The stars came out to shine at Summer Jam 2011. Every year the annual hip hop concert, hosted by NYC radio station Hot 97, provides fans with an opportunity to see the music industry’s biggest stars. This year, 60,000 fans at a sold-out New Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, saw some of music’s top talent make their return to the Summer Jam stage after missing the action in previous years.
The most explosive moment of the night came when Lil Wayne and Rick Ross joined forces to rock a series of smash singles they have together. Backed by a live band, the Young Money boss returned to the Summer Jam stage after missing last year’s show due to his incarceration at New York’s Rikers Island Correctional Facility. Weezy thanked fans for showing him support while he was locked up and treated them to a memorable performance. Throughout his set Wayne brought out members of his Young Money roster, including Cory Gunz, who performed their hit single “6 Foot, 7 Foot.” When YM hitmaker Drake graced the stage to perform the Wayne-assisted “Miss Me,” the crowd got to witness the duo’s first Summer Jam performance together.
The show’s closer, Rick Ross, joined Weezy and Drake for a heavyweight performance of DJ Khaled’s summer anthem “I’m on One,” which features all three chart-topping artists. Rather than leave after his set, Weezy stuck around to trade bars with Ross on their collaborative singles, Wayne’s “John,” the Bawse’s “9 Piece (Remix),” and Ace Hood’s “Hustle Hard.” New York natives Diddy and Jadakiss also joined the Ross performance.
Fellow New Yorkers Dipset (Cam’ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, Freeky Zeeky) also made an impressive return to Summer Jam. This was the group’s first performance since reuniting last year following a messy breakup in 2008. The rowdy set included guest spots from Atlanta reps Waka Flocka Flame and Travis Porter.
For R&B fans, Chris Brown made a triumphant return to the hip hop showcase. The “Deuces” singer hasn’t been at the event since 2007, and that fact wasn’t lost on him as he let fans know they were “the best crowd” he’s ever had. Brown’s electric performance was capped by a performance of his smash single “Look at Me Now” as he was joined by energy god Busta Rhymes.
Other notable perfomances throughout the night included Fabolous, Wiz Khalifa and Lloyd Banks, who brought out Ryan Leslie, Swizz Beatz and Mobb Deep.
(Photo: Sean O'Kane for BET)