A Geek’s Guide to the Rolling Loud Hip-Hop Festival

Announced way back in January (though a Miami commissioner conveniently forgot all about it), the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival finally takes place this weekend at Bayfront Park. With Kendrick Lamar, Future, Lil Wayne and Young Thug among its headliners, it’s no surprise that tickets are already sold out.

Over at Straight Outta Gotham, we document and showcase the many connections between geek and hip-hop culture, so we’re extra excited that that the lineup features many artists we consider the biggest geeks in the rap game (and that Bayfront Park is filled with Pokémon Go Pokéstops).

If you’re going this weekend, you’re sure to have a scheduling conflict or two because of the jam-packed line up of more than 60 artists performing on two stages over three days. But here we will break down the must-sees for the geek in you.

Robb Bank$

Courtesy of Robb Bank$ management.

Without a doubt you have to see Robb Bank$ at Rolling Loud if you’re into geek culture and hip-hop. Not only is 2phoneshawty a Broward County native, he’s easily one of the best rappers when it comes to witty geek bars. When you see him, keep your ears open for all kinds of anime references in his lyrics – including Naruto, Pokémon, and Dragon Ball – among Game of Thrones and video games.

When: 2:35 p.m. Sunday, May 7

Where: Postmates Stage

 Denzel Curry

Denzel CurryPhoto by Julian Consuegra

Denzel Curry reps Carol City hard and is up there with Robb when it comes to the volume of geek references in his catalog. He’s another act you can’t miss if you wanna mosh to Star Wars, Dragon Ball and comic book mentions. Make sure you stay hydrated, though, because we’re all goin’ nuts to “ULTIMATE.”

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6

Where: Postmates Stage


MigosPhoto by David Rams

Migos is the biggest group in the game right now, period. But if you listen closely, you’ll also notice they’re lowkey some of the biggest geeks out here. Watch them perform and you’re definitely gonna hear Quavo spit “Space coupe, Quavo Yoda” during “T-Shirt” and Takeoff mention “Johnny Cage” on “Chinatown.” Unfortunately, though, that “Draco” they’re gonna mention on “Bad and Boujee” is not the boy in Slytherin.

When: 6:30 p.m. Sunday, May 7

Where: Monster Energy Stage

Mick Jenkins 

Via Instagram

Mick Jenkins has been at it for a while now, but we first discovered him last year. After hearing his NBA 2K reference on “I Know” by Kirk Knight, we dug deeper and can say that other than video games, you might hear some comic book, Harry Potter, and Matrix references during his performance.

When: TBD

Where: TBD

Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi VertPhoto courtesy of Atlantic Records

We’ll be VERY disappointed if Uzi doesn’t perform “Super Saiyan Trunks” at Rolling Loud this year, but we’ll forgive him if we get to hear one of the few Adventure Time references in hip-hop live. If you’ve seen his video for “P’s & Q’s”, it’s clear he’s inspired by anime and manga. So who knows? Maybe he’ll incorporate them in his set design, too.

When: 8 p.m. Sunday, May 7

Where: Monster Energy Stage

Young Thug

Young ThugPhoto courtesy of Atlantic Records

Young Thug clearly has an affinity for Speed Racer. He’s mentioned the anime on a few songs and even has one called “Speed Racer,” which he and Metro Boomin released with Speed Racer inspired artwork. More than likely, though, he’ll perform “Digits” and “Check,” both featuring references to Mortal Kombat.

When: 10:30 p.m. Saturday, May 6

Where: Postmates Stage

Kendrick Lamar 

Photo courtesy of Kendricklamar.com

There’s no way Kendrick isn’t going to perform “Humble” during his set this year. So be ready to turn up and shout “Pull up on your block, then break it down / We playin’ Tetris.” There’s also a good chance you’ll hear him say something about the Matrix on “DNA” or one of his older songs.

When: 10 p.m. Saturday, May 6

Where: Postmates Stage

Wanna know more?
That’s just the top 7 on our list of 15 acts we think you should see this weekend. Sign up for our newsletter now between Sunday to see the others on our list, including Lil Wayne, A$AP Rocky, and Mac Miller.


And say wuttup if you see us at Rolling Loud.



If You Go

What: Rolling Loud Music Festival

When: May 5-7, doors open at 4 p.m. daily

Where: Bayfront Park, 301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Tickets: SOLD OUT

301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami

Jamila Rowser

and Jemar Souza are the brains behind Straight Outta Gotham, which showcases connections between geek and hip-hop culture, including lyrics, art, and news. Sign up for their newsletter to keep up with all things geek related.