Summer Jam 2012 rewind: Rap legends return to stage

What started off as a rainy day with cloudy skies quickly turned into a night in music history with appearances by ghosts of hip-hop’s past.

HOT 97 Summer Jam, which has been referred to as the “Super Bowl of hip hop concerts,” didn’t disappoint this year. Fans got to enjoy artists such as Big KRIT, Harlem’s own Azealia Banks, and A$AP Rocky, among others, during the Festival Village pre-concert.

As 50,000 hip hop heads (wearing everything from the freshest kicks to never ending neon trends) made their way to Metlife Stadium for the main performances, they became drenched in rain but were consumed by the excitement of seeing their favorites hit the stage.

Maino kicked off the show and was joined by Swizz Beatz. Slaughterhouse also hit the stage thanks to a “hashtag campaign” on Twitter started by Cipha Sounds and Rosenberg’s morning show host, Peter Rosenberg. Tyga followed and got the crowd hyped as he closed out his set with his hit single, “Rack City”.

Waka Flocka, whose sophomore album drops this month, came out and brought out Wale during the “No Hands” performance. As Waka exited the stage Wale, took over. He came off stage and joined his fans in the crowd as he sang. Miguel joined Wale for “Lotus Flower Bomb.”

J.Cole’s 20-minute set had fans on their feet when he sang “Work Out,” and had the ladies lusting as Trey Songz joined for the “Can’t Get Enough” performance.

After J.Cole took the stage, Mister Cee hit the turntables. But before he gave the massive crowd a live mix show, he asked everyone to put their index finger up in remembrance of Trayvon Martin. He then reminded the crowd to keep in mind those we’ve lost and blasted some Biggie for all.

Young Jeezy’s performance didn’t lack surprise appearances either. He brought out the self-proclaimed “King of the South,” T.I., and Ne-Yo as well. Big Sean then followed. Big Sean was joined by Pusha-T and 2 Chainz for “Mercy.” And the rapper took a moment during his set to bring out his mom and introduce her to the already roaring crowd. A crowd that had no idea who was to follow next.

HOT 97’s Angie Martinez attempted to prepare the crowd for the moment in history that was about to go down. After years of not being on the Summer Jam stage, Nas came out performing “Made You Look”! The performance was a roller-coaster of rap memories. The beat for “If I Ruled The World” drops, the fans cheer, and who comes out? Ms. Lauryn Hill! It was a chilling moment of disbelief that took fans back to their cassette tape days. Hill took the crowd back to her Miseducated days during “Lost Ones” and had them reminiscing about the Fugees during “Ready or Not.” It was a performance no one expected, and a moment in hip hop history those present will never forget.

French Montana also took a moment during his set to bring out a favorite from the cassette tape days, Ma$e. The Harlem-raised rapper, in head to toe Giants gear, helped carry on the nostalgia to a crowd who stood for more than five hours.

Rick Ross added the finishing touches to the marathon concert. Ross took advantage of the last bit of energy the crowd had in them and multiplied it with hits like “Stay Schemin,” “B.M.F,” “9 Piece,” and had Meek Mill pop up to perform “I’m a Boss.” But before he exited he made sure to keep the throwback feeling going by bringing out Method Man and and Raekwon to perform “C.R.E.A.M.”.

It was a night of great talent but most importantly, a night of long lost memories that were brought to the present by some of hip-hop’s greatest.

Follow Victoria on Twitter at @VicNews03