On the hottest day of the year, hip-hop and R&B fans packed into a sold-out Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., to watch their favorite artists burn down Hot 97’s 2017 Summer Jam stage. This year’s star-studded lineup included Migos, Chris Brown, DJ Khaled, Trey Songz and a bevy of special guests. There was also a dope Biggie Smalls tribute featuring Faith Evans and Mister Cee to commemorate 20 years since the Notorious B.I.G.’s death.
Now let’s get to the fun part. Is it even Summer Jam if there isn’t beef?
Temperatures hovered around 90 degrees, but Remy Ma provided plenty of shade throughout the evening. The MC decided to plaster her rival Nicki Minaj on the Summer Jam screen and performed her diss “ShETHER” as numerous female hip-hop legends looked on. Cold-blooded.
Remy brought out Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Lil’ Kim, as well as newcomers Cardi B and Young M.A. While some folks appreciated the shade-throwing, others couldn’t get past the irony of Remy’s woman-empowerment set while vehemently bashing Minaj.
Hot 97’s famed musical festival may have lost its title of marquee summer concert, but it remains a platform for artists to immaturely hash out their problems with their industry mates. And for that, we say thank you.
Minaj fans weren’t the only ones disappointed Sunday. The day before the event, French Montana sent out a cryptic tweet hinting that Max B might make an appearance, even though the rapper is behind bars.
Welp, there was no Max B. No hologram, no video montage. Nothing. In hindsight, French’s promotion seems like an attempt to help the radio station sell the last few available tickets. (Hours after the tweet, Hot 97 announced that the event was sold out.) Max B was originally sentenced to 75 years in prison, but his sentence was later commuted, and he is expected to come home sooner.
The Biggie tribute received mixed reviews, mainly because of a P. Diddy no-show. Evans killed it, Mase killed it, but the performance felt like a Bad Boy Reunion show without its leader. Diddy played such a huge role in B.I.G.’s career, and the vibe was off knowing that a Summer Jam tribute didn’t include Puff.
The lasting image of the night came from rap’s favorite 7-month-old, Asahd, who shut down his first Summer Jam stage with his dad. His “Simba” moment will make a fire Throwback Thursday someday.
That kid has the world in his hands.