Yesterday (Sunday, June 5, 2016) was the world’s largest and longest running hip-hop concert in America (not to mention arguably the most anticipated!), Summer Jam.
The MetLife Stadium in Rutherford NJ was home to this event hosted by iconic radio station Hot 97. Even with an unprecedented cancellation of the pre show on the Festival Village stage due to inclement weather, this year’s show proved to be yet “another one” (DJ Khaled voice) to add to their already impressive history of surprising nights.
Artists that were scheduled to appear during the pre show were: Chance The Rapper, Tory Lanez, Post Malone, Justine Skye, Desiigner, Rotimi, Dougie F., Dave East and Currency. Additionally, much to the dismay of fans, scheduled artists for the main stage Tinashe, Young Thug, Kid Ink, and Future also did not perform.
As they say, “the show must go on”, and it certainly did! While the rain swiftly and forcefully fell down only moments prior to Summer Jam’s official commencement, it was nothing but clear skies once the show kicked off! The whole event started on the main (and only!) stage with NY native and friend of the station, Maino and Uncle Murda.
They definitely got the crowd going with past hits like Hi Hater and an appearance by Panda hitmaker (and cancelled Festival Village artist) Desiigner. He performed what Maino dubbed as “the hottest verse on this track” to one of his songs. Their set couldn’t be complete without Maino’s breakout hit All Of The Above and that’s exactly how they brought their portion of Summer Jam to a close.
Hot 97 personality Ebro then took the stage for a short introduction that included a special thank you to the fans for still coming out even in the harsh weather and conditions. He moved things along and set the crowd up for the next performance that was sure to entertain because it was G.O.O.D music’s very own Pusha T (a.k.a King Push), Big Sean, and Desiigner, along with Travis Scott, and 2 Chainz.
Kanye West made a special appearance and he along with the above mentioned talents stood together in a line like musical soldiers waiting for their turn to shine as each one performed. During the set Mr. West unleashed energy from within himself and the crowd unlike any other to bring the house down. The crowd rose to their feet and roared throughout the entire performance and one couldn’t even tell everyone was cold and wet from the rain soaked stadium. There was an epic performance going on and regardless the audience was captivated!
Once the beats to Mercy and I Don’t Like dropped the crowd exploded with even more excitement. An interesting auto-tuned version of outspoken Travis Scott’s Antidote played as well as main stage alumni Big Sean’s IDFWU. Original member of talented duo “The Clipse” King Push definitely did not disappoint as he reminded us all why he deserves to be a crown holder with songs like Grindin’. Crowd favorites All Me and Clique were also welcome performances and Desiigner’s claim to fame Panda closed out that set all while Kanye gifted us with his scarce smile as he looked on like a proud father.
Dancers wearing neon illuminated outfits put on a light show in between G.O.O.D Music and Mr. sold-out-radio-city (Adele status!) Bryson Tiller. But not before radio personality Nessa showed love for the late great Muhammad Ali. Mr. Tiller began with his track 502 Come Up followed by Sorry Not Sorry which he stopped midway to bring out fellow collaborator Fabolous.
The Brooklyn native performed his verse to the remixed track found on his mixtape Summertime Shootout as well as The Real One (sampling the queen Lauryn Hill) and a remake of pioneer LL Cool J’s Doin’ It Well, also found on the aforementioned mixtape. As Fab made his way off the stage Bryson started to give the audience a little insight on his inspiration for his breakout hit Don’t before he closed his set by performing it.
Hot 97 veteran DJ. Funk Master Flex came on shortly after to get the crowd right before the next group hit the stage, which was The Terror Squad! Fat Joe came out first followed by Remy Ma who showed us all what the game’s been missing since she’s been away.
Chart topping tracks like Whatever, I Make It Rain, and Ante Up were filling the ears of the rejoicing crowd only to be surprised by r&b princess Ashanti during What’s Love. A TS show isn’t complete without Conceited and Lean Back and if the crowd thought it was over with that, they were wrong!
Japanese dancers in traditional garb wowed all present with a beautiful historic dance only to modernize it with hip hop flare as the beat to All The Way Up dropped and French Montana appeared. They weren’t quite done because it wasn’t until Remy blessed us with an a cappella version of her remixed verse to the hit that they left the stage.
Apple Music clips featuring artists from the concert were playing in between sets since Hot 97 could be found on the massive music platform. The next one was of ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg who both have had great individual success as well as collective. In the honest interviews both Ferg and Rocky talked about the dreams they shared when they were young of hitting the very stage they were about to while listening to Hot 97.
Making dreams a reality, ASAP MOB made their presence known with frontmen Rocky and Ferg. Their performance included hits like Shabba and Work (remix) all while eye candy in the form of camo clad (barely) dancing women flooded the stage to accompany other songs like Hella Hoes and Yamborghini High. The boys definitely could not leave without satisfying the crowd’s hunger for New Level. Based on their entire time on stage, it’s safe to say they definitely made the audience forget about the cold and rain or any other hiccup that may have occurred that evening!
Next up was social media phenom DJ Khaled who starred in his own major key alert when he started the beginning of the end for the night. All I Do Is Win played while the audience interacted making their “hands go up.” The first of many surprise guests that Khaled brought out was Rick Ross for Pop That.
Following Ricky Rozay was Yo Gotti with Goes Down In The DM and O.T Genasis with the catchy Coco and Cut It. After all that were M.O.P and Busta Rhymes with more of Ante Up. Busta demonstrated how he got his name during his verse of Look At Me Now especially when he broke out in an even faster Jamaican mix for a serious drop the mic moment.
Artist cameos were a regular by this point in the production and continued with Movado, Ty Dolla Sign with Blasé, and Kent Jones with his breakout song Don’t Mind. Lastly, but unbeknownst to the crowd, was Jadakiss with We Gonna Make It. Unfortunately as DJ Khaled was about to bring out The Lox (of which Jada is a member himself) the closing audio played and lights turned on thus abruptly ending the concert. Time was up!
Mother nature did put a damper on things and while the night didn’t go 100% as planned (as events rarely do), Summer Jam was still an incredible experience. The good vibes that were present permeated throughout and no matter who you were or where you were from, you were all united because of one goal. You were there because you were a fellow fan and you wanted to listen to great live music and witness history in the making. And regardless of the hiccups, that’s precisely what happened last night.
Check out DJ Khaled speak to Ebro about last night’s amazing performance!!
Photos were taken by: James Ravenell x Pete Monsanto x Johnny Nunez