We did it again! I was so fortunate to attend HOT 97 Summer Jam for the second year in a row! With that, of course, came four
sleepless fabulous nights in New York. This was my third trip to NYC and I swear I fall in love more and more each time.
If you aren’t familiar with Summer Jam, it’s the largest running hip-hop festival in North America, powered by #1 hip-hop radio station HOT 97. When I attended for the first time last year, I instantly knew that this going to be a new tradition. So without further ado, here is my review and photo gallery on behalf of HipHopCanada. Hope you enjoy!
East Rutherford, NJ – Another moment in hip-hop history was made at HOT 97 Summer Jam 2017. With a plethora of lively performances on the Festival Stage to unforgettable surprise guests on Stadium Stage, MetLife Stadium was the place to be on Sunday, June 11.
The Festival Stage kicked off with fresh and upcoming artists; Young M.A, A Boogie, Don Q, Dave East, Lil Yachty, DRAM, PnB Rock, Casanova and PHresher. I’m not going to lie – with a scorching 90 degrees at MetLife Stadium, it was almost unbearable to stand in the heat at the Festival Stage. But it certainly didn’t stop 1000’s of eager fans from catching the show. Even with the heat, each performance still hyped the crowd and definitely set a tone for the rest of the night.
Photo by Ravie B
Jidenna opened the night with short but sweet set which included “Long Live The Chief.” The “Classic Man” dropped his usual dapper attire and went for a more dressed-down, low key look and (of course) looked fly as ever. Up next was Desiigner, who did only what Desiigner does. Jumping from the stage to inside the crowd, the Brooklyn MC did a lively rendition of “Panda” and “Timmy Turner.”
Joey Bada$$ took the stage next and didn’t disappoint. Also hailing from Brooklyn – he effortlessly carried out his set with a very special surprise appearance from Mobb Deep. Summer Jam is famous for their surprise guests, so for the first to be Mobb Deep set yet another exciting tone for the night.
Next up was sure highlight of the night with Konshens, Charley Black, alongside HOT 97 DJs Bobby Konders and Jabba. It was so refreshing to see a full out dancehall set at Summer Jam and the entire crowd knew it. By the time their set began MetLife was at capacity. Everyone was dancing on their chairs and waving their flags, towels, basically anything they could find in the air. Oh and how can we forget – Shaggy joined in to perform a dope rendition of “Gyal You a Party Animal.”
Our very own Tory Lanez repped Canada well as he ran through his fan favourites “Luv”, “Diego” [Meek Mill’s] “Lord Knows” and a acoustic rendition of “Controlla.” The Summer Jam stage is considered the “I made it” moment for hip-hop artists. It was amazing to see a fellow Canadian like Tory take the reigns the way he did.
Now let me tell you about Fat Joe and Remy Ma!! The Terror Squad alumni began their hard-hitting set with nostalgic hits from “Lean Back”, “What’s Love”, “Make it Rain “Whuteva” and special tribute to Big Pun with “Twinz.”
After performing “All The Way Up”, Fat Joe then stepped aside to let Queen Remy do her thing, which was sure to be the Summer Jam moment that left everyone shook and talking for days to come. Remy Ma brought out an all female showcase which included Young M.A. (“Ooouuu”), Cardi B (“Foreva”), Lil Kim (“Quiet Storm”), Lady of Rage, MC Lyte, Monie Love and Rah Diggah. Then if that couldn’t get any better (the entire stadium was already losing their shit) QUEEN LATIFAH CAME ON THE STAGE AND PERFORMED “U.N.I.T.Y.!!!” This wasn’t just a moment for the culture, it was solidarity for females in the game. We’re already so outnumbered so to see them come together and empower each other was a beautiful thing.
“This wasn’t just a moment for the culture, it was solidarity for females in the game. We’re already so outnumbered so to see them come together and empower each other was a beautiful thing.”
However it wasn’t all kumbyah and Remy wouldn’t be Remy with out a little bit of blood. The Bronx MC then went into full savage mode with her seven-minute dis track “Shether.” which was a direct shot to Nicki Minaj (who clearly was not invited).
