Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2014 kicks off this Sunday, June 1 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and it looks to be one for the ages. For the first time in what seems like a long time, there doesn’t appear to be any major controversy lingering around the show — at least not leading up to the big event. Who knows what can happen when you get this many egos in the same place at the same time?
Nicki Minaj makes her return to the big show this year. The Young Money vamp has become something of a fixture at Summer Jam; having performed in 2010 and 2012, and she made a surprise appearance last year alongside 2 Chainz during his set. She made headlines in 2012 when she backed out of her set due to disparaging comments made about her music by Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg. Last year, there was a buzz surrounding Minaj’s guest appearance because two of her most infamous rivals, pop icon Mariah Carey and hip-hop veteran Lil Kim, both also appeared at the show. Nothing happened.
Also this year, Nas and the Roots will be performing. The Roots have just released their latest album, And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, and Questlove has been getting a tremendous amount of attention for his Vulture essays on hip-hop music and culture. The Summer Jam set should serve as a primer for their annual Roots’ picnic in Philadelphia in June. And Nas hits the stage for the first time since 2012.
The West Coast gets fully represented as well. With Compton’s Y.G. and DJ Mustard performing, this year’s most talked-about rapper gets to showcase his special brand of gangsta-fied Cali rap; and Ty Dolla $ign is also slated to appear alongside his fellow Angelenos.
And for R&B fans, singers ranging from Trey Songz to Jhené Aiko to Mack Wilds to Sevyn Streeter will be performing both on the festival and main stages; so if you want to hear a little vocalizing, you’ve got some of the hottest names to entertain you.
And, of course, there’s always the lure of potential controversy. Virtually every year there’s some type of scandal that erupts at Hot 97’s Summer Jam. Not to say that the fans look for it —but it has become a sort of side benefit of the show. Who could wind up sparking controversy this year? Stay tuned.