Despite Miguel, Wu-Tang & More's Best Efforts, Summer Jam 2013 Underwhelms (Recap)

Looking back at Summer Jam 2013 - did it live up to expectations?

When a concert gets billed at as the biggest gig in the world, it’s expected that both the event planners and performers will deliver – especially after 20 years in the game. So upon receiving an invite to cover Hot 97’s 20th Anniversary showcase, I was automatically under the impression that I’d be witnessing some next level historic sh*t. Unfortunately, WQHT’s 2013

Summer Jam

festival left this hardcore hip-hop fan feeling extremely underwhelmed rather than impressed toward the end of the night on June 2. That’s not to say there weren’t any highlights worth mentioning throughout my visit to East Rutherford, NJ; it just means that most of them were easily forgettable.

Of the many acts scheduled to appear on Sunday,

Joe Budden

’s appearance felt a little short-lived and under-appreciated despite his attempt to

Pump It Up

with a cameo from Slaughterhouse group member

Joell Ortiz

. Regardless, there was

No Love Lost

for the Jersey lyricist who opened the event. Shortly after, Miguel provided quite a few sensual jams including his smash-hit



P*ssy is Mine

. And while his performance was


due in part to Mariah Carey, clad a pair of daisy dukes, it should also be noted that the seductive crooner was able to successfully take listeners on a

Power Trip

(courtesy of my favorite

Roc Nation



) without any Hulk Hogan leg drops in the stands.

Immediately following his exit, the gifted

Wale Folarin

did some

Slight Work

and dropped a few

Lotus Flower Bombs

of his own including the appearance of his fellow labelmate

Meek Mill

, who really captured the audience and turned the stage into one big

House Party

in a matter of minutes, which was very impressive.

But what was even more rousing was the amount of screams to be heard across The Hudson when

Chris Brown

showed off his

Fine China

just moments before

Sean Kingston

stepped out to the tune of

Beat It

. And although Wiz Khalifa was nowhere to be seen,



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by allowing

Pusha T.

to join him during his set. Thankfully, the surprises didn’t stop there as the Brooklyn mainstay called on

Lil’ Kim

, who later professed that she still is, and forever will be the

Queen B*tch

no matter how many females try to steal her shine.

Still, my favorite part of the show featured the legendary

Wu-Tung Clan

who made me proud to be a product of the '80s. Though they struggled to keep the attention of the majority concertgoers, that were obviously born at a time when the old school emcees were past their prime, Wu-Tang certainly did a formidable job of reminding the young generation of what real hip-hop sounded like in the golden era. Except for someone in their late 20’s, it was tough to watch the crowd’s reaction to classics like


and Rockwilder -- both huge records in the last 20 years. At one point,

Method Man

stopped mid-performance to lecture the youngin’s stating “all we ask is that you give us the same energy that we are giving to you”, which was low-key embarrassing.

Ultimately, the audience got turnt up once again, as

2 Chainz


I Luv Them Strippers


Beez In The Trap


Nicki Minaj

, who evidently made fans believe that she really squashed the beef with Peter Rosenberg by getting fairly close to the on-air personality as she headed backstage. Of course, I wasn’t entirely convinced though, considering she only rapped two guest verses before disappearing so

A$AP Rocky

could grace the main stage for the first time to perform

Goldie, Peso


F*ckin’ Problems

. The Harlemite’s A$AP crew so completely flooded the stage that folks hardly realized

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

was also in attendance. Then, Kendrick Lamar literally made it rain with

Poetic Justice

sans Drake as he mouthed

B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe

to mother nature.

Inclement weather aside, French Montana, wasn’t

Worried Bout Nothin

’, so the Bronx-based artist vowed to shut down Met Life Stadium by allowing

Ace Hood

to drive out in a new Bugatti and long-time collaborators Lil’ Wayne and Rick Ross to accompany him for the bass-heavy

Pop That


To say that this year’s Summer Jam line-up boasted the hottest bill of the last two decades would be a lie, when Hip-Hop’s first billion-dollar power couple has shared the limelight in recent years to provide die-hard fans with a much more memorable experience. Honestly, I think the likes of Busta Rhymes, DMX, LL Cool J, Mobb Deep, Nas, Redman and others undoubtedly should have been a part of this milestone in hip-hop; and since there wasn’t a defining moment during the 20th anniversary of Summer Jam, one can only hope that the station that prides themselves on being the #1 urban format in the New York area will do a much better job of taking hip-hop seriously come 2014.

* Photo credit,





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