For the past 20 years, Hot 97 Summer Jam has established itself as the preeminent concert in hip hop, and this year Pepsi and Loud Digital are allowing you to experience it in a whole new way with "The Road to Hot 97 Summer Jam," an eight-episode web series that is aimed at giving the fan a never-before-seen look at all the hard work, drama and challenges that go into the months leading up to Summer Jam XX on June 2 at MetLife Stadium.
In the latest episode, The Rush Hour host DJ Enuff, program director Ebro Darden and marketing director Donyshia Benjamin collaborated with the music and entertainment team at Pepsi to come up with new and innovative ways to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for show goers.
Enuff sent chills throughout the room as he remembered DJing at the festival when Jay-Z made a surprise appearance during a (less famous at the time) Kanye West's set. Just one of many memorable moments from the festival that has launched some of hip hop's biggest names and most unforgettable battles.
The next hurdle is talent for the Summer Jam Festival Village, which, as Donyshia described, is "the main event before the main event."
The Festival Village has become known as the breeding ground where up-and-coming artists join the ranks of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole as MCs that rose to superstardom after hitting the stage. The pressure intensified as finding acts worthy of rocking the stage in front of an expected crowd of 15,000 becomes more difficult when Karli, the music director, finds that many of the acts on the "wishlist" are booked on neighboring festivals.
Don't miss the Hot 97 team as they overcome obstacles on The Road to Summer Jam to ensure that this year's festival lives up to the legend of year's past; and make sure you get your tickets to Summer Jam XX, June 2 at MetLife Stadium.
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(Photo: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images)