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Why hip-hop festival Rolling Loud seems to be a hotbed for arrests

Festival goers attend Rolling Loud in Miami Gardens, Florida. The annual hip-hop festival has its roots in south Florida but has expanded to now hosts events in Miami, Los Angeles and New York."
Festival goers attend Rolling Loud in Miami Gardens, Florida. The annual hip-hop festival has its roots in south Florida but has expanded to now hosts events in Miami, Los Angeles and New York."

Updated November 2, 2021 at 12:41 PM ET

The rapper Fetty Wap was arrested last week at Rolling Loud New York, on drug charges. But he's not the first rapper to be detained ahead of the annual hip-hop festival, or barred from performing by local authorities. There exists, says journalist Jayson Buford, a continued pattern of law enforcement "essentially using rap lyrics to try to prove that rappers are violent people in real life."

NPR's Audie Cornish spoke with Buford about the festival's history and history of policing, as well as the wider world of live hip-hop.

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