Top 10 Performances From Rolling Loud NY

BYAlex Zidel15.8K Views
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Read our recap of Rolling Loud NYC 2021, including performances from J. Cole, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, 50 Cent, and more.

Another legendary weekend is in the books as rap fans from around the world flocked to New York to witness the second-ever Rolling Loud Festival at Citi Field. Taking place in the parking lot of the Queens-located stadium, the world's most famous rappers put on a show for thousands upon thousands of fans, and the three-day festival featured plenty of moments that had us feeling grateful to be outside yet again, enjoying some stellar performances alongside passionate music lovers and ragers. 

Whether you chose to spend the majority of your time at the Deleón Stage, the Audiomack Stage, or the Punx Stage, you were getting your money's worth this weekend. On Thursday, the crowd lost their minds at Lil Uzi Vert's set before witnessing a myriad of surprises during 50 Cent's headlining appearance. The next day, thousands witnessed a viral moment firsthand as Uzi returned to the festival to reunite with his former friend Playboi Carti, marking the most wholesome moment of the weekend. Across the field, J. Cole performed during a torrential downpour, which only made his set more fun. On the final day of Rolling Loud, attendees caught one of the world's best performers, Travis Scott, who debuted a new song from his upcoming album, as well as Roddy Ricch, Coi Leray, and other superstars who brought their A-game to the main stage.

With the weekend officially coming to a close, we've tallied up some of the best sets from the second annual Rolling Loud Festival in New York. Check out who we enjoyed the most below (in order of when the performances took place), and if you were also there or caught any performances during the live stream, let us know who we're missing.

Rico Nasty

Rolling Loud/@emilygardnerx

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Image via HNHH/@iamzjb

Rap's resident sugar trap princess came through with a can't-miss performance on Thursday afternoon, bringing her unique blend of hyper-pop, punk-rap, and rage to the Audiomack Stage. Starting the festival off with a bang, Rico's set was complete with pyrotechnics, money guns, and hard-hitting renditions of her songs including "Tia Tamera," "Smack a Bitch," and "OHFR?"

With her green hair flowing in the wind, Rico screamed through much of her performance, electrifying the crowd and providing the perfect starting point for excited fans to let out two years of pent-up frustration after missing out on music festivals. With one of the most energetic performances of the entire weekend, Rico's stock went up at Rolling Loud and we can't wait to see her again next time.

Rolling Loud/@henryhwu

One of rap's biggest superstars of the moment, Louisville-based artist Jack Harlow had the Thursday afternoon crowd turned up for what ended up being a special set. He performed some popular cuts off of his album That's What They All Say, but the highlight of his performance came when the unsuspecting crowd was met with the presence of none other than Jack's "INDUSTRY BABY" collaborator, Lil Nas X.

The two blessed the audience with a live rendition of their #1 hit before Jack continued solo, leaving fans surprised and fulfilled.

Lil Uzi Vert

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Always guaranteed to put on a show-stopping performance, Philadelphia rapper Lil Uzi Vert did so yet again during his Thursday evening set at Rolling Loud. Before he stepped on stage, fans pointed out dozens of trucks waiting outside the festival venue with promotional billboards announcing the release of the rapper's new single, "Demon High," which he performed alongside two other new tracks. He started by premiering new music from his highly-anticipated upcoming project The Pink Tape, before running into fan-favorites including "XO Tour Life" and "Do What I Want." 

As fans have grown to expect from the A-level performer, Lil Uzi did not jump off of any rooftops during this performance. He stayed put on stage, bringing unreal energy and swagger while wearing a pair of big, blue, fluffy earmuffs and running through his impressive catalog of festival bangers.

50 Cent

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Day one's headlining situation was a little bit of a mess. Fans expected to have options once the end of the night rolled around but with Lil Durk no-showing his set without explanation, crowds rushed over to the Deleón Stage for a nostalgic drive through 50 Cent's biggest hits over the years.

The New York legend performed some of his most beloved tracks, including "P.I.M.P." and "Many Men," before inviting some more of the city's favorite characters on stage. A Boogie wit da Hoodie was the first surprise guest, lighting up the crowd with a dedicated 5-minute run through his radio hits. Then, A$AP Rocky came out on stage to join 50 before one of the festival's most questionable moments. DaBaby was the next surprise guest, returning to the Rolling Loud stage following his homophobic comments at the Miami leg of the festival several months ago, to perform three songs. He introduced himself as "the n***a you thought you weren't going to see on stage anymore" before 50 took over again and closed out the night with a medley of his classics.

Lil Yachty

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Lil Yachty has elevated his brand and become an absolute rock star since his first performance at Rolling Loud a few years ago. The Atlanta-based rapper previously performed for early afternoon audiences in Miami five years ago, but on Friday, he came out to a rumbling reception from thousands of rowdy fans who caused earthquake-like trembles in the ground by dancing to his wicked catalog of hits.

By now, Lil Boat has become a household name and when songs like "One Night" and "Minnesota" come on, festival crowds go absolutely nuts. It was an extraordinary moment to remark how far Yachty has come in the last few years, and his performance this weekend helped put that into perspective.

J. Cole

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Friday night's headliners truly showed how diverse hip-hop is at the moment. On one stage, Playboi Carti shook the ground (quite literally) with mosh-pit anthems from his new album Whole Lotta Red. Several hundred feet away, J. Cole brought his thoughtful lyricism and storytelling to the main stage, exhilarating a crowd of fans who rapped along to every song while dodging heavy rainfall. The downpour started just before J. Cole's set began, and it made for a visually stunning backdrop to his performance. It's not every day that you get to see a performer like J. Cole live, and it's even more of a treat to see him with Mother Nature raging up above with lightning, thunder, and hurricane-level winds twisting things up for Day 2 of Rolling Loud.

Mixing fan-favorite songs with his latest releases from The Off-Season, J. Cole treated his supporters to surprise appearances from Dreamville's finest rappers, including J.I.D, Bas, and Lute. This performance proved that the North Carolina native is one of hip-hop's greats, and it was a treat for those who stuck around despite the wet weather.

Playboi Carti

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Whether you started at J. Cole's set and ended up at Playboi Carti's, or lined up at the Audiomack Stage for hours in anticipation for the one-and-only King Vamp, there was no way you could avoid the rumbling noise made by Carti and his legion of fans on Friday night. Even if you weren't in the middle of the multiple moshpits surrounding the rapper as he performed, you could certainly feel the energy of his fans who were jumping repeatedly throughout the Citi Field grounds.

While it looked as though the 25-year-old was nearing the same result as Lil Durk the night earlier (who was a no-show for his performance), he eventually showed up and rocked the house down, coming through for what was likely the craziest set of the entire weekend. Performing hits like "Stop Breathing" and "Rockstar Made," one of the highlights from his set was actually a wholesome moment when Carti's on-again, off-again friend Lil Uzi Vert, who performed the night before and has been intermittently feuding with the rapper for years, appeared on stage and the two performed "Shoota" together. The 16*29 reunion ended as the rappers gave each other a big hug before continuing through the rest of Carti's set, reminding some fans of another all-time great Rolling Loud moment when XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God embraced during the latter's performance in Miami a few years ago.

Coi Leray

Rolling Loud/Christopher Pierantoni
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It's unfortunately become a trend to hate on New Jersey-based rapper Coi Leray, but if there's anything her Rolling Loud set proved this weekend, it's that she's unquestionably got the full package. Her fully-choreographed performance of viral hits "TWINNEM," "No More Parties," "Slide," and "Big Purr" made for one of the fun-filled sets of Day 3. Coi came out with a handful of dancers on scooters, running through well-rehearsed moves to her biggest songs. 

During her performance, she addressed all the hate she's been receiving online, telling the crowd that confidence is one of the most important things you can have as a person, and she's filled with it. She reminded her naysayers that she made it to the main stage of Rolling Loud off of their backs, and she will only continue rising even higher as the years go by. 

Roddy Ricch

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Image via HNHH/@iamzjb

Roddy Ricch's performance was filled with technical difficulties, which posed a nuisance to the rapper, who frustratedly said that this would probably be the last time he ever performs at Rolling Loud-- nonetheless, he still had one of the best sets of the weekend. When he first hopped on stage, the Compton-based artist complained about the video screens malfunctioning, asking techs to fix them for fans to enjoy his show to the fullest. He continued onto his biggest songs, performing "Boom Boom Room," "High Fashion," "Ballin'," and it seemed Roddy was leaving the best for last in his hour-long set. 

Announcing that only five minutes remained to his performance, Roddy finished his second-to-last song before his microphone was unexpectedly cut off. Fans started walking away from the Deleón Stage and assumed that they wouldn't be hearing "The Box" live before the rapper returned a few moments later, getting through the song before declaring that he was likely never performing at RL again. 

We'll need to wait and see if Roddy's feelings change about performing at the upcoming festival in California, as well as next year's bash in Miami, but for now, he seems to be pretty pissed at the organizers for cutting his mic off. Still, if you missed his set on Saturday, it was something special.

Even though Roddy seemed disgruntled at times during his performance, he still put on a great show, and he was one of the only acts to perform without backing tracks for the most part. He brought out a live band with a guitarist, drummer, keyboard player, and other instrumentalists to make this one of the most special moments of the weekend.

Travis Scott

Rolling Loud
Rolling Loud/@srodriguez92

It probably goes without saying since, at this point, Travis Scott is universally known as one of the most thrilling performers in music, but he closed out the second iteration of Rolling Loud NYC with a loud bang. He arrived on an elevated platform performing "Escape Plan" from his upcoming album Utopia, setting the stage for some of his biggest hits, including "Highest In The Room," "way back," and more. Known for his rage-filled, moshpit-inducing performances, La Flame did not disappoint on the final day of the festival, sending fans home on a high after yet another star-studded Rolling Loud event. 

With Utopia on the horizon, a lights-out performance was just what Travis needed to bring hype to an all-time high for his upcoming release.

Let us know if we missed any of your favorite sets from Rolling Loud NYC in the comments.

About The Author
<b>Managing Editor</b> <!--BR--> Alex Zidel began working at HotNewHipHop as a Staff Writer in February 2018 before becoming the Managing Editor in June 2019. <strong>Favorite Hip Hop Artists:</strong> Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Young Thug, Frank Ocean.