East Rutherford, NJ — Rain or shine, Hot 97's Summer Jam has weathered plenty of storms within its 22-year run. There was the great rain storm of '07 that prompted Puff Daddy, performer on the bill, to famously order the crowd to "Grab ya ponchos." Then was there the abrupt storm that hit in 2013, leaving headliner Kendrick Lamar to perform in front of half an audience inside MetLife Stadium, as the thousands remaining scoured the venue for shelter. Last night (June 5) created a sense of déjà vu, as a thunderstorm threatened to shut down the unofficial hip-hop Super Bowl. Already responsible for the cancellation of the third day of the Governor's Ball music festival on Randall's Island, where Kanye West was set to headline, as well as the decimation of Hot 97's own Festival Stage prior to the main show, the brewing rain left a thick cloud of uncertainty above the annual confab. But by the time the clock struck 9:55 p.m. (the updated time slot for Summer Jam) and the clouds dissipated into the dark purple sky, Hot 97 and the 80,000 in attendance, experienced a G.O.O.D... silver lining. Along with a few setbacks.
After Brooklyn's N.W.A. Uncle Murda and Maino cut open the Yellow Tape, the title of their most recent joint mixtape, with performances of "Favor For A Favor," "Hands Up" and "Milly Rock" with 2Milly, the hip-hop Avengers crew of G.O.O.D. Music assembled. Stepping on stage like the '92 Dream Team during opening ceremony of the Olympics, Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean, Desiigner, Travis Scott and 2 Chainz powered through with a rendition of the recently premiered Cruel Winter posse cut "Champions (Round and Round)," "Mercy," and "Clique." For Kanye and Push, there was a whole of grinning and soaking-in of the fervid fanfare. For Desiigner, it was spastic move after spastic move (At one point he transformed a dab into a behind the back microphone toss) and flurry of everyone's favorite g-rrraa ad-libs. By the time "Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1" ended, after a quick flub by Mr. West ("Oh I fucked that shit up, my bad," he apologized), the white-hot Brooklyn upstart shook up and roped the entire stadium with "Panda." Kanye, who celebrates a b-day this week, later sent his fans into a frenzy at Webster Hall and later Trump SoHo and SOB's — surely adding new meaning to the phrase G.O.O.D. night.
Back at MetLife Stadium, however, the party had just begun. Following G.O.O.D. Music's giant stamp, Bryson Tiller came through to swoon the thousands with a little T R A P S O U L. Joined by Fabolous for the remix to "Sorry Not Sorry," Pen Griffey also paid homage to his 502 alum, the late Muhammad Ali, as he stepped out to "502 Come Up" before eventually closing out with "Don't."
Not before long it was time for New York City's own Terror Squad to rip the stage. Trading hits back and forth, Fat Joe and Remy Ma won the crowd with songs like "Whateva," "What's Love?" with Ashanti, "Lean Back" and, yes, the pre-summer '16 official anthem "All The Way Up" with French Montana. Despite the rumors, Jay Z did not appear.
After Terror Squad left the stage, a fight between audience members on the ground floor ensued, involving several chairs being thrown. This incident caused a 30-minute show delay. Ahh, man.
Before more uncertainty arrived, A$AP Mob hit the stage for a rowdy set featuring songs like "Yamborghini High," "Hella Hoes," and "Work." Next was the highly-anticipated DJ Khaled & Friends, which defined the term "all-star" to a T. Khaled's guest-filled set saw appearances from Rick Ross ("Pop That"), Yo Gotti ("Down in the DM"), O.T. Genasis ("CoCo," "Cut It"), M.O.P. ("Ante Up"), Busta Rhymes ("Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See"), Mavado ("I'm So Special," "Weh Dem A Do"), Ty Dolla $ign ("Blasé"), Kent Jones ("Don't Mind"), The Lox ("We Gonna Make It") and... then the lights cut off.
Khaled, who is experiencing one of the biggest storylines in music this year, practically created his own Summer Jam on the stage for a set that could have very well been billed as "DJ Khaled Presents..." Yet, due to the hanging air of uncertainty throughout the night due to the weather and the crowd brawl, the show abruptly ended.
Future was slated to headline the bill, but due to a curfew, the show ended abruptly as The Lox's Styles P was getting ready to perform "Good Times." So Future, the headliner of the night, never made it to the stage. Of course, this unfortunate incident arrived less than 24 hours after microphone issues during his headlining set at the Roots Picnic in Philadelphia had interrupted his performance.
Unfortunately, the night's silver lining didn't last long. But considering what the station manages to pulled off during the threat of wicked thunderstorms, well that's nothing to oversee.