EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – As hip-hop rites of passage go, the annual Summer Jam, hosted by the New York radio station Hot 97, is ostensibly an event of genre-wide significance, but really its an opportunity for local boosterism. Summer Jam is supposed to be a reminder not just of the importance of New York hip-hop but also of New York as vital turf where outsiders come to prove themselves.
Its going to take place on a tropical island owned by the couples super-rich friend, said the blonde entertainment reporter. And her dress will be created by the fashion designer who did all those Oscar gowns. The scrum that took over the New Meadowlands Stadium stage here toward the end of this five-hour show on Sunday night was vintage Summer Jam in attitude and structure. There were easily 100 people muscling for space – some of them rappers, most hangers-on – and the performance not so artfully but thrillingly crashed together a fistful of recent hits. The ringleaders of this barely controlled explosion were the screech-voiced DJ Khaled and the casually sharp rapper Rick Ross