Photo of Future performing at Rolling Loud SoCal 2017, by Keenan Hairston

As 2017 comes to a close, Rolling Loud made sure to go out in a big way, bringing some of the biggest hip-hop stars together for its first-ever So Cal edition.

On hand for the two-day fest were the likes of Future, Migos, ScHoolboy Q, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Rae Sremmurd, Jaden Smith, Young Thug, Post Malone and 21 Savage, as well as a slew of up-and-coming artists.

Despite the arguable barrage of festivals covering North America these days, a mid-December hip-hop fest was a welcome addition, further proving Rolling Loud has its finger on the pulse of the culture right now, as hip-hop is essentially our generation's rock 'n' roll. 

As emcees like Gucci Mane, Kodak Black and Dave East took over the NOS Events Center in San Bernardino, it was clear the power of a genre no longer relegated to the side stages but instead dominating pop radio and pop culture. In fact, just seven years ago, Jay-Z was the first rapper to headline Coachella.

Photo of Lil Uzi Vert performing at Rolling Loud SoCal 2017, by Keenan Hairston / Variance Magazine

Rolling Loud had already proven to be formidable, but the franchise is now expanding from its Miami flagship event to the Bay Area, the United Kingdom and Japan, with the SoCal edition only cementing its claim to the mantle of Rock the Bells, the annual hip-hop fest which dissolved in 2013 because of poor ticket sales.

Attendance didn't seem to be an issue for Rolling Loud SoCal, which attracted around 25,000 fans over the weekend.

In addition to the aforementioned marquee names, the festival saw explosive performances from Lil Yachty, SOB X RBE, Lil Pump, Curren$y, Smokepurpp, PnB Rock, Rich the Kid, SAINt JHN, Kodie Shane, DUCKWRTH, G Herbo and a number of others.

So, yes, it was the perfect way to end a rocky year.

See photos from Rolling Loud SoCal below, by Keenan Hairston.  

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