Lil Wayne, Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Lil’ Kim + More Give Surprise Performances at 2013 Summer Jam [Video]
Hot 97’s Summer Jam is known for surprise guests and impromptu performances. So it wasn’t too shocking when the radio station went all out on its 20th anniversary Sunday (June 2), bringing out veterans and newcomers alike alongside scheduled acts.
The lineup was already full of big names and heavy hitters including a reunion performance by Wu-Tang Clan. Despite the caliber that was already scheduled to take the stage that night, it was the surprise appearances that really stole the show at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Joe Budden kicked off the show with a blend of old and new material including ‘She Don’t Put It Down,’ which he had to redo after fumbling at the first go. However, the Jersey City, N.J., native got the home crowd going when he started performing ‘Pump It Up.’
Dressed simply in black and aviators, Miguel then took the stage. He displayed buttery vocals on ‘How Many Drinks?’ and moved into a guitar-backed performance of ‘Sure Thing.’ Knowing that he’s a singer and not a spitter, J. Cole joined him onstage for ‘Power Trip.’ “I realize I’m an R&B artist, and this is a Summer Jam and a hip-hop audience, am I right?,” he said before Cole took the stage.
Miguel’s surprises didn’t stop there. As he started to sing ‘#Beautiful,’ everyone wondered if Mariah Carey would come onstage. And once everyone heard her signature vocals over the speakers, the crowd went crazy. While Miguel was more than capable of taking over the song, it was great to see the two perform it together live.
Wale brought back the hip-hop with ‘Lotus Flower Bomb,’ ‘Slight Work’ and ‘Bad.’ However, it seemed that the D.C. rhymer’s spotlight was taken away when his Maybach Music Group brother, Meek Mill, got on the mic to perform ‘I’m a Boss’ and ‘Levels.’
After Wale and Meek’s performances, the vibe took another turn — this time toward the more pop route with Chris Brown. Although he’s been trying to show everyone he’s getting back to his R&B roots and how gangsta he can get, Brown kicked off his set with ‘Beautiful People,’ which seemed more fitting for a pop concert or something along the EDM vein than Summer Jam. But that didn’t matter to the Chris Brown devotees, who proved they still loved him with their high-pitched screams.
Brown also performed ‘She Ain’t You,’ ‘Strip,’ ‘Please Don’t Judge Me’ and ‘Look At Me Now,’ where we thought that Busta and Weezy would show up. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. He did bring on a few special guests in his longer than expected set. Sean Kingston joined him on ‘Beat It.’ And in probably one of the smoother transitions in the show, Brown brought out Fabulous to perform ‘Ready.’
Being from Brooklyn, Fabulous wanted to pay homage to his home borough during his set. Starting with ‘When I Feel Like It’ sans 2 Chainz, he then welcomed Pusha T onstage to join him for ‘Life Is So Exciting.’ Pusha also rapped his solo part on ‘I Don’t Like,’ his collab with Kanye West, Chief Keef, Big Sean and Jadakiss.
‘Imma Do It’ and ‘You Be Killin ‘Em’ came next from Fab, with the latter track serving as an introduction for Lil’ Kim to take the stage. “I’m from Brooklyn, right? If we talking ’bout bitches that be killin’ them then there’s only one bitch,” he announced before the Queen Bee strutted onto the stage.
Kim did a few of her own tracks like ‘Queen Bitch,’ off her first LP, ‘Hard Core.’ And when we thought Fabulous would continue on, he didn’t know where else to go with his set and just walked off.
While tons of DJs including Funkmaster Flex took to the turntables between sets, it was DJ Mister Cee that really stole the show with his homage to ’90s hip-hop. “F— these DJs! I’m the best DJ,” he exclaimed between scratches. “I wanted to play the real hip-hop before it got all ratchet.”
After his set, it seemed only fitting for Wu-Tang Clan to perform. Their set was filled with standout hits including ‘Bring Da Ruckus,’ ‘C.R.E.A.M.,’ ‘Ice Cream’ and ‘Jah World.’ They even paid tribute to their late Wu-Tang brother Ol’ Dirty Bastard with a rendition of ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ done by ODB’s son, who they referred to as Young Dirty Bastard. ‘Triumph’ was also a big highlight of their show.
“It’s not every day you can do s— for 20 years, and people still appreciate it,” Method Man said graciously.
After that legendary performance, 2 Chainz kicked up the energy with ‘Crack,’ ‘Birthday Song’ and ‘I Luv Dem Strippers,’ which brought out Nicki Minaj, who was dressed casually in a Madonna-esque corset top and a Chanel baseball cap, rivaling 2 Chainz gilded camo outfit and odd headpiece. He ended his set with ‘Bitches Ain’t S—‘ and a new track, ‘Feds Watching,’ off his upcoming sophomore LP, slated to drop on Sept. 10.
Sometimes a late entrance makes things a bit grander. At least that’s what A$AP Rocky thought when he made the crowd wait about 10 minutes and provided the Hot 97 hosts some awkward dead air to fill in. However, once he hit the stage, the stadium blew up with his performances of ‘Angels.’ “Last year I was on the small stage, and now I’m honored to play in front of y’all tonight,” he thanked the audience.
After performing ‘Peso,’ he wanted to honor his love of ’90s hip-hop by inviting Bone Thugs-n-Harmony to the stage to perform ‘Can’t Give It Up.’ Then Rocky, along with Schoolboy Q and Trinidad James, did their parts on the remix to A$AP Ferg‘s ‘Work.’
Since Rocky, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar were all on this year’s bill, it only seemed right for Rocky’s set to end with ‘F—in’ Problems.’ What made the performance more epic was the fact that the forecasted downpour started at that point, drenching the crowd. But it seemed like no one cared.
That song cued the start to Lamar’s set. The Compton rapper performed ‘Backseat Freestyle,’ ‘Poetic Justice’ and ‘Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe.’ He invited Schoolboy Q back onstage for ‘Yay Yay’ while A$AP Rocky helped him on ‘Let Me Be Me.’
Although a third of the audience had left the stadium for the night because of the rain, the ones who braved the storm were hyped to see French Montana close the show. Kicking off his set with ‘Doughboy,’ the South Bronx rapper had to make a quick announcement before moving on with the show. “No disrespect to the acts before me,” he said, “but New York, New Jersey, my home, I’m going to shut this s— down.”
After performing ‘Ocho Cinco,’ Montana performed ‘Bugatti,’ bringing Ace Hood and DJ Khaled to the stage. While that was exciting enough, booming applause and screams echoed throughout the stadium when Rick Ross and Lil Wayne joined Montana to close out the show with ‘Pop That.’