Filled with dozens of today's hottest Hip Hop artists, lots of music, concertgoers, and plenty of controversy, Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert was nothing to miss this year! From the headlining act being a no-show, to surprise performances from Nas, Lauryn Hill, Mase, T.I., and others, there's so much to cover.
Set at the Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the 10-hour event began with the Festival Village. It featured artists including Azealia Banks, Big K.R.I.T., A$AP Rocky, Fred Da Godson, and Kendrick Lamar.
Joined by his Mafia click, Maino bursted out from behind the stage and performed many of his fan favorites including "Hands in the Air", "Million Bucks", and "That Could Be Us". Maino brought out A$AP Rocky, Swizz Beats, and Brownsville, Brooklyn-bred duo, M.O.P.
Shady Records' own Slaughterhouse was met with much applause as they came on stage. As they concluded their set, group member Joe Budden said, "You're looking at four of the best motherf*ckin' rappers in the universe!"
Next up - Tyga. Performing songs like "Faded" and "Rack City", the crowd was rocking to his recent hit songs. His energetic performance reminded us why Tyga is in the game - like him or not. It was during his performance that fans received the news that Nicki Minaj, his YMCMB labelmate, had pulled out on the show.
Lil Wayne tweeted the order:
and Nicki Followed:
This was unbeknownst to the crowd, however, and the show went on as planned. Waka Flocka then came on stage with Brick Squad Monopoly, his imprint. Waka, of course, spent much of his time performing in the crowd, energizing up the audience and going wild. He repeatedly pushed the question: "We in New York, right?!"
No, we're in Jersey, Waka, but we get your point.
During Waka's performance of "No Hands", Wale came out to a huge pop. He performs his favorites like "Sabotage" and "Lotus Flower Bomb", the latter of which found R&B singer Miguel joining him on stage.
Cole World. J Cole's band set up, and then we knew no games were being played. Cole started his set with "Mr. Nice Watch", and the crowd went insane. Performing songs like "Work Out" and "In The Morning", Cole's greatest reaction came when he sang his fan favorite, "Can't Get Enough" featuring Trey Songz. Of course, Trigga was in the building and joined Cole on stage.
Hot 97's Mr. Cee took over the turntables, and in probably the best crowd reaction of the night, played some of our favorite jams from today's favorites to '90s classics.
Barack Obama comes up on screen. It's the video of the POTUS explaining his love for rapper Young Jeezy. As the crowds roars in excitement and love for the snowman, he appears on stage. Not to be alone, Jeezy is joined by his CTE group, including Freddie Gibbs and Tone Trump. For what seemed like a 'greatest hits' set for Jeezy, performing hits like "I Luv It", "Soul Survivor", "Put On", "Lose My Mind" and more. His greatest stage performance came when he took his time with "I Do".
In LoveRance's "Up", Jeezy held it down, and boom out of nowhere, T.I. walks out and joins Jeezy, and in the process, The King got one of the best receptions of the night. Not to be upstaged, Ne-Yo joined the snowman on stage for" Leave You Alone".
And, in the best move of the night, "Supafreak" dropped and 2Chainz bursted onto the stage. You'd think Mr. TRU was born and raised in New York the way the crowd screamed.
G.O.O.D. Music's Big Sean was up next. Clearly a fan favorite, Sean opened up with "My Last". After a string of hits, he tore up the crowd with "Marvin Gaye & Chardonnay", complete with a robe on and a glass of the delectable white wine. The crowd proceeded to go insane for "Dance (Ass)".
"Mercy" brought out Pusha T, and immediately the crowd responded by screaming at the top of their lungs for the performer. 2Chainz returned to the stage to finish things off. Not to be outdone on his own set, as Big Sean leaves, he sends a message to his high school teacher: "My high school teacher said I'd never make it. I just want to say 'f*ck her,' and I hope she sees this on the Internet later tonight!"
Then, Funk Flex - was on. He immediately began to address Nicki Minaj's "I won't be at Summer Jam" incident, pulled just an hour before.
His response?: "We don't give a f*ck if you commercial and pop and you afraid to touch down in Jersey." Flex went on to say "If you lose the street, it's your fault!" Flex also revealed that, on this night, he was ending her career, saying: "I'm dedicated to tearing you down... Tune in to me tomorrow at 7 o'clock as I ruin a career."
The crowd, not truly understanding what was happening between Minaj and Hot 97, didn't respond much, but everyone who knew what was happening was on the edge of their seats!
"The Voice of New York" Angie Martinez came out and introduced a surprise guest. It was none other than Queensbridge's own, Nas. He opened up with "Made You Look", then went straight into "Hate Me Now". Soon after, the beat of "Ready or Not" comes on, and the crowd begins to look around saying, "I know The Fugees aren't performing..." We hear someone singing "Ready or not, here I come, you can't hide..."
And out comes Lauryn Hill to the stage. The crowd goes bananas!
She performed "Lost Ones" and "If I Ruled The World" with Nas.
The show was winding down, and everyone was feeling better since they got to see L-Boogie. French Montana was up then. During his performance of "Slight Work", Wale returned to the stage, and to everyone's surprise, Mason Betha hits the stage for his verse! That's right! Harlem's own Mase was in the building.
After a series of 'Maybach Music' drops, Meek Mill appeared, and though the crowd had endured over five hours of Hip-Hop, they were still standing on their feet for the Philly rapper. The first up was Meek's "I'm A Boss" - which the crowd seems to know word-for-word.
Now, the headliner. The actual bawse. Rick Ross came on stage to join Meek. Behind him - an entire mob of MMG goons. Similar to Jeezy's set, Ross seemed to perform a 'greatest hits' show, hitting us with past favorites including "Hustlin" and "Push It".
To cap off the night, "C.R.E.A.M." came on the speakers, and out came Method Man and Raekwon. After much crowd excitement, the arena faded to black, and Summer Jam 2012 had officially closed out.
All in all, this event was well worth everyone's time and cheese. Though the headliner, Nicki Minaj as well as DJ Khaled pulled out, the show went on without a hitch.
AllHipHop.com got a chance to speak with attendee Cynthia from Brooklyn, who admitted, "They had her face all on the posters, and she wasn't even there," in reference to the missing Nicki Minaj. This was the sentiment across everyone's face as they exited Met Life Stadium and headed home, not too happy with the Rap-turned-Pop star.