Is it Hip-Hop music’s biggest and longest-standing festival since 1994?
It was my first time at the MetLife Stadium and my first Summer Jam experience. I didn’t have many expectations, but people continuously said it would rain. It drizzled, but it wasn’t a downpour. We entered the parking grounds and headed to the box office to pick up our press credentials. Upon arrival, there was a heavy police presence. Once we picked up our media passes, we walked over to the festival stage, where newer artists had the chance to woo and wow a smaller audience and make their Summer Jam debuts.
As we entered the artist hub behind the stage and eventually made it to the side of the stage, Teemanay and I saw a few rising artists like local rising star Lady London, British artist Jnr Choi with viral TikTok success for ‘To the Moon’, NLE Choppa, Bleu, “Bing Bong” star rapper Gorilla Nems, and others.
As we left the grounds and went towards the stadium’s main entrance, Cardi B joined the stage with fellow Bronx-native artists Dougie B and Bory300 for Kay Flock’s amazing Drill record ‘Shake It’, which is now #31 on YouTube’s Top Music Video list. Going through security was smooth, and the staff pointed in the direction of where the complimentary food and drinks were for the VIP guests and working staff.
We ate and headed downstairs towards the media pit at the main stage. We were the first of many to pack into the pit, giving us the advantage of seeing each artist up close and personal. Bronx-native artist DreamDoll came with dancers in a creative custom wardrobe reminiscent of one of Lil Kim’s iconic fashion moments (1999’s MTV Movie Awards). During her set, she brought out her fellow New Yorkers ‘Gyalis’ singer Capella Grey, ‘Whoopty’ rapper CJ. We think she had one of the best performances of the night. It made us like her even more than we already did. She was the perfect person to have open the night. We shared the same sentiments about the City Girls.
Some other moments that stood out were Lil Baby’s fiery set with his well-styled dancers, Roddy Ricch’s fresh-out-of-jail performance where he dissed New York City and the NYPD (we thought he wasn’t going to make it), the incredible late DJ Kay Slay tribute with appearances from the Lox, Remy Ma, Fat Joe, Papoose, Busta Rhymes, and more, Lil Durk bringing Nardo Wick, French Montana, Meek Mill, and ending his set with OTF turning up for the late King Von, and Fivio Foreign closing out the night with a crown on his head and a robe on his back like the King of New York would.
If you ever have the opportunity to go to Summer Jam, do it at least once for the culture.