NYC Rolling Loud Festival Starts Without 3 Acts After Police Step In – NBC New York
Rolling Loud, the traveling rap festival making its annual stop in Queens this weekend, kicks off at Citi Field on Friday with three local drill rappers absent from the lineup.
The New York Times reports that three acts — Sha Ek, 22Gz, and Ron Suno — all previously scheduled to make a hometown appearance on the festival stage, were pulled at the request of the NYPD.
The move by the police department has precedence. Festival organizers pulled five acts back in 2019 after a similar request was made by police officials alleging affiliation “with recent acts of violence citywide.” Among those acts was 22Gz.
Requests for comment were not returned by the police department nor the festival. A manager for 19-year-old Sha Ek did tell the Times that his client hasn’t been charged with a crime.
“The police try to associate what he’s doing with violence and negativity,” the manager, Stanley Davis, told the paper. “They don’t respect that he’s an artist and entertainer trying to better himself and feed his family at 19 years old.”
A manager for Ron Suno also claimed the artist “has no criminal record and no gang ties.”
Back in February, Mayor Eric Adams took a late-night meeting at City Hall with a group of rap artists prominent in the drill genre to talk about the gun violence plaguing New York City. Adams has blamed the rap genre for contributing to the city’s sharp uptick in violence.
Drill came out of Chicago in the last decade, and is usually characterized by haunting songs with heavy lyrics about violence, shootings and the like.
Headliners for this weekend’s festival include Nicki Minaj, Future, ASAP Rocky and Playboi Carti.