EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey — It was surprising, it was strange — it was Hot 97's Summer Jam. On Sunday night, the popular New York hip-hop station corralled a gang of rap talent, and while surprise guests Nas, Lauryn Hill and Mase will surely cause a day-after buzz, it was Nicki Minaj's no-show that was the talk of the annual rap extravaganza.
The Young Money superstar was scheduled to headline the show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but YM boss Lil Wayne made the executive decision to pull Nicki out of the lineup after Hot 97 Morning Show host Peter Rosenberg threw a dis to the Pink Friday MC.
"I know there's some chicks here waiting to sing 'Starships' later, I'm not talking to y'all right now. F--- that bullsh--. I'm here to talk about real hip-hop sh--," the usually outspoken Rosenberg said while playing to the crowd at the opening stage in the parking lot where A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q performed hours before the main show started.
The comment didn't sit well with Weezy, who took to Twitter to let fans know that his crew wasn't going to take the stage. "Young Money ain't doing summer jam," he wrote.
"Wow. U n---az just f---ed up history. But the President has spoken. #YMCMB," Nicki tweeted before revealing that she planned to bring out Cam'ron, 2 Chainz, Nas, Lauryn Hill, reggae star Beenie Man, Foxy Brown, Lil Wayne and other members of her Young Money/Cash Money family.
It's not the first time Nicki has faced criticism about her hip-hop roots. Back in April, after releasing her sophomore album, Minaj spoke to MTV News about her street background and pop appeal. "I'm still me, hip-hop culture is still in my heart," she said. "That can never leave me."
Lauryn Hill and Nas still performed, and 2 Chainz guested during both Young Jeezy and Big Sean's sets, but the rest of Nicki's guests never made it out. Scheduled Cash Money acts DJ Khaled and Busta Rhymes were backstage but didn't perform, in what appeared to be a show of solidarity.
Still, Maino set things off, performing his hits like "Hi Hater" and "All the Above," then bringing out Swizz Beatz, A$AP Rocky and New York rap veterans M.O.P. Slaughterhouse, Young Jeezy, J. Cole, Big Sean and Tyga all took the stage, and after a Nas/Lauryn Hill set, Rick Ross and his Maybach Music Group ended the night with a medley of hits like French Montana's "Shot Caller," Meek Mill's "I'm a Boss," Wale's "Slight Work" remix with Mace and Rick Ross' "Stay Schemin'."
In previous years, surprise appearances from Jay-Z, Kanye West and Michael Jackson helped build Hot 97's Summer Jam into the event it is today, but 2012 will be remembered for who didn't show.
What is your favorite Hot 97 Summer Jam performance of all time? Let us know in the comments!