ICYMI: Meek Mill, Swizz Beatz & Kendrick Lamar Make Summer Jam 25 The Place To Be
If you weren’t able to catch TIDAL’s live stream of Hot 97’s 25th annual Summer Jam, don’t worry, we got you covered with some highlights from last night’s concert.
Fresh from Spike Lee x DJ Spinna’s epic #PurplePeopleParty3 event in the heart of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, yours truly had two golden tickets to attend Hot 97’s Summer Jam 25 for the next day. As someone who has missed those magical moments of the past (see: Jay-Z bringing out Michael Jackson) — I was excited to bring my wife out to MetLife Stadium in New Jersey for her first experience.
The bill, which was highlighted for not only its star power but for its inclusion of the new stars of the game, was packed with names such as Lil Wayne, Meek Mill, Swizz Beatz, and headliner Kendrick Lamar. Hosted by the popular New York hip-hop radio station, everyone from the crew (Ebro, Nessa, Peter Rosenberg, Laura Stylez, etc.) were there and a part of the mix in making this year’s anniversary event one for the history books.
The rain didn’t deter anyone from seeing Summer Jam 25 as ponchos, layered clothing, paper plates, hell, anything helped to stave off the hair. Luckily, we got here as the rain began to dissipate, but the entire inside was covered with water, making it hard to really get cozy. Even that didn’t matter because when we got settled into our seats, Lil Wayne came out to show why he’s still one of the most influential MCs of the past 15 years. As the Young Money CEO went through his catalog of deep hits, it was interesting to see the pockets of fans strewn all over the venue.
Those around us were heavy Weezy F. Headz as they rhymed every line and lyric, and were genuinely excited to be in the presence of a free Weezy (people were screaming “Free Tha Carter V!”). The jams kept going as the night’s (and my personal favorite) highlight was the beat battle between producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland. The former started off his set under the “…And Friends” bill, which found friends and icons such as The LOX and Bell Biv Devoe performing all the classic hits such as “We Gon’ Make It” and “Poison,” respectively.
When Timbo the King and the One Man Band Man went back-and-forth it was a history lesson noting just how much money these guys made off of Jay-Z. From “Jigga My” to “Big Pimpin’” — these two were responsible for the Roc Nation impresario holding down multiple summers in New York City and the world over. Meek Mill was in the building as advertised, flexing multiple gold ropes and chains, as he showed why he was back in charge and ready to deliver another classic effort.
The MMG MC carries a level of respect in New York that served as a nice visual to see. Riding onstage on a motorbike, Meek made it known that the police will not be able to stop his shine like they did back in August when a bike stunt he performed during a music video shoot ended up with him in jail on a parole violation. He was welcomed by adoring fans and his performance indicated that being behind bars didn’t make him lose a step at all.
In the end, it was Kendrick Lamar that we were waiting for. For my wife, it would have been her first time seeing the award-winning Compton lyricist live and in living color. For me, it was going to make up for missing “The Championship Tour” when it came to Madison Square Garden the week prior. Technical difficulties with the sound and the lights made it hard for us to see and hear Pulitzer Kenny during the initial few moments, but man, the guy still knows how to put on a good show. Even at way far left of the stage, Kung-Fu Kenny gave us all the bops like “Humble,” “Don’t Kill My Vibe,” and “King’s Dead,” which saw Jay Rock join his labelmate on stage.
With another Summer Jam in the books, peep the gallery and can check out some of the highlights below or re-watch the TIDAL stream above.