Young Thug Makes Statement From Jail At Hot 97 Summer Jam

Young Thug Makes Statement From Jail At Hot 97 Summer Jam

Yesterday, the New York radio station Hot 97 held its annual Summer Jam concert, a big event on the rap calendar in any year, at New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium. At every Summer Jam, the big questions are what the weather will do — it almost always rains — and which surprise guests will show up. The weather apparently mostly cooperated yesterday, and a couple of big stars did make surprise appearances. This year, though, the bigger question was which of the announced performers would be able to show up, since so many of them are currently facing legal challenges.

Two of the star attractions on this year’s Summer Jam lineup were supposed to be Young Thug and Gunna, but that was not to be. Both rappers are currently in jail, facing sweeping RICO charges related to Thug’s YSL record label and crew. A week and a half ago, Young Thug was denied bond. During the show, though, Thug still found a way to make his presence felt.

As HipHopDX reports, last night’s show featured a voice message from Thug that played on the infamous Summer Jam screen. That screen aired a video in which rap figures like Polo G and G Herbo pledged their support of Thug, and then the message from Thug himself played. Thug said, “I just want to say thank you to all of my friends and my family for coming out and supporting us. You know, your support during this time means a lot to us, ya know.” (The screen transcribed all of it, including the the “you know” bits.)

Thug went on to ask fans to support a petition launched by music executives Kevin Liles and Julie Greenwald, which asks legislators to prohibit courts from using rap lyrics while making cases against artists, treating those lyrics as if they were actual confessions. Thug said, “You know, this isn’t just about me or YSL. I always use my music as a form of artistic expression, and now I see that Black artists and rappers don’t have that, you know, freedom. Everybody please sign the ‘Protect Black Art’ petition and keep praying for us. I love you all.”

That petition came up more than once during the show. Meek Mill, an artist with plenty of history of being targeted by law enforcement, made a surprise appearance during Lil Durk’s set, and he also talked about the importance of that petition. Meanwhile, one of the day’s big questions was whether Roddy Ricch, who’d been arrested the previous day for trying to enter the New York festival Governors Ball with a loaded weapon, would make it to the stage. HipHopDX reports that Roddy was released that afternoon in time to perform at Summer Jam. During his set, he asked the crowd to shout, “Fuck NYPD.”

One of the other surprise guests was Cardi B, who came out on the smaller outdoor festival stage to perform “Shake It” with Bronx drill rappers B-Lovee and Dougie B. Headliner Fivio Foreign also declared himself King Of New York during his set, but that’s a pretty normal thing for New York rappers to do during Summer Jam; I still remember when Busta Rhymes attempted that.

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