EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — There are two things that rap fans expect from Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert: rain and a flood of surprise guests.
The rain has become a near-inevitability, but the parade of secret guests is tradition. So even though the robust official main stage lineup boasted Joe Budden, Miguel, Wale, Chris Brown, Fabolous, Wu-Tang Clan, 2 Chainz, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and French Montana, fans rightfully expected so much more on Sunday night.
During the early portion of the five-hour throw-down, Mariah Carey, J. Cole, Meek Mill, Pusha T, Black Hippy, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and Lil’ Kim all surprised the crowd at the open-air MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, for what was New York radio station Hot 97’s 20th installment of Summer Jam. Still, the absolute best came as the night began to wind down during 2 Chainz’s set when the savvy Atlanta rap star welcomed Nicki Minaj to the stage, a year after she boycotted the concert.
The Pink Friday MC was met with much excitement as she performed “I Luv Dem Strippers” and “Beez in the Trap” with Chainz, but not every guest received such a warm welcome last night.
In what appeared to be an unplanned moment, Brooklyn MC Papoose hijacked some time in between Kendrick Lamar’s and French Montana’s closing sets, taking the wind out of a crowd that was widely hoping Jay-Z would make his umpteenth Summer Jam appearance. (He would not, despite roaring social media buzz.)
When New York representative French Montana finally took the stage to wrap things up, he was met with the loudest reception of the night. “Haaaaaaaaaaan,” the crowd shouted back to him, mimicking his trademark catch phrase.
First there was his and Chinx Drugz’s mixtape anthem “I’m a Coke Boy” and then “Ocho Cinco” from Montana’s Mac and Cheese 3 tape. After that, DJ Khaled and Ace Hood took the stage to do Ace’s “Bugatti,” much to the crowd’s delight. The fan energy had reached a fevered pitch, but rose several levels when Rick Ross emerged for “Pop That.” Saving the best for last, Montana shocked everyone when he made way for Lil Wayne to do the song’s closing verse.
Weezy was met with thunderous applause, but the high would quickly come crashing down as the concert suddenly stopped with no explanation. Hot 97 program director Ebro Darden would later take to Twitter to explain that New Jersey State Police and MetLife Stadium called for an evacuation after threats of lightning.
At next year’s Summer Jam, fans can only hope for more guests and less rain.
What did you think of Summer Jam XX? Tell us in the comments!