“My partners and I were all born and raised in New York City,” said Wolowitz, also speaking for co-founders Tom Russell and Yoni Reisman, all 28 (known collectively as Founders Entertainment). “We noticed there wasn't a marquee major music festival for New York the way Lollapalooza is in Chicago or Outside Lands is in San Francisco. The music festivals here were either niche festivals like Electric Zoo, which focused on electronic music, or Rock the Bells, which focused on hip-hop. We feel like expanding to two days and expanding the scope of the talent programming really shows our intention to [be New York’s marquee festival]." And to explain the move from its titular island, he continued: "Randall's Island provides the proper infrastructure for us to do that.”
West's experiment set a precedent for the electronic influence and bare introspection of the singing rapper, making way for both Cudi's sonic trials—downtempo, spare keyboard whirrs plod over tribal or intergalactic drums—as well as for his whinier indulgences. But where West's very public trials—his near-fatal car wreck, the death of his mother, his outburst at the 2009 Video Music Awards—lend a certain well-manicured gravitas to his public persona, Cudi's youthfulness is easily read as folly.