Hot 97, one of New York’s biggest hip-hop/R&B radio stations, hosted their annual Summer Jam concert last Sunday at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Summer Jam is always one of the biggest hip-hop events of the summer, consistently bringing out the biggest names in the genre. Aside from the names that are officially on the bill, there are always a slew of surprise guest appearances, giving Summer Jam a distinct feeling that anything could happen.
Sunday’s line-up included Rick Ross, Waka Flocka Flame, Young Jeezy, and many more, with Nicki Minaj set to headline the festival. Instead of being treated to spontaneous special guest appearances, the audience was faced with a surprise last-minute withdrawal from the festival. On Sunday at 3:35pm, Lil Wayne announced that the Young Money crew would not be participating in the Summer Jam festivities. So what happened?
Controversy rang out early in the day, when Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg was introducing Kendrick Lamar. During his introduction, he had some strong words to say about Nicki Minaj.
“I see the real hip-hop heads sprinkled in here. I see them. I know there are some chicks here waiting to sing ‘Starships’ later—I’m not talking to y’all right now. Fuck that bullshit…I’m here to talk about real hip-hop shit.”
It was this disrespectful comment from a representative of Hot 97 that drove Wayne to pull the entire Young Money crew from the festival, cancelling Nicki’s appearance, which supposedly included guest appearances from Cam’Ron, 2 Chainz, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Beenie Man, Foxy Brown, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Tyga, Jae Millz, and Gudda Gudda. Nas and Lauryn Hill did eventually perform “If I Ruled the World” together on the Summer Jam stage, but Nicki Minaj asserts that this was meant to be a part of her set. Rick Ross and the Maybach Music crew handled headlining duties in Nicki Minaj’s absence.
In the end, Nicki insists that it was Lil Wayne’s decision to pull Young Money from the festival last-minute. The disrespect is undeniable, but to leave without performing is a disservice to Nicki Minaj fans moreso than Hot 97.
Nicki Minaj and Funkmaster Flex (one of the most popular DJs on Hot 97) had it out in an hour-long phone interview, where the two representatives battled and debated for their respective camps. It’s easy to see both sides of the argument, but Nicki comes off better than Flex in the interview, and drives home her position on the matter by demanding respect from Hot 97:
“I just want to apologize to my fans for what happened last night, and like I said on Twitter, I’m going to make it up to them with a free concert. And they said you know what Hot 97? When you want our team to come to your show, treat us with respect. And that’s all we’re asking. We’re not asking for any special treatment. Just respect. And I’m very proud of my team, and the way they stood behind me, and I’m very happy to show my female fans in that audience, and even my gay fans in that audience, when I’m coming to your home, respect me.”
Listen to the interview below for a heated hour-long conversation that breaks down the whole incident, and gives some context to the pre-existing relationship between Nicki Minaj and Hot 97.
People will treat you how u ALLOW them to treat you. #Oh
— Nicki Minaj (@NICKIMINAJ) June 4, 2012