MetLife Stadium : East Rutherford, NJ : 06 03 2012
I arrived at MetLife Stadium to collect my credentials and parking pass, get my assignment, and begin the walk-thru of the stadium. My assignment: “On-stage. Backstage.” I was loving that. Before I knew it, it was time to invade the photographer pit at the small “Festival Stage”. A couple of acts that I wasn’t familiar with started the show. When they blow up, I’ll regret not posting their images. Lol.
Fred the Godson, who I had heard of, but never listened to, was pretty good. Right after his set, I raced inside to dump some images from my memory card. I wish I didn’t because I returned to the festival lot and I could hear “It’s the return of forever hoe!” blasting in the speakers, signaling that Big K.R.I.T. was on stage. I love Krit’s stage show, by the way, and I was pissed that I missed the beginning. I managed to still shoot a few songs.
Make sure you pick up Big Krit’s new “Live From the Underground” project on iTunes. It bumps! I’m actually listening to it right now, while I type this post on the subway train. “I Got This!”
Next to hit the stage was another of my hip-hop favorites – Kendrick Lamar. I’m a huge Kendrick Lamar fan, and I’ve seen him in concert before, but never photographed him. He walked out to the edge of the stage with 3 fingers up – Hiii Power! After KL, Schoolboy Q performed a set. I honestly don’t know his music, other than songs that he’s featured on by other artists. I have to do better.
To close out the festival stage show, was that pretty muthafucka’ (you have to be hip to understand that one) ASAP Rocky and the ASAP Mob. ASAP’s energy is always crazy! I saw him in concert twice, about a month or two ago. I knew a good amount of his music so I was singing along. I was surprised he didn’t dive off of the stage into the crowd. Toward the end of his set, it started pouring down raining and Hot 97 stopped the festival stage show before he could perform “Purple Swag”.
Once the festival show ended, I headed into the stadium to charge my iPhone and get ready for a long night covering the main stage. Maino opened the main stage show, and I missed most of his set. Slaughterhouse followed Maino, but I don’t know any of their music. Thanks to the miscommunication between the security at the venue, I missed most of Tyga’s set too. Imagine approaching an entrance, dressed in a Hot 97 STAFF t-shirt, a media lanyard, a media wristband, a festival stage wristband, and an ALL ACCESS wristband…and being told, “You can’t enter through here.” Okay, what the hell are all of these credentials for? I said, “Well, where do I enter?”.
The guy points and says, “Down at that door.” I immediately thought of that episode of Martin when he was at the DMV. “From scratch…”.
Anyway, I sprinted down to the “other door”, and guess what they told me when I arrived. You got it. “You can’t enter through here, you have to use that door down there.”, while pointing to where I had just sprinted from. I was pissed. When I finally got into the stadium, I decided to stay, to play it safe.
After I got a few shots of Tyga, Waka Flocka hit the stage waving his dreads all wild and crazy, and he brought out Maino, and later Wale to perform “No Hands”. Wale and I had previously discussed a particular crowd shot that I wanted to achieve. That required me to be on the stage, which was cool because it was being live-streamed on Hot 97′s website. I had my little 15 minutes of fame. During Wale’s set, he brought out Miguel to perform “Lotus Flower Bomb”. Here’s the photo, what do you think of it? Shoot me a message.
Following Wale, J.Cole performed his set from Drake’s Club Paradise tour, which I saw last week here in DC. I liked J.Cole’s set, and the Nike Air Yeezy 2 kicks that he was wearing had most of my attention. During J.Cole’s set, he brought out Trey Songz for a song or 2. I thought Trey was going to stay on stage much longer to perform some of his more uptempo hits. Next, Young Jeezy performed a nice set of his hits, bringing out 2 Chainz for “Super Freak”, Ne-yo for “Leave You Alone”, and T.I. to perform the remix to “Up!”.
Big Sean followed up Young Jeezy’s performance with a dope set. He even brought out his Mom to introduce her to everyone. After that, he put on his Finally Famous bathrobe and performed “Marvin Gaye and Chardonnay”. During his set, he brought out Pusha T and 2 Chainz to perform “Mercy”. Everyone knew Kanye West was out of the country for the Watch The Throme tour, so he wouldnt be hitting the stage. THAT, would have been epic.
Angie Martinez walked out to the center of the stage to introduce a “New York Legend”, and the beat dropped. “Braaave Hearrrt…”. Out comes Nas, yes – Nas, and the crowd goes bananas! Nas performed several songs that he’s known for. Then, out of nowhere, the beat to The Fugees’ “Ready or Not” drops. Nas yells, in his best “Angry Man” voice “We came to bring that real in this muthafucka!”. It’s Summer Jam, the show known for surprises. My heart started beating all wild and crazy, and out comes Ms. Lauryn Hill. This made my