“Today, we use the ‘brother’ word too loosely — but that’s the only word I can [use] describe my brother Juice WRLD,” YBN Cordae told the sold-out Rolling Loud Festival audience on Sunday (Dec. 15), referencing the multiple affiliates of the late rapper who had already taken the stage to pay their respects to him.
“And he wasn’t just a brother to me, or to Mike [P] or to Cole [Bennet] or to Ski [Mask The Slump God] or to [DJ] Scheme. It’s clear, he was a brother, a counselor, a healer to everybody in the crowd. I can really feel his energy in the air tonight, his impact to hundreds of millions of people in the world.”
Despite temperatures even colder than the previous day, and winds severe enough to send the occasional pieces of trash flying across the compounds, day two saw an even larger turnout than the first, if that was possible. Mike P, Juice WRLD’s official DJ, emphasized this while sharing an anecdote: “One of Juice’s first shows had about 200 people in the crowd. What he would say if he knew that just two years later, there’d be 50,000 of you in the crowd for him,” he reminisced. Mike had led the tribute, which consisted of him playing multiple Juice tracks, and collaborators and friends individually graced the stage to share brief memories of Juice, each backed by a screen showing images of themselves with their friend. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie and G Herbo, with whom Juice WRLD shares a hometown, performed their respective duets with the late rapper as well.
Perhaps the most anticipated moment of the evening was when Ally Lotti, Juice WRLD’s longtime girlfriend, finally broke her silence in the aftermath of the tragedy. Sometime in the middle of the tribute, she gingerly approached the front and center of the stage, her voice shaking and eyes covered by dark glasses.
“I just wanted to come out here and let everyone know that Jarad loved every single person that he helped on this earth,” she said, using Juice’s given name. “He literally loved every single one of you guys. There is not a time when he had shown me any different love then he felt for you.” After sharing some inspiring remarks, she walked off with the audience’s support, chants of “Ally!” trailing her.
After a black and white clip of an innocent-looking Juice discussing his love for music played, the tribute wrapped up with Mike leading the crowd in a singalong to “Lucid Dreams,” the festivalgoers’ cell phone lights raised to the sky, a sense of community palpable in the air.
Elsewhere on the three-stage lot, those who had looked forward to catching Meek Mill’s set were left disappointed as the Dreamchasers boss reportedly cancelled his appearance, with Los Angeles-local The Game conveniently taking his slot. Despite Meek’s unexpected absence, guests enjoyed stellar performances and entertaining antics from Da Baby, YG, A$AP Rocky, Future and more.
Here are a few of our favorite moments from the second day of Rolling Loud.
DaBaby lets “BOP” shine
Shortly after the sun set, DaBaby was met with explosive cheers as he hit the stage to “BOP” with the Jabbawockeez in tow, mimicking his famed “BOP on Broadway” choreography. While he maximized his allotted 35 minutes by performing everything from the collaborative “Cash S–t” (with fellow 2019 champion Megan Thee Stallion) to his breakout “Goin Baby” and the recently-released, invigorating “VIBEZ”, DaBaby doubled back to perform the fan-favorite “BOP” at least three separate times during his set. While the Jabbawockeez and a team of dancers/ professional twerkers closely surrounded him, the back of the stage was filled by two dancers in giant, caricature-like baby costumes inspired by his moniker. The pint-sized performer had a giant presence, leaving no corner of the stage untouched as he engaged every side of the crowd, while his team of dancers channeled everything from High School Musical to a plain old twerk-off.
Maybe it was due to the slight delay that came as a result of his improvised jokes and banter with the audience in between songs, but Da Baby’s mesmerizing show was cut short in the middle of “Suge,” forcing the rapper to exit as the unsatiated audience chanted his name for an encore.
