14. Jun, 2004 - "Where else but Hot 97's Summer Jam?" For 11 years people have asked that question.
The New York radio station's annual stage parade of music A-listers has become legendary because of both its historic and infamous moments, and Saturday's show at Giants Stadium certainly upheld that tradition.
The biggest drama of the night came from the G-Unit. No big surprise there. But what had everyone so baffled was why 50 Cent was so moody, dissing R. Kelly and throwing the mic down in disgust before exiting the stage. 50 Cent started his crew's set by cuing up the famous Summer Jam screen. As anyone familiar with Summer Jam will tell you, if another artist puts you up on the screen, it's not to give you props.
Last year 50 Cent put Ja Rule on blast, and this year he had more in store for his longtime foe, introducing the "Grannie Awards," a pre-taped mock awards show. After announcing the nominees for Wackest Rapper � Ja, Joe Budden and Murder Inc.'s Black Child � 50 Cent said it was a three-way tie. Other Grannies went to Lil' Kim for having the most plastic surgery, The Source for being the worst hip-hop magazine, and Beyonc� for being the sexiest.
Tony Yayo, who was making his first public appearance since being released from jail, came out with enough energy to make Busta Rhymes look sedate, yelling, "I'm Tony Yayo, the talk of New York!" The rest of the Unit (with the exception of the absent Game) came out on four-wheel bikes.
The familiar favorite "What Up Gangsta" got things jumping. Then 50 attacked the Inc. again by teasing "I Smell Pu---" and "Back Down" before letting Lloyd Banks lead the charge with his solo offerings "Warrior" and "On Fire."
Flames rose from the stage before Banks started rhyming, "Nah, I ain't putting nothing out, I smoke when I wanna." The theme of defiance stayed prevalent with Young Buck, who performed the solo cut "Let Me In."
With the drama coming from the speakers, tensions started spewing from the crowd when members of the audience began throwing chairs at the G-Unit. According to witnesses, the chair tossers wore Silver Back Guerilla T-shirts, a crew whose members have had a long-running feud with 50.
The ruckus didn't stop the show or even faze the Unit. The music kept going, and when the records stopped for a few seconds, Yayo simply told the crowd, "Something always happens when the G-Unit is around."
As the Unit pressed on with their set, 50 performed "In Da Club," "P.I.M.P." and introduced the new first lady of G-Unit, Olivia, who stars in Banks' "Smile" video. Lloyd rapped to her during his live performance of the cut.
Guest star Joe then came out for his two collaborations with the G-Unit, "Wanna Get to Know You" and "Ride Wit U." Although it seemed like fans were rocking with the G-Unit, the response apparently wasn't what 50 had hoped for. He told the people they shouldn't be frontin' and standing still. "I want y'all to know I know you love me," he said sarcastically.
50 also asked the audience if it was ready to see R. Kelly, and when the crowd screamed, he mocked Kelly's step dance and his sex-tape scandal. Later, after G-Unit DJ Whoo Kid said their time was up and they had to leave, 50 dared the police to come get him. The grand finale of "Stunt 101" wasn't so grand. After 50 performed his verse, he cut Banks off as his friend began to spit. Still unhappy with the crowd, 50 huffed, threw his mic down and left.
Kells showed no sign of being upset about the 50 Cent dis as he started off his set by singing his part from "The Best of Both Worlds." Kelly, too, wanted to make sure the fans were with him. But unlike 50, he was pleased with what he saw. Kelly's DJ would play snippets of some of his biggest hits, including "R&B Thug" and "Down Low (Nobody Has to Know)," teasing the people and then going to the next track just as they started to sing along.