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Scene Report

Rolling Loud brought the heat to Thailand

Over 100 Hip Hop artists from the East & West gave show-stopping performances

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius [Photos by Steven Vigar] | 17 Apr 2023

Rolling Loud Thailand was the Super Bowl of Hip Hop Asian style. Not only did it boast the cream of the crop international headliners like Cardi B, Fat Joe, Chris Brown, Rick Ross, Travis Scott, Offset, and Lil Uzi Vert, but the eight-year-old festival really placed an emphasis on home-grown talent and booked a ton of Asian Hip Hop artists from around the region. DJ Ono and DJAYBUDDAH busted their rumps to book all the talent and make the whole thing run smoothly.

This made for a two-part celebration: local MCs who were living out their dreams by performing at the biggest Hip Hop festival in the world and everyone being excited about the fact that all of these international acts traveled halfway around the world to set the stages on fire in their backyard. Rolling Loud Thailand is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many and it exceeded expectations many times over.

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Day 1

Looking down at the Weather app, the real feel for Pattaya read a shocking 47 degrees. Add 50,000 people gathered together to witness history, and all the ingredients for madness were perfectly in place.

Legends Siam as a venue was unbelievable. As guests arrived, they were greeted by a golden palace with three-story Thai Yaksa warrior guard statues whose job is to keep evil spirits out. As guests passed through the front gates and got to the entrance, the huge Rolling Loud sign signaled arrival. For first-timers to the festival, which was nearly everyone in Asia, the anticipation for the past few months since the announcement of the concert exploded into joy for finally making it to Rolling Loud.

Starting the Levi’s Stage was the Def Jam Southeast Asia roster of Pradaa, Ironboy, and Artrilla. While it was early, the vibes were right and people were really having fun getting into the music. The second act of the day is the Hype Train crew of OG Bobby, Sprite, Eskiimo, and Guygeegee. When MCs are on stage rapping with people they like, it’s obvious that they are having a good time. RAMENGVRL slayed her slot as usual and showed why everyone wants to get her on their tracks.

The action moved to the OKX Stage as SonaOne jumped out and got the party going on the catwalk. After two songs, ALYPH joined him, and then did his own jam. Soon, The President, Joe Flizzow, came out and had the whole crowd singing his songs. It’s a quick hit, but Def Jam Malaysia represented it for sure.

Awich followed the guys and she put everything she had into her set. She said that even though she didn’t expect much by being so early, “Even if they didn’t know me, they got really hyped about seeing me, and it was just so beautiful.”

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As night fell, Vannda’s set at the Levi’s Stage was on fire literally and figuratively. As fire was projected onto the screen, flames were shooting out of the cannons, and Vannda was moving the crowd with his blazing lyrics. It’s easy to see why the Cambodian superstar’s trajectory is only going up as he brought Vanthan out to play a lot of instruments as well as sing on their new joint single ‘Komlors Srok Khmer,’ which has racked up 11 million views in nine days.

F.Hero had a killer set to match his killer voice, Ferg has hits for days so the crowd ate it up, but day one belonged to the headliners Lil Uzi Vert and Cardi B. As he traipses around the stage, Uzi seems to not have a care in the world. He’s not overly exerting himself on his songs, but he’s been featured on hits. When the first few seconds of ‘Bad and Boujee’ hit, the crowd absolutely lost their shit. And when he performed his final song ‘Just Wanna Rock,’ Uzi ran it back twice so the fans could double up on the action and do his dance with him.

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Cardi B has her own lane in Hip Hop, and she proved it when she showed up in a gold outfit with tassels that accentuated her dance moves in all the right ways. Her slew of crowd-pleasing hits like ‘WAP’, ‘Up’, ‘Bodak Yellow’, and ‘I Like It’ were the right way to end the first night properly.

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In every place we went, we asked local Thais who their favorite Thai rappers were. One hundred percent of the time, their answer was Youngohm. Taxi drivers love Youngohm. Bar girls love Youngohm. Street hustlers love Youngohm. He released his latest song, ‘Thattong Sound’ released 11 days ago, and it has clocked 22 million views and was played at every venue we visited. Youngohm has the streets on lock in Thailand so we were eager to see him, and he didn’t disappoint when he played early on the main stage on Day 2.

MILLI was a late addition to the bill, but the crowd loved her songs and her energy. Twopee Southside did his thing on the Levi’s Stage.The biggest surprise of the day came when during Jessi’s set, Jay Park was a surprise guest for their duet ‘Blue Check.’ They revealed that she is now an artist on Jay’s More Vision label.

DaBaby made a lot of waves by beating up a person dressed up as the Atlanta Hawks’ Trae Young, and giving his shoes out to some lucky fans. Fat Joe and Rick Ross, both gigantic men, were struck by how hot it was in Thailand, even though it was much cooler than the day before. Chris Brown showed why he got the nod as the headliner for Day 2 as he and his crew mobbed the catwalk and sang and danced to hit after hit after hit.

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Day 3

The final day of festivals is always the craziest because the people that can last three full days are the ones that know how to party. They might be broke. They might have a sprained ankle. But they are there giving it their all not wanting to head back to the real world anytime soon.

Day 3 began with Wonderframe coming out with wings on with her dancers on the Levi’s Stage to make the crowd bounce and twerk. Yung Raja was up next and he said, “I tried to see Travis Scott in Paris in 2017 before I started making music. He had visa issues and didn’t make that show, but now five years later, I’m on the same bill.” Raja had his people there early and they were bouncing to his hits like ‘Mami.’ JP The Wavy represented Japan during his set with tracks like ‘WAVEBODY,’ and he even brought out OG Bobby for their collab that will be out very soon.

Even though it was early on the OKX Stage, things got heated really quickly as Teriyaki Boyz came out and made the crowd crazy with ‘Tokyo Drift.’ As the sun was going down on the final day, Thaitanium came out to a hero’s welcome. They started with ‘Wake Up Bangkok City,’ their song with Snoop, and went right into their latest Twerk anthem, ‘Ta Lueng Baby’ with dancers and crew attacking the catwalk as the crowd paid their respects to the architects of Thai Hip Hip and Rolling Loud Thailand. It was an unbelievable moment on a weekend full of them.

The H1GHR Music crew was next and every female in the crowd audibly gasped when Jay Park hit the stage. This wasn’t R&B Jay Park as he brought out pH-1, Sih-K, HAON, BIG Naughty, GroovyRoom, Woodie Gochild, Trade L, and SMMT for rapping and taking things over. Their set included ‘How We Rock’, ‘Giddy Up’, ‘The Purge,’ and more.

As the night wore on, fatigue set in as people had been in the heat a long time. Plus, getting out of Legends Siam was always a worry. The hardcore Drill of Central Cee kept people going, especially for his closer, ‘Doja.’ Offset had a great performance with graphics paying tribute to one of James Brown’s best interviews as well as a tribute to his lost cousin Takeoff. To close it all out was Travis Scott, and he was definitely the highest in the room. His set was dark, slow, and aimed at the people who can’t wait for his new album, Utopia, to be out.

Rolling Loud Thailand was an unbelievable success on many levels, and LiFTED had a blast being part of it.

Check out our Instagram here all week for interviews with all the Asian Hip Hop artists we caught up with.