While the tri-state missed the full devasting potential of Hurricane Henri, we still got that work from Mother Nature. The show must and did go on however, this past Sunday at the MetLife Stadium as Hot 97 welcomed back the nations’ premiere concert series in Summer Jam!!

Representing the diverse soundscapes bought forth from other regions, international as well, artist such as El Alfa, Farruko, Kranium, Movado Saweetie, Polo G, Moneybagg Yo (possessor of the biggest selling hip hop album of 2021 thus far), 42 Dugg, and featured acts the Migos and Da Baby brought substantial fanbases and performances to the lineup, NY-area artists set the example of what hip hop music is about.

CJ provided the first official Summer Jam moments as the Staten Island native reached back to spotlight the classic catalog of the Wu Tang Clan with Rae Kwon, Ghostface and Method Man pulling up to party with the present flag bearer of the borough.

The highlight of the night was then introduced by Ebro, Laura Stylez & Rosenberg of “Ebro In The Morning,” as Swizz Beatz stunned fans with a surprise all-star lineup to pay tribute to his friend, the late rapper DMX. Joined on stage by DMX’s children, including birthday girl Sonovah, Swizz Beatz candidly shared stories of DMX while introducing various artists who performed and paid their respects to the hip hop icon. “We didn’t want to come up here and have artists cover his songs, X was particular of who did his music,” said Swizz. “Instead, we wanted artists that X actually respected perform as themselves as the Dog would have liked,” he concluded. Resulting in A-game showmanship from performers including The Lox, Busta Rhymes, MOP, Lil Kim, Fat Joe, Remy Ma, and the legendary group, The Isley Brothers.

The tributes continued when headliner Bronx native, A Boogie wit da Hoodie was joined on stage alongside Audrey Jackson, the mother of late rapper Pop Smoke. While paying her respects to the fallen rapper, Audrey hyped up the crowd by showing extreme bravery as the audience filled with emotion. “This is my first Summer Jam” Audrey said. “It’s bittersweet but I’m grateful to you all for still loving Pop’s music, thank you to HOT 97 and thank you all for loving and protecting my family.”

As part the historic community component of the series, a portion of the HOT 97 Summer Jam ticket proceeds went to benefit the Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation, in addition to a $50,000 donation from Legacy to assist with New York tri-state area community programs.

Keeping safety in mind, HOT 97 partnered with Jersey City Economic Development Corporation and New York City Economic Development Corporation for a special “Get Vx’ed for Summer Jam Tickets” initiative leading up to the concert and proudly provided vaccination incentives for over 2,000 concert goers. HOT 97 also established COVID protocols for all working staff with the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene, Scan Harbor and Koacore, for COVID-19 negative results access verification to enter stadium grounds, creating a safe environment.

HOT 97’s Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation partnered with Northwell to sponsor 1,000 of Northwell Health Care Heroes and their families to attend Summer Jam! With more than 77,000 employees, Northwell Health is New York State’s largest healthcare provider and largest employer. Its 23 hospitals were at the epicenter of the pandemic last spring, and they treated more than 200,000 COVID-19 patients while saving countless lives. This year Hip Hop Has Heart Foundation will also be donating to the Haiti Earthquake recovery efforts.

HOT 97’s next concert foray is the annual On Da Reggae & Soca Tip, the biggest party and concert of Labor Day Weekend in NYC! This year’s show goes down Friday, Sept. 3 at the Coney Island Amphitheater with listed performers including Shaggy, TeeJay, Spice, Nailah Blackman, Charly Black, Patrice Roberts, & Mr. Vegas.

The day prior, Sept. 2, however, may as well be the next huge concert in the city as Derrick “D-Nice” Jones debuts his Club Quarantine Live: D-Nice with Special Guests at the Prospect Park Bandshell for his only New York summer engagement, presented by Live Nation, on Thursday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m., for a benefit concert as part of the BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival. The lineup for the evening will showcase special musical performances by GRAMMY award-winning singer/songwriter Stephanie Mills; politically conscious Bronx Emcee KRS-One; GRAMMY award-winning singer/singer/producer Anthony Hamilton; singer/actress Melba Moore; widely regarded as one of the most influential Emcee’s in hip hop, Big Daddy Kane; British singer/songwriter/producer Estelle; Motown R&B and Soul group The Originals, and more!

Over and out, Holla next week. Til then, enjoy the nightlife!