After years of hearing the crazy stories and listening to all the hype building up to it every year, I finally made it to the mecca of hip hop concerts…New York City’s Hot 97’s Summer Jam. I was prepared for it to be a long night because with the off and on rain showers, the show didn’t start until almost seven and they had everyone scheduled to perform including Biggie’s hologram. I had every intention to live tweet, but for some reason, every time I go somewhere of importance and beneficial to my journalistic career, T-Mobile fails me. So I couldn’t tweet, Instagram, Facebook…nothing. Quite a downer because I was so ready for it. We all know going to a hip hop show, we must expect drama, and Sunday proved why I need to switch cell phone providers. Before we get to what everyone has been talking about, I have a chronological order of the show and its exciting moments in the form of the tweets in which I would have sent them to give you quick snapshots:
Maino opened the show, getting the crowd hype with the track we know him best, “Hi Hater.”
Tyga got big letters his height on stage spelling out his name and performed “Faded” and the strip club anthem “Rack City.” Speaking of stripping….his exotic dancer/video vixen boo Blac Chyna wasn’t there…
Wacka Flocka with a grungy beard hit the stage with explosive energy…
Wale received a little bit of the silent treatment from the crowd until Miguel came out to perform “Lotus Flower Bomb” with him.
BREAKING NEWS: Nicki Minaj not performing because of a comment made by Peter Rosenberg at the daytime festival, dissing her song “Starships.” STAY TUNED.
J.Cole impressed fans with a wicked live band instead of a DJ. I thought Jay Z was going to come out when he did “Mr. Nice Watch,” but then I remembered he with his ni**as…and Blue Ivy in Paris for his “Watch The Throne” tour. Trey Songz made an appearance to sing his hook “Can’t Get Enough.” Apparently the ladies couldn’t get enough of Trey big guns busting out his tee…
“Tonight just got interesting.” Rosenberg tweeted that after word was spreading Lil Wayne pulled Nicki out the show.
To introduce himself to the stage, Young Jeezy used his approval stamp video from the President when he publicly supported the rapper at his 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner. Ne-Yo came out to sing his hook for “She Said.” The king, TI, made a surprise appearance for his fellow ATLien for the song “Up.”
Big Sean got people’s “A**” out their seats after a drawn out set from Jeezy (possibly to fill in Nicki’s lost time slot) slowed down the crowd energy tempo. The Detroit native brought his mom up on stage. Sean switched it up, playing the soulful classic “Let’s Get It On,” then transitioned to his ode to the slow jam crooner with “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay”….
Before getting off the stage, Sean brought out Pusha T and 2 Chainz to perform the biggest single on the radio right now, “Mercy.”
I was reading his tweets throughout the night so I knew when Funkmaster Flex took the stage for his DJ set I knew he was going to go IN. His song choices to me definitely subliminally threw jabs at the YMCB family. “Remember today…we don’t give a f*** about you.” And he asked the audience to put one middle finger up and saying some rappers are too “afraid” to come on the stage. ” We stay shining,” in reference to the radio station he’s been on for over 15 years. The tension was thicker than the marijuana smoke clouds engulfing the stadium atmosphere.
“We not f***ing with commercial rappers no more. I’m dedicated to bringing you down!!” Sheesh. I see all love seems to be lost.
To turn the show to a more upbeat, positive turn, Hot 97 veteran Angie Martinez introduced a NY rap legend, Nas, playing some of his classics like “Hate Me Now,” then his latest track, “The Don.” Although Nas was a suprise guest, he switched it up and brought out his own surprise guest…
Fresh off her performance Saturday night at the Highline Ballroom, Lauryn Hill appeared with a small afro and a blazer. Hits like “Ready or Not” and “Lost One,” an ironic song choice in light of the new battle between the most popular female rapper in the world and a hip hip powerhouse radio station, had the crowd going wild. Reuniting with the artist who brought her on stage, Nas and Ms. Hill jumped into “If I Ruled The World.”
And if that blast from the 90’s wasn’t enough, another “old school” artist from NY came out for a surprise verse. Mason Betha, betta known as Ma$e, rapped with French Montana for the “Slight Work” remix with Wale and he looked the same as he did in his silver suit days.
Meek Mill hit the stage and Rick Ross gave us some cleavage in his velour sweat suit and let everyone know “I’m A Boss.” With Lil’ Wayne and the rest of the YMCMB roster not in attendance, the Maybach Music Group took over the show, staying on stage for the last hour of the show. The stage got so crowded, the artists were rapping close to the ledge and I’m pretty sure the fire department was on hand in case the stage caved in. I couldn’t even find the DJ set up anymore. Spotted on stage was Justin Combs, Azealia Banks, Wale, Big Sean and a few others. I later learned DJ Khaled pulled his set due to the whole fiasco that unfolded that night.
I left before the last surprise guest of the night, Wu-Tang Clan came out to close out the show with a sole song performance to “C.R.E.A.M.” However, after seven hours of being at MetLife Stadium all the way in Jersey, I think it was time to go. It was my first Summer Jam and possibly my last. If you know me, you know I’m an old school music head so this was a stretch for me. I was really disappointed my cousin Mavado was a no show cuz that would’ve set it off. However, I really enjoyed the experience and even though I went by myself, I hung out with fellow journalists and bloggers in the nosebleed press seats, so we made it fun.