Summer Jam 2014 Redeems Itself With Dope Roots, G-Unit, Nicki Performances

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June 1 marked a night of many firsts in Summer Jam history.

Bunji Garlin was the only non-dancehall artist

ever to represent for the Caribbean massive since inception in 1994. 50 Cent hadn’t rapped on the main stage after being banned a decade later, and the last time a female act headlined the show, Alicia Key’s “No One” was the song with most spins in America. New York hip-hop was once again at the epicenter of it all, and this Bronx-bred Brooklynite couldn’t have been happier with the 2014 turn of events that occurred inside Met Life Stadium that day.

On the concert’s festival stage, Chinx Drugz gave his best effort without giving a f*ck about anyone’s "Feelings", as Childish Gambino performed like it was the year "3005", until R&B newcomer Mack Wilds came out to rep his hometown of Staten Island with a 90’s-inspired set that was smoother than a shot of "Henny". Elsewhere, Wiz Khalifa put on for the stoners alongside Snoop Dogg, who spat his verse on "The Next Episode", followed by "Work Hard", "Play Hard", "Young Wild & Free" and "We Dem Boyz". But the Taylor Gang general’s hazy performance paled in comparison to the Legendary Roots crew, whose live band backed the mighty D-Block with some tubas, while the trio proceeded to "Wild Out", so that M.O.P. wouldn’t have to work overtime to "Ante Up". The band also commissioned J. Period and Jeremy Ellis for a highly-entertaining live DJ/Producer routine behind the boards just before exiting.

By now, fans were already in a "NY State of Mind", so it made sense that the most Illmatic emcee, Nas, would bring out French Montana. The former Coke Boy interrupted Meek Mill’s impromptu performance of "I Don’t Know" (accompanied by hook-singer Paloma Ford) to drop some bars from "Love You No More", sans DJ Khaled. Minutes after, Curtis Jackson walks out next to Lloyd Banks (who undoubtedly was "On Fire"), Tony Yayo and Young Buck. The former G-Unit members completely owned the stage. However, because he’s known for teaching fans how to stunt, 50’s Summer Jam takeover was elevated a step further, thanks to another surprise guest, Fabolous, who debuted the remix to his side-chick anthem, "Cuffin’ Season".

Unfortunately, Jackson’s time was cut short, so that this year’s headlining act, Nicki Minaj, could recite a few monster verses of her own including "Lookin’ Ass N*gga", as well as her more recent singles "Pills N Potions" and "Yasss Bish!!!" alongside Soulja Boy. The cameos didn’t stop there though, as Drake ditched Rihanna backstage to engage in some of his "Worst Behavior" with his voluptuous


labelmate before allowing Lil Wayne to join him for "Believe Me". And although Chris Brown wasn’t able to provide any assistance as Tunechi mouthed the words to "Loyal", the evening commenced on a high note due in part to DJ Mustard and a handful of his collaborators from the West Coast such as YG; Ty Dolla $ign and Kid Ink.

If you read

my review last year

, then you know full well about the underwhelming 20th anniversary commencement. The music gawds (aka HOT 97) have since redeemed themselves with this year's show though, re-solidifying why WQHT will always be the most celebrated station in the tri-state, and the 2014 Summer Jam lived up to that legacy.

(Ru Porter is the 2 Chainz of entertainment journalism. She eats and watches film and tv, then gets published. You can follow her