For the 20th year, New York radio station Hot 97, known for streaming and taking rap worldwide, hosted their annual Summer Jam music festival at East Rutherford’s Met Life Stadium Sunday in New Jersey. The yearly event attracted thousands of hip hop fans who came to enjoy a mix of sounds from veteran and new artist.
Before the main stadium show got underway, rising hip hop and R&B artists hit the pre-show festival including “Fancy” Australian rapper Iggy Azalea, who currently has her first number one Billboard hit. Also rocking were actor turned singer Mack Wild, Childish Gambino, August Alsina, Jhene Aiko and Nipsey Hussle who all took to performing on the smaller festival stage within the stadium’s parking lot.
But around 6:30 pm, the main event inside the stadium began. R&B newcomer Sevyn Streeter was the first to take the stage with a brief set of songs from her EP released last year, Call Me Crazy including the hit “It Won’t Stop.” As fans began to make their way into the stadium, Streeter’s performance was followed by another newcomer, Troy Ave, who performed on the Main Stage for the first time after rocking the smaller pre-festival a year prior. Troy brought out surprise guest, T.I. Although if you blinked, you’d missed seeing him onstage.
Rising Queens hip hop artist Action Bronson took the stage and performed his “Strictly 4 My Jeeps,” single. Summer Jam veterans followed, like Wiz Khalifa who performed hits like “Young Wild and Free,” bringing Snoop Dogg out, and “We Dem Boys” losing his shirt by the end of the performance.
The legendary Roots performed a brief set buying time before R&B artist Trey Songz brought the R&B back. However microphone issues prevented The Roots’ Black Thought from being heard on the live stream. Showing timely love to his friend released from jail, Trey showed support to Chris Brown by leading the audience in a sing-along of Brown’s hit “Loyal.”
Later in the night, Queens was in the house as Nas came to the stage to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut Illmatic. He brought out special guest Meek Mill and French Montana. The Queens love continued with a set by 50 Cent and G-Unit, followed by Nicki Minaj and Young Money which included special appearances from Lil Wayne and Drake. He made headlines surprising the audience by performing a new song “0 to 100” during the show.
As parting music to the long day, DJ Mustard played a short set officially closing out this year’s historical Summer Jam XX, which rapped up after 11:30pm.