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Summer Jam Concert Review: Nas And Lauryn Hill Perform In Lieu Of Nicki Minaj

Nas and Lauryn Hill At Hot 97 Summer Jam

In a chain of events few would have expected, Hot 97 Summer Jam was as much about who was performing as it was about who wasn’t performing. By the time Tyga performed “Faded” and “Rack City” there was a dark cloud looming over the nearly 80,000 attendees, and that cloud had nothing to do with the weather. Tyga’s boss, Lil Wayne, had just abruptly pulled the plug on any of his artists performing, including the show’s headliner–Nicki Minaj.

Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg, known for his loose (opinionated) lips introduced Kendrick Lamar during the pre-show and dropped a bombshell that set the tone for the rest of the night. “I know there are some chicks here waiting to sing “Starships” later. I’m not talking to y’all right now. F*ck that bulls*it,” he said to the crowd. “I’m here to talk about real hip-hop s*it.” The YMCMB president got whiff of the perceived diss and tweeted, “Young Money ain’t doing summer jam.” With that one tweet the boss had spoken. But the show did in fact go on. And in a major way.

Opening acts like Maino, Joe Budden and Joel Ortiz rattled through their old hits to a barely there crowd. That didn’t keep Budden from declaring  he and his crew were the “best rappers in the universe.” People started filling in once Waka Flocka hit the stage with the wild, crazy, party energy he seems to carry with him anywhere he goes. The signature Waka Flocka move–shaking his dreads from side to side–was in full effect during “Bustin At Em,” “It’s A Party,” “Hard In the Paint and “I Don’t Really Care.” “No Hands” served as a segue into Wale’s set as the two shared the stage. J. Cole proved he’s studied in the School of Jay-Z as he was the first to perform with a live band. No entourage needed, he commanded the stage with his mere talent.

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Last Lap: Thursday’s Odds And Ends In Music News

Another Side To The Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest Story
A main source of the tension on A Tribe Called Quest‘s 2008 tour, as documented in the new film Beats, Rhymes, & Life (directed by Michael Rappaport, pictured above with Phife Dawg), is an interview Q-Tip gave to Spin. Today the Awl ran a complementary piece by the author of that Q-Tip profile. [The Awl]

Morrissey Prefers Edith Piaf To “McDonna” And Has “No Love For” Himself But Plenty For His Music
Also among the unsurprising quotes in the interview Billboard published today: “The word ‘indie’ is meaningless now.” We’d say, “Never change,” but Morrissey certainly isn’t in danger of that. [Billboard]
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