Written by Keshav Pandya
Pop-Break Live: Hot 97’s SummerJam at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Hot 97’s Summer Jam can be described simply in one word: craziness.
Whether it was the crowd of 500,000 jumping and singing to the words of their favorite hip-hop stars inside MetLife Stadium, or the many concertgoers, many of them with tickets, rioting with the police to get inside the concert, craziness was spelled all across the chaotic Summer Jam atmosphere.
Summer Jam, known for its surprises on stage, didn’t meet the crowd’s expectations, as it built very little suspense for the newcomers and the well-established stars on stage. The only surprise seemed to have been the terrible riot between the police and fans outside of the stadium.
While the disastrous atmosphere floated outside the stadium, inside was every hip-hop’s dream.
As expected, Kedrick Lamar stole the show as he rapped and performed the hit singles from both of his albums, unique and yet tremendously powerful lyrically and musically. Kendrick’s show didn’t include lots of dancing or singing along, but surely did catch the attention of all the music fans as they bumped along the beat or waved their hands up high.
Giving his slowed down versions of ‘Blacker the Berry,’ and ‘King Kunta,’ Kendrick also gave the crowd what they wanted to hear: ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe.‘
Besides Kendrick showing off his rap game, the fabulous buildup around Fabulous’ performance led to surprise visits by the mid-90’s favorites like: Remy Ma, Lil’ Kim, Mobb Deep, and Ma$e. Slowly, song after song, Fabolous, after singing his hit singles like, ‘Lituation,’ brought out the old-school rappers associated with P-Diddy, like Raekwon and Black Rob.
Along with Fabulous’s lineup came Wu-Tang Clan leader, Method Man, and Fat Joe, as the crowd constantly had an eye-popping experience.
Every one of the classic mid-90s, collaborating New York stars were there, except for Diddy or the great Hova, Jay-Z, himself.
Before the main show inside the stadium, the Festival Stage set up the atmosphere and initiated the long, hip-hop night to come.
While the parking lot was filled with fans drinking and bumping to the beats and unmatched flow of Biggie Smalls, the other fans surrounded the Festival Stage that introduced the latest stars of the last year, and the best of DJ’s.
Omarion began the sunny day with his hit single, ‘Post to Be,’ as Dej Loaf had the crowd jumping and dancing to her raspy voice and latest collaborations, for which she later hinted that she would give us her own music soon.
It was the young, upcoming star, from the undergrounds of hip-hop, Joey Bada$$, leader of the Pro Era movement, that had the crowd chanting along, “Pro Era Era Pro Era Era,” or dropping their jaws in disbelief of such a phenomenal talent that the hip-hop world has produced.
Inside, the stadium sets from Chris Brown and Trey Songz, the favorites for the ladies, soulfully danced, sang, and fashionably kissed the crowd.
Brown emotionally thanked the fans for being through the ups and downs, as also brought out the unmatched 50 Cent, and the mainstream star, French Montana.
Meek Mill, with his loud rapping style, brought out his new girlfriend by the name of Nicki Minaj, to the finish his act with her hit song, ‘Only.’ Adding to the drama, Nicki gave her sweet goodbye to the crowd and especially her lovebird Meek.
Big Sean ended the night with his Blessings, and the crowd slowly leaving the building.
Besides the outburst outside the stadium, the broken glass from thrown beer bottles on every step a fan took on the concrete while walking out, and the very little “surprise” Summer Jam is known for, the festival was surely a night where your heads continue bobbing to the beats of the hip-hop.
At best, as said before, Summer Jam was simply yet surely: crazy.