Hot 97 was celebrating 20 years of Summer Jam, but rappers in their twenties dominated the annual concert. Hip-hop’s new class, including Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, French Montana and 2 Chainz (he’s 35, but appeals to a younger audience), kept the crowd of thousands on their feet, performing back-to-back jams that have controlled urban radio in the last year.
Lamar, who is the critical darling of the bunch, was the best of the youngsters: He was cool onstage as he rapped songs from his near-platinum major label debut, “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” including “Poetic Justice” and “(Expletive), Don’t Kill My Vibe.” He left out “Swimming Pools (Drank),” though that song would have been appropriate since the audience was drenched after it rained — several times — at the MetLife Stadium.
2 Chainz entered the stage rapping his verse from Kanye West’s “Mercy,” and he followed that with a number of radio hits, including “I’m Different,” ”Birthday Song” and “No Lie.” A$AP Rocky was wild onstage, and rap’s new class showed the brotherly love when he was joined by Lamar and 2 Chainz for “(Expletive) Problems.”
THAT WAS A LITTLE AWKWARD
Nicki Minaj is obviously confident — not many people wear multi-colored wigs like she does. But on Sunday, things were just a little awkward for the rapper, and for a couple reasons.
Last year Minaj backed out of headlining Summer Jam after Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg dissed the rapper and her dance-pop hit, “Starships.” Minaj debuted in 2009 deeply rooted in rap, but later she began to sing on her songs and found success with electronic-based tunes and collaborations with David Guetta. But the 30-year-old returned to the Summer Jam stage — for mere minutes with 2 Chainz — in a curly blonde wig and blue jeans. She exchanged words — they seemed cordial — with Rosenberg onstage after performing.
Minaj also performed on a stage where her enemies were also present: Her fellow and former “American Idol” judge, Mariah Carey, was in the building, as was Lil Kim, who feuded with Minaj when the rapper came on the music scene.
Who’s got backstage video?