Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert, which went down last night in New Jersey, is an annual mega-circus and a highlight of the year if you’re a particular sort of rap fan in the greater New York area. The stadium show generally adds tons of surprise guests to its already-packed lineups and plays like a dizzy, fast-moving live version of one of the station’s playlists. It’s something of a tradition for the show’s headliner to play a set utterly jammed with famous surprise guests. But last night, Nicki Minaj, the show’s headliner, pulled out at the last possible second because of something that one of the station’s DJs had said about her.
During the outdoor “festival” that always precedes the big stadium show, resident Hot 97 doofy white guy Peter Rosenberg said, “I know there are some chicks in here waiting to sing along with ‘Starships’ later. I’m not talking to y’all right now. Fuck that bullshit.”
Pretty soon after that, Lil Wayne said on Twitter that “Young Money ain’t doing Summer Jam,” and that was it. As Billboard reports, Nicki and DJ Khaled both canceled planned sets. And that’s significant, since Nicki’s set was apparently set to include appearances from Wayne, Lauryn Hill, Nas, Foxy Brown, Beenie Man, 2 Chainz, and most of the Young Money crew. She also had a massive pink set built. Her set would’ve been a big deal, but it wasn’t to be.
In the end, Nas and Lauryn Hill cobbled together an impromptu performance to end the show, and station DJ Funkmaster Flex shared some harsh words about Nicki and vowed to end a career on the air tonight at 7. But if I’d actually paid money for a Summer Jam ticket and found my way to Jersey, I would’ve been pretty pissed at both Nicki and the station.