Rick Ross understands that the show must go on. While the Maybach Music boss maintains close ties to Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, DJ Khaled and the entire YMCMB camp, he didn't pick sides when Weezy decided that no Cash Money artists would perform at Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert June 3.
After radio personality Peter Rosenberg insulted Nicki Minaj, charging that her "Starships" single wasn't "real hip-hop," Wayne pulled the plug on all YMCMB performances at the all-star rap bash. Minaj and Khaled were both scheduled to perform, and chances are there were going to be some collaborations between sets, but Rozay and his MMG team ended up closing out the show, which included Nas, Lauryn Hill, Young Jeezy and Waka Flocka Flame.
"I was just lettin' them handle their business and work out what they were doin'," Ross told MTV News of how he handled the Hot 97 drama, which didn't directly involve him. "Khaled my brother, and he had to rep with his movement, so I was down with my team MMG, we got to do our thing, we got to shine."
Though Summer Jam is held in New Jersey, it is routinely billed as a New York affair. For Ross, being given top honors in hip-hop's Mecca went a long way with him. "That was most definitely an honor. Being an artist, that's most definitely something that you look forward to, that's most definitely a huge accomplishment being in New York/New Jersey, knowing the history of hip-hop, the birth place of hip-hop music," he said. "You bump into so many legends and icons and artists that you were fans of and you still look up to today."
Ross, who is from Miami, salutes Hot 97 for allowing artists from other regions to perform each year. "That's one of the reasons hip-hop will live forever," he said.
Still, there is nothing like some hometown love, so Rozay treated the tri-state area to something special and invited Staten Island's Raekwon and Method Man out to perform their 1993 classic single "C.R.E.A.M." "Just being in New York City, I wanted to have some legends that I looked up to hit the stage and perform one of my favorite records of all time," he said.
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