To say the truce between the Game and 50 Cent came to a screeching halt Sunday night would be an understatement. Think more along the lines of a major derailment, much like the big scene in "Speed," when the subway train carrying Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock crashes through the pavement and lands above ground.
For weeks there had been rumors that Game was making unfavorable remarks about 50 and the G-Unit while performing on the How the West Was One Tour. It was fodder for Internet message boards and made radio gossip reports, but the rumblings never materialized into anything substantial. G-Unit members haven't exactly given props to Game in some of their recent interviews either, but everything had been relatively calm.
During Summer Jam, the New York tri-state area's biggest hip-hop concert of the year, the Game's frustrations boiled over while onstage in New Jersey's Giants Stadium, and he took several verbal shots at the G-Unit. The rapper also had people dressed up in a gorilla suit and a rat costume — representing 50's alleged snitching — both wearing G-Unit T-shirts and getting beaten in a mocking manner by Game's clique.
From the onset of Game's set, the Compton, California, native let it be known he would not be in Jersey with his "tail between his legs" backing down from his problems with 50. He performed "Hate It or Love It," rapping 50's verse as well as his own, switching up a line here and there to relay anti-G-Unit sentiment, such as "I ain't f---ing with five-0/ It's all starting to make sense."
Later Game introduced a new slogan, "G-G-G-U-Not!"
There was a slight undercurrent of booing when Game voiced his feeling towards the G-Unit, and that's when Dr. Dre's protégé really expressed himself.
Game explained that he had love for New York, but he was kicked out of the G-Unit because "they were hating." He said the crowd shouldn't hate him because he hates 50. Game even yelled "F--- 50" while holding his son in his arms before performing "Dreams."
The crowd started to warm up to Game more and more as he continued to use his platform to try and humiliate his former business associates. The lanky MC even threw a G-Unit chain he once wore proudly into the audience like it was nothing more than a used tissue going into a garbage can.
"I don't follow suit like f----t ass Yayo," Game roared. He later threatened to "knock out" Tony Yayo and Lloyd Banks.
It became evident that Game's set was more therapy than performance — and that he had been waiting to get a lot off of his chest. Game even started to detail the infamous night at Hot 97's station, when a member of his crew was shot (see "50 Drops Game From G-Unit; Shots Fired At Radio Station"), accusing 50 of being scared to come outside and saying the G-Unit general was rushed out of the back of the building.
|Highlights from the 2005 Summer Jam|
The tirade ended, ironically, with Game performing the song he and 50 made famous, "This Is How We Do." Before going into the verses, Game had more unfavorable words for the entire crew: "50 Cent can suck my ... / Tony Yayo can suck my ... /G-Unit can suck my ..."
Game's performance will undoubtedly be the one most talked about for the weeks to come — however, the highest point of the show came via a man who wasn't even on the bill: Jay-Z.
Hov is the undisputed king of Hot 97's Summer Jams. He keeps the venue full, and no one leaves feeling cheated after the concert. Since he stopped performing at Summer Jam, there's been an obvious void. He hasn't hit the stage since 2001, when he brought out Michael Jackson and debuted a little record you might remember called "The Takeover" (see "Jay-Z's Special Guest A Thriller For Summer Jam Crowd").
Jay came out this year as a special guest of scheduled act Kanye West — who also brought out Cam'ron and Common in separate instances. The Roc was definitely in the building, as tens of thousands of fans immediately yelled at the top of their lungs when Jay arrived during "Diamonds." For several minutes, Jay stood onstage while the crowd used their voices, letting him know they were grateful that he was hitting the Summer Jam stage. The ovation was so overwhelming that you can bet they wouldn't be too upset if he announced that he is calling the whole retirement thing off. Jigga then performed both "P.S.A." and "Encore."
A couple of the night's most anticipated performances were called off before completion by Hot 97. Jadakiss, who many fans felt should have been appearing a lot later on the bill than his #3 slot (same goes for the heavily popular hometown crew the Diplomats, who hit the stage second), got his mic cut off just as he was about to perform his 50 dis record, "Checkmate." Let's just say Kiss didn't feel "marvelous" after that.
The night's headliner, Snoop Dogg, also got caught up in the mismanagement of time. By the time Doggy jumped onstage at close to 11 p.m., a large faction of the crowd was filing out.
It's not like Snoop isn't loved in New York, but after several hours in a stadium, fans are naturally tired. By the time Snoop brought out his guest Cassidy midway through his set, the crowd was so thin, it looked like Snoop was opening the show rather than closing.
Capacity doesn't matter to the Dogg, though. He was determined to give whoever was there a great show and was prepared to go all night if he had to. At one point, his mic was cut off and so was the power to his band and DJ. After a couple of seconds elapsed, the juice was back on, but Snoop told his security people to stand by the "power man" just in case he wanted to cut the power again.
Halfway through "Gin and Juice," all the lights in the stadium went up. Snoop was able to get through that song and tried to perform "Drop It Like It's Hot" next, but that was all she wrote. Shortly after 11:30 p.m., both Snoop's set and Summer Jam '05 were over in a disappointing, anti-climatic manner. The crowd didn't even get one "Snooooooooooop" off. And Snoop had just barked about flying all the way to New York to give a good show, saying Hot 97 shouldn't give him time constraints.
Ciara, Amerie and Ludacris and his guest Bobby Valentino also hit the Summer Jam stage, as did Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz, joined by guests Elephant Man, Pitbull, Ice Cube, Lil' Scrappy, Trillville and the Ying Yang Twins (and you have to believe you've heard it all once you've witnessed over 30,000 men and women yell in unison "Wait till you see my di--!").
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.