Hot 97 Summer Jam 2007

Anyone who was at this year’s Summer Jam at Giant Stadium may just be recuperating from pneumonia, but there’s no doubt there is still buzz about a couple of the performances. Thousands of fans braved a torrential downpour, winds and absolutely no cover (they don’t allow umbrellas in the stadium…) as dozens of artists took the stage—but you know at Summer Jam you’re bound to get more than just what’s on the bill… Early performances included T-Pain (who actually got a lot of compliments from fans for how good he sounded), Mims and Akon, who announced Brooklyn rapper Red Café as the latest signee to his Konvict Muzic imprint.  A confident Ciara came out with her dance crew in all white summer gear to perform—without much lip-syncing, mind you—her hits including “Like A Boy” and “Oh.” With what was easily the most entertaining set of the night, Swizz Beats rolled out, literally, in a wheelchair. “I’m sick as a m*th*f***a” he proclaimed, standing up for a rousing medley of Swizzy tunes with a guest appearance by Styles P. He stopped the music to start a self-praising rant. “Ain’t no other producers f**kin with me in this b*tch” he shouted, and proceeded to carry on for a while.  Suddenly, a brightly-clad Kanye West stepped out talking his own brand of sh*t, and the two hashed it out in a beat battle of sorts—Swizz’ “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” Kanye’s “Encore,” Swizz’ “Jigga My Ni**a,” Kanye’s “Gold Digger”—which all segued into “It’s Me B*tches.” Mid-song, a diamond-grilled Lil’ Wayne quietly came on stage, and when the lights hit him, the crowd went wild. He rounded out Swizz Beats’ set with crazy energy as the rain turned it up a notch.Ne-Yo came out for a full set with “Sexy Love,” “So Sick,” “Do You,” and “All Because Of You,” before bringing out Fabolous for their hot new duet “Make Me Better.” Fab stayed out for “Breathe” and a couple of other tracks that got a little lost in the windstorm. By the time Young Jeezy hit the stage, the weather was in full monsoon stages, but that didn’t stop him from giving the crowd as much energy as he could. [Sidenote for the ladies: It’s a good thing he’s been working out, because this was possibly the best male wet t-shirt contest ever.] He was killing “Go Getta” when Jadakiss came out for a cameo too. Maybe rappers need adverse weather to improve their live shows (or at least cut down on them talking too much), because the pace picked up in a pleasurable way. Ludacris rapped his a** off like he needed a record deal as he rolled through his set. He brought out Bobby V for “ladies round the world’ and “Anonymous.” The entire stadium rocked for “Move B*tch,” and Luda was over and out. Chris Brown entered the stage, going straight into “Gimme That” and “Run It.” The stage floor was slippery, and it appeared he was having some footwear problems. Rather than fuss with it, Chris kicked off his sneakers and did most of his set in his socks. He donned a red Michael Jackson jacket as he did a medley of “Rock Wit You” and “Billie Jean,” complete with the moonwalk. Some very young krumpers entertained the crowd as Chris got some new shoes, and he came back with Juelz Santana and Lil’ Wayne for “Poppin.” Still keeping the electricity flowing, Lil’ Wayne performed “Make It Rain” with Fat Joe, and Wayne fired up with crowed with an incredible freestyle. By now people should know not to sleep on Wayne’s lyrical ability. He trash talked a bit before bringing out Baby for “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy.” After what seemed like an eternity floating on the new lake inside Giant Stadium, Diddy boomed onto the stage dramatically to “Victory.” It must have been Michael Jackson tribute night, because Diddy did it all; jacket, super dancers, pyrotechnics and as much noise as you can imagine. It really didn’t matter if he was rapping live or not because the man knows how to put on a real show. Diddy brought out Nicole from Pussy Cat Dolls for “Come To Me,” and kicked up the cameos with Yung Joc, The Lox, T.I. (“What You Know” “Big Things Poppin’”), Young Dro (“Shoulder Lean”), Keyshia Cole (“Last Night”) and none other than [re]new[ed] Bad Boy signee Lil’ Kim. The crowd erupted with “Lighters Up,” as Kim offered a fresh swagger that we’ve been missing.  Diddy proclaimed this “the biggest summer jam in the world,” and it may very well be. There is no doubt that 2007 will be remembered for the storm. Fortunately, most of the performances were as memorable as the weather.

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