HOT97’s Summer Jam has become a mecca in hip-hop culture. That is a fact. From Jay-Z bringing out Michael Jackson back in 2001 to Papoose commandeering the main stage in 2013 and everything in between, Summer Jam has always been hip-hop’s most celebrated concert. It has gone done every summer since 1994 and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon
Every artist that you can possibly imagine has touched that stage at some point or another in attempts to give their best performance to one of the largest crowd’s known to man. There is nothing more exciting for any rapper, at any level, to get the nod to perform at Summer Jam.
The best part is, of course the wildly entertaining live performances from the culture’s most relevant, but also the variety you get from year to year. You don’t have the usual suspects year in and year out performing their rotation of 3 hit records. No. Summer Jam prides itself on having a diversity that ranges from dope up-and-comers to seasoned vets with an arsenal of hits. One year you got people like Remy Ma and Mobb Deep and the next year you got the likes of Ne-Yo and Ciara; you get something new every time. Or let’s not forget the year Sisqo and Jay-Z performed on the same stage – not together of course – but you get the point.
Summer Jam is also big on surprise guests and unpredictable occurrences, it’s what makes the concert so highly attended and acclaimed. Sure, Ticketmaster says who will be officially performing but you really don’t know until you actually see that surprise artist walk across the main stage and the crowd of 82,000+ erupt in excitement. It’s powerful stuff.
With all that said, we can look forward to what is sure to be another amazing Summer Jam installment. Headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Meek Mill, Fabolous, Childish Gambino, Omarion and Ty Dolla $ign. Safe to say it’s a pretty stacked lineup from top to bottom. However, regardless of how dope the lineup is this year, 2015 has some big shoes to fill. There have been Summer Jam sets that have defined careers, started some and ended others *cough cough, Prodigy*. So how can 2015’s Summer Jam top them all? Well, we decided to predict how exact an absolute perfect Summer Jam 2015 would play out.
Let’s start with Kendrick, who at this point, can’t do much wrong. No matter how you felt about To Pimp A Butterfly, it was a very big step for Kendrick’s career and his place amongst hip-hop’s elite. I think we can all agree that the tempo of the album was a little slower than his last project but obviously he wasn’t going to compromise the vision he had for TPAB for anything. Not that this poses a problem for his Summer Jam set but that MetLife crowd feeds off high energy rap music that rattles out of those speakers. For Kendrick’s set to be absolutely perfect, he will have to roll out some older favorites like ‘Money Trees’ and ‘mAAd city’ to get the crowd going but then as soon as he drops ‘King Kunta’ I can guarantee that he will blow the roof off. What would make it even better would be a guest appearance from R&B legend Ron Isley, who helped with a lot of song making on TPAB. Just imagine good ‘ol Ron walking across the stage when ‘i’ starts to play. Legendary.
Up next, let’s talk about Big Sean. His verses are made to knockout crowds like these and that is exactly what he will do. He will roll out hit after hit after hit that will kill the crowd. But that gets him just a 75%. For Big Sean’s set to be out of control, he will need to bring out Kanye and Drake for ‘Blessings’. I have no doubt that he will close out his set with the track and having both Drake and Kanye there to help him close it out would be worth the price of admission alone. I mean, if we are talking perfect, who’s to say that Kanye wouldn’t do a surprise performance of ‘All Day’? As for Trey Songz and Chris Brown, they would definitely have to play to the ladies for their sets. There are more screaming females at Summer Jam than the entire population of Grenada and I’m sure Trigga’s onslaught on sexy singles would more than suffice.
Okay, imagine this. Meek Mill comes out, does his set, it’s incredibly action packed and then just when you think he’s done, out comes Nicki Minaj to perform ‘Only’ and instead of the Drake and Wayne references, she subs in the Meek name drop. The two then proceed to go back and forth on songs like ‘My N***a’ and ‘Buy A Heart’. Like, can you talk about romantic? You could even bring Chris Brown back out for the hook but odds are, all eyes would be one Nicki and Meek.
For Fabolous, if he did all of his Friday Night Freestyles and then finished with ‘Lituation’ and of course ‘Breathe’, I would die a happy man. Imagine just a half hour set of non-stop bars? Fabolous proved to his this year that he can still rap with the best of them and what better way to drive that message home than with a bar-heavy performance at Summer Jam.
Childish Gambino should definitely rap his ass off. I mean, he always does but at Summer Jam he should spazz out. He perhaps isn’t the most typical Summer Jam performer but if he comes with the heat we have grown to love him for, the crowd will go ballistic. A dope acapella freestyle calling out some of his competition would be extra dope seeing as Gambino has been very vocal about his place in hip-hop and his “underrated” persona. Bringing out Chance The Rapper or even long time collaborator Jhene Aiko would be a bonus too. This would also segway nicely into Omarion’s set, as I’m sure ‘Post To Be’ will be a smash. Chris Brown is already there and if Jhene slides through I can guarantee that “eat the booty like groceries” will be the hottest line of the night.
As for Ty Dolla $ign, we would love to see a West coast takeover. Maybe have Mustard on the ones and twos and then just an encore of west coast guests. Everyone from YG to Dom Kennedy would be a picture perfect addition to his set. Also, if Wiz Khalifa is in the greater NYC area, ‘Or Nah’ would be crazy.
PS: If no one brings out Fetty Wap, the entire night is a flop. Ha!