Hip-hop’s biggest festival, Rolling Loud, came to Toronto this weekend. From September 9th to 11th, artists from around the world shared their music with the city.
This festival means a lot to the Toronto music scene. Many international artists, such as UK’s ArrDee, performed in Toronto for the very first time. With the response that the crowd gave him, we can definitely see him coming back very soon.
But past the international artists, came the city’s very own. Many Toronto based musicians had the opportunity to perform and take their role as a hometown hero.
Rolling Loud brought a festival experience like no other. 33 food trucks were wrapped around the stages and the festival had its own “Trap Mart” which offered limited snacks and beverages from around the world. They even had their own branded cereal called Loud Pebbles.
There were no shortages of upgrades. The VIP experience was equipped with a free beauty bar, barber and its very own tattoo shop. These experiences overlooked the stage, letting attendees listen to live music during the activities. The Loud Club offered its own elevated view of the Uber stage, accompanied by a dedicated VIP Entrance, valet, food and bottle service to your section.
At the Uber stage, OVO artist Smiley had the crowd jumping with his hit single Over the Top featuring Drake. At the mere age of 24, Smiley doesn’t just inspire up and coming musicians in the city, but veterans like Drake, who claimed that Smiley’s unique sound inspired his 2018 album “Scorpion”. Smiley was assisted by pyrotechnics that erupted across the stage. The bass roared through the crowd with each artist being accompanied by their own unique stage visuals.
The city was once again well represented on Saturday with Pressa. The crowd chanted back his hit
single “Attachments” word for word.
We had the opportunity to sit down with him before his show.
You’ve been a huge face for Toronto hip hop over the last few years. How does it feel to have Rolling Loud come to Toronto? What mark do you think it’ll have on the rap scene?
“I’ve been the face of the city for a long time, before I was rapping. All of my guys are the faces of the city too, Burna Bandz, Why G. They’re the next guys, they’re legends. You guys know Houdini, long live Houdini, he’s another face of the city.”
“There will be the next Rolling Loud, back to back. They gotta come back to back!”
Although Sunday was the final day, the lineup was one to remember. International superstars such as Wizkid, Sheck Wes and Fivo Foreign moved the crowd for the entire day.
Killy, raised in Toronto, performed a short set before his own at the main stage. He gave us a sneak peek of what we’d see later in the night.
He took over the Moose Knuckles stage at 9:00PM, with a massive crowd of local fans. Delivering hit singles like Kilimanjaro, Distance and No Sad No Bad. He made sure to finish his set with his brand new hit single CEO. In the music video, he is accompanied by his fans as he strolls through Toronto as a superstar.
It seems as if many artists had their own hometown hero moment at Rolling Loud. Although the festival has been hosted many times in cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York, Toronto showed what they were capable of by selling out 50,000 tickets for the three day festival.
The audience and artists both have said that they’re ready for Toronto’s second Rolling Loud. Make sure you keep an eye out for next year’s presale tickets, Rolling Loud is not an experience to miss.