crowd got their energy back for both Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug. Both shows gathered the largest crowd I'd seen at any one time at the festival thus far, and spirits were definitely high. Kendrick opened his set with a massive flame show, and an audio clip about cops murdering people in the streets. I saw a group of firefighters film the scene on their phones. He quickly began playing favorites, like "King Kunta" off 2015's To Pimp A Butterfly, "Untitled 2" off 2016's Untitled Unmastered and of course, a few tracks off his latest album DAMN. Kendrick Lamar's performance felt simultaneously meticulously curated and unquestionably natural. Kendrick Lamar really is just as good live.
Pictures of Saturday are in the gallery above.
Rolling Loud continues today (5/7). You can stream every performance and check out the full lineup here.
Read our Friday review and check out more pictures from Rolling Loud day 1 in the gallery below.