YG incites a riot, represents West Coast per usual
YG can’t avoid playing into his “Stay Dangerous” slogan. Close to the beginning of his performance, during “Do My Dance,” the Compton native suggested fans break the barricade and get as close to the stage as possible — and that’s exactly what they did. A stampede ensued, forcing those close to the railings to hop over or be trampled, the security and event staff outnumbered by far. The show was paused and the chaos soon subsided, but YG’s antics did not. Just like he infamously asked a fan to chant “F–k Donald Trump” at a San Antonio concert in October, YG asked for the “whitest person in this crowd” to repeat the skit before jumping into his famous “FDT” anthem.
Not one to ever hoard the West Coast-spotlight, YG welcomed Roddy Ricch (who himself was not on the festival lineup) for his Nipsey Hussle collaboration “Racks In The Middle” later on in the evening. Roddy then stayed for “Ballin” as Mustard emerged, flames and fireworks surrounding the stage and adding to the high-powered trio. Finally, they played “The Box” off Roddy’s new album, sending fans into an overdrive of excitement as even DJ Vision left the booth to dance with the artists.
Future hops around his discography
Future opened with a Dirty Sprite 2 favorite “Stick Talk” before appropriately shouting out the West Coast and launching into the Jay Rock/Kendrick Lamar-assisted “King’s Dead.” Backed by six female dancers with chiseled choreography and a screen flashing images of guns, jewels, and other illustrations of his lyrics, the FBG founder bounced between old and new hits, covering “X,” “Same Damn Time,” “Wifi Lit,” “Wicked,” and dozens more as he was joined by prominent Atlanta dancers Meechi & Toosi for several tracks.
The overwhelmingly large crowd stood under the pitch black sky, but a sea of filming iPhone flashes provided more than enough light to notice Lil Durk’s arrival to the stage through the smog. The pair sported nearly identical bleach blonde dreads as they performed their most recent release, “Last Name,” followed by “No Auto Durk” and even Durk’s “Home Body.” Ty Dolla $ign was also a featured guest of the evening for the duo’s “Blasé.”
Future’s undeniable track record and nearly decade-long discography was appreciated by all, with even event security shedding their serious demeanor to bob along to “Move That Dope.” The 36-year-old MC’s DJ, DJ TJizzle, rocked the booth and provided additional fuel for the Atlanta rapper in the moments when neither Meechi and Toosi nor the female dancers were there as backup.
A$AP Rocky Gets Sentimental
At the same time as Future’s headlining set, A$AP Rocky burst out to a massive crowd with a rendition of his classic “Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2,” supported by a couple dozen masked hypemen who bopped to every note and formed a mob around Rocky as he pranced along the stage. The hypemen remained close to him as the AWGE founder immediately launched into “A$AP Forever,” filling the stage as he stomped and sashayed over a giant smiley face logo. By the third track, Rocky had scooped up three women’s bras that were thrown to him. He performed “Praise The Lord” with lingerie in hand.
Evidently, Juice WRLD’s untimely death inspired the Harlem native to reflect, as he grew serious for a moment to express gratitude to his fans.
“So I just came from London today, and I’m not going to lie I feel sick as f–k, but when I came out here today, it was just a different boost of energy from y’all,” he said. “So, thank you. I just want to say being up here, being in L.A. after everything that’s been going on — Rest in peace Juice WRLD. I just want to tell you guys, I love you. We don’t get to tell you that enough. Thank you to those people who made me who I am. I might not be here tomorrow, so I just want to let you know I love you.”
At a point, the A$AP Mob frontman strategically sat to catch a breath and to perform the dreamy “L$D” as an unknown audience member crowd-surfed to the stage on a giant inflatable swan. Unclear to the audience if this moment was staged, the man and his inflatable swan joined Rocky on stage, the swan later facilitating Rocky’s smooth dive into the crowd during “No Limit” for a brief crowd surf.
Rocky would not have shut down the explosive weekend without paying his respects to both Juice WRLD — he played “Bandit” in the latter half of his set — and the late A$AP Yams. Per every A$AP performance protocol, “Yamborghini High,” named after Yams, served as the festival’s finale track.