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  • HOT 97 SUMMER JAM 2008

    What better place to hold the championship of all concerts but Giants Stadium, the home of the winners of the 2008 Super Bowl. Musical all stars like Kanye West and Alicia Keys all touched down on the Summer Jam stage this year. The weather was perfect this year, with sunny and clear skies with temperatures reaching the lower 80s. Hundreds of concert goers arrived early to enjoy the Summer Jam Tail Gate party which featured performances by today’s rising stars as well as several vendor booths giving away cool prizes. Celebrities, artists and athletes kicked with concert goers in the Platinum Players Lounge and VIP Parties, while Hip Hop’s MVP’s prepared for the big show.

       Ray J and Yung Berg were first up to perform. Both rapper and R&B singer had successful hits this year including Berg’s “Sexy Lady” and Ray J’s “Sexy Can I”. Ray J also serenaded the ladies on the piano with his ballad, One Wish. Songwriter turned singer, The-Dream has emerged from behind the scenes and into the limelight with hit singles, “Shawty is the Shhh” and “Falsetto”. Responsible for Rihanna’s, “Umbrella” and J Holiday’s, “Bed”, The Dream captivated his audience with his quirky lyrics and the creative choreography of his dancers.

    Summer Jam is not only known for its heavy hitter lineup, but the surprise guests as well. Alicia Keys followed The-Dream, representing for her hometown of New York City. After performing hits like “Teenage Love Affair”, Alicia brought out newcomer Maino, who’s single, “Hi Haters”, is blowing up the HOT 97 airwaves. HOT 97’s Miss Info had been hinting on air that Alicia would also bring out classic rappers like she did during her first Summer Jam appearance back in 2004. She did not disappoint bringing out the Wu-tang Clan’s Raekwon, Method Man and Ghostface Killah. The three of course performed classic Wu tracks like “CREAM”, and “Ice Cream Deluxe”. Speaking of 90s classics, Sheek Louch and Styles P of D-Block hit the stage next performing songs from their Lox days and their newer hits as well. Jadakiss, Fabolous, Fat Joe, N.O.R.E. and Red Café all joined D-Block for hot joint, “Paper Touching”. Swizz Beatz joined Styles P for his single “Blow Ya Mind” and surprise guest LL Cool J briefly graced the stage performing, “Head Sprung”.

    T-Pain has had a successful run. Whether he’s on his own record or blowing up another T-Pain knows how to make a track hot. Pain rolled out his repertoire of collaborators including DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Akon, Shawty Lo, Rick Ross and more.  

    The most anticipated performer of the night Lil Wayne was up next on the Summer Jam stage. Weezy captivates his audience with his crazy wordplay and unique performance. At one point the rapper brought his guitar to the stage and even performed an ode to a very specific part of the female anatomy. Kanye West later joined Lil Wayne for the remix of smash single “Lollipop”. Kanye’s set  followed Weezy’s and was perhaps the best of the night. With light effects and pyrotechnics straight from his Glow in the Dark tour, West dropped hit after hit accompanied by a full live band. West does everything big and tonight was no exception. Rita G, the bodacious model from the controversial “Flashing Lights” video, strutted across the Summer Jam stage during the song. Young Jeezy and Ye performed Jeezy’s new single, “Put On”. After hits like “Jesus Walks”, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” and “Stronger”, Ye and T-Pain closed the set with “Good Life”.

    This year Summer Jam tried something new by adding classic Hip Hop group to the bill, Public Enemy. In this time of great social transition, PE, whose first album was released over 21 years ago still resonates today. “[The message] is all the around the world,” PE’s Chuck D explained, “the world is much bigger than this little country and little this city, and that’s very important to us.”

    Surprise guest Jim Jones closed the show with his newest singles as well as anthem, “Ballin”, which was appropriate way to mark the end of the Summer Jam 2008 Sports Edition.

    It’s obvious that HOT 97’s Summer Jam holds the trophy for being one of the greatest Hip Hop and R&B concerts of all time. From the crazy and unexpected moments to the outrageous performances Summer Jam will always remain in the Hip Hop Hall of Fame.


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