Kanye West Never Picks Up Mic During Rolling Loud ‘Performance’

Mark J. Rebilas/Reuters
Mark J. Rebilas/Reuters

The always unpredictable Kanye West has pulled yet another stunt, this time baffling fans and event organizers at Rolling Loud California after he “performed” as the festival’s headlining artist Thursday without ever picking up a microphone.

Instead, the rapper bounced around a stage in Los Angeles opposite Ty Dolla $ign, wearing his now-signature hockey mask and dancing to an hour’s worth of pre-recorded music from the duo’s newest album, Vultures 1.

The decision to not rap live—or even address the thousands of fans who shelled out hundreds of dollars to see him—appeared to perplex Rolling Loud organizers, who spent this week insisting to concerned concertgoers on X that West’s appearance would be more than just a listening party.

“Is he performing or is it a listening party?” one fan tweeted at Rolling Loud.

“You don’t see listening experience on the Yeezy flyer, do you,” the official Rolling Loud account shot back.

Turns out it was exactly that.

The social media for Rolling Loud shared dozens of photos taken by those in the crowd, some of which fans said they posted, to prove that one of the men bouncing around stage in a mask was indeed West, who has legally changed his name to Ye.

Rolling Loud also leaned into jokes about West scamming them, retweeting memes about the lack of performance they paid for. Rolling Loud has not said how much West charged for the “show,” but he claimed in 2022 that he doesn’t take the stage for anything less than $8 million.

West and Ty Dolla $ign defended their appearance in an interview on Big Boy TV on Friday morning, with West claiming, “People just came for the experience.”

“It’s still better than other people shows that have a mic,” Ty Dolla added.

A flurry of enraged fans posted that they had been scammed. Tickets cost $246 for four-day passes that included Thursday, where West and Ty Dolla were the only performers, and fans shared online that on-site parking cost $60 a car.

Rolling Loud did not address calls for refunds, but it did appear to be blindsided that West never performed.

When asked mid-show by a fan if West and Ty Dolla were going to “actually perform or just stand there,” the festival’s account responded, “perform.”

Even before West took the stage, Rolling Loud was being criticized heavily for allowing him to headline a night of the festival despite his ongoing antisemitic rants and recent outbursts.

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