From underdogs like Cardi B, newcomers like Young M.A. and legends like Lil Kim, it goes without saying that Remy’s set received the largest reaction of the night.
Fellow Bronx native, French Montana took the stage next. Although it was a tough act to follow after Remy & Joe, French still held his own and kept the party rocking. His performance included his new smash hit “Unforgettable” and a touching tribute to his late best friend [and Cokeboy] Chinx with “Off The Rip.” French then brought out A$AP Rocky and Juelz Santana for a lively rendition of “Ain’t Worried About Nothing.”
Are you noticing how New York Summer Jam 2017 was?!
Trey Songz wooed the ladies and for his set. Not only is this man even more dreamy in person his stage presence and pipes were on point. It can’t be easy to switch up the crowd to an R&B vibe, but Trey had no problem. Trey brought out newcomer Tee Grizzley who performed his Billboard topping hit “First Day Out.” Of all the guests for Trey to bring out, Tee Grizzley was not one I was expecting but I WAS HERE FOR IT! “First Day Out” live on the Summer Jam stage?? Fire! Dave East joined Trey for a rendition of “Don Pablo” who then brought out his beautiful Mama for a Kodak moment. Honestly, can that man be anymore perfect??
Funkmaster Flex’s much anticipated set was everything we could have hoped for. HOT 97’s legendary DJ brought out the big guns with Fat Man Scoop (“Love Like This”), Casanova (“Don’t Run”), A Boogie (“Drowning”), Juelz Santana (“Dipset Anthem”), Fetty Wap (“My Way”), Meek Mill and Tory Lanez (“Litty”).
Along with Remy Ma, Flex’s set was yet another fan favourite, receiving one of the biggest crowd reactions of night. Flex and Friends killed it!
DJ Khaled and Migos joined forces for their set, with the Atlanta trio taking the first. 2017 has most definitely been Migos’ biggest year yet and the accolades continued on that Summer Jam stage as they performed hits “T-Shirt”, “Bad and Boujee.” and “Get Right Witcha.” It was only right that fellow ATL native 2 Chainz joined in for his feature in “Deadz” which then led into a rendition of (Quavo-assited) “Good Drank.” While Migos definitely did their thing I was a tad crushed they didn’t do “Fight Night.” I mean – how you not gonna do “Fight Night”…at Summer Jam?
Khaled made his way back on stage to perform a medley of his club anthems. While everyone adores Khaled, the main highlight of his performance was when he brought out his son and Executive Producer, Asahd Khaled. ASAHD KHALED WAS ON THE SUMMER JAM STAGE! It’s fair to say that Asahd is not only the hottest figure in the industry, but also the hardest working. And when Khaled raised that adorable little baby in the air – the entire stadium ate it up. And with a soother and Beats By Dre headphones? I just can’t!
Next was Chris Breezy with the dance moves. The R&B favourite is no stranger to the Summer Jam stage hasn’t missed a single beat. Performing hits from “Party”, “Post To Be”, and “Show Me.” Chris Brown had a couple more tricks up his sleeves, bringing out Playboy Carti on stage for his hit single “Magnolia.” Then to everyone’s surprise, none other than DMX came through and sent the crowd into a frenzy with “Ruff Ryders” anthem.
The last, but certainly not least, was Faith Evans and Mister Cee with a very special tribute to 20 years of Notorious B.I.G. Led by a touching speech from Dougie Fresh, the performance followed with a plethora of classics from Lil Cease, Total, 112 and Mase, along with Jadakiss, The Lox, Lil Kim and Bone Thugs N Harmony. What can I honestly say after that? You just had to be there to experience how truly special that moment was to see the love for B.I.G.
I’m sure by now you’ve noticed how many times I’ve used the word “moment” throughout the review and that’s truly the essence of what Summer Jam is. It’s a moment in hip-hop. It’s unpredictable, candid and will leave on on an emotional roller coaster. You just never know what’s going to go down at Summer Jam and that’s the best part.
Thank you once again to HOT 97 and Emmis New York for letting HipHopCanada be part of such an iconic event. Until next year!