Dear Rolling Loud Festival—please don’t come back
At what point is enough, enough? The headline in the Miami Herald said it all, “Deaths, shootings and arrests in Miami-Dade during Rolling Loud weekend” “Three shootings, one common thread,” CBS 4 said.
While no one was shot at the Rolling Loud Festival at Hard Rock Stadium, there was mayhem and controversies all over Miami-Dade County during the weekend of the festival:
- The shooting death of a 43-year-old Hertz employee hit by a stray bullet, the grazing of a 5-year-old by a stray bullet and the shooting of 19-year-old rapper’s girlfriend near the Trump International Beach Resort in Sunny Isles Beach.
- Rapper AAB Hellabandz was killed outside of Cameo Nightclub in South Beach.
- Rapper Young Thug’s car and two party buses filled with his team were targeted in a hail of bullets on I-95 early Friday morning in North Miami and three people were injured, according to TMZ.
- Rapper Kodak Black was arrested at Hard Rock Stadium on weapons charges.
- Rapper Lil Wayne refused to be subjected to a search before entering Hard Rock Stadium. While Wayne’s response indicated he was outraged, a 2010 Rolling Stone article chronicles his adventures in the legal system, including an eight-month sentence served for weapons charges.
- Fans panicking at reports of a shooter inside the stadium, resulting in injuries, according to several media outlets. There was no shooter.
- Rolling Loud’s Twitter account was suspended after a tweet that said, AND IF YOU DIDN’T ENJOY ROLLING LOUD DESPITE THE HICCUPS, STAY HOME NEXT YEAR…THIS IS HIP-HOP” and another one that said “Ain’t no one die.”
Oh, but there’s more. The car in which Louisiana rapper JayDaYoungan was riding was pulled over by police in northern Florida, the Herald also reported. The rapper was charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. A loaded firearm was also found in the car.
I’m all for artistic expression and appreciate how hip hop and rap underscore the struggles many face in our society and give it a voice. However, when artistic expression turns into petty feuds, gunfire and innocent people get killed, that’s a serious problem.
While credit should be given to the security staff at Hard Rock for sticking to its policies, South Floridians shouldn’t be subject to mayhem that resulted in the death of an innocent rental car worker and the wounding of a five-year-old.
Tell the world’s largest hip-hop festival to go somewhere else next year.