The co-founders of Rolling Loud, Matt Zingler and Tariq Cherif, understood the value of including Bay Area rappers in the lineup for the festival. The Bay Area’s rap scene includes one of the most loyal and devoted fanbases.
So when San Francisco-based Lil Kayla was inexplicably replaced — only to arrive an hour or so later for a brief set — by a half-baked performance from Cleveland-based rapper Chxpo, people quickly took notice, and they were not happy.
From his interjections — “Make some noise if you a demon in this bitch” — down to his appearance — wearing a leather, Dracula-inspired coat — the small crowd that assembled toward the front of the Pinclout Stage couldn’t warm up to the off-kilter humor that he presented in songs such as “BVNDGXD.”
In the rare moments when he was gaining traction with his performance, the rapper would take premature intermissions, throw merchandise into the crowd or let a song from another artist play. Eventually, some of the audience members grew restless at his unamusing antics and started calling Lil Kayla’s name.
Seeing Chxpo’s blank face during the crowd’s chant, one might be able to understand or even empathize with him for a moment. Chxpo was only trying his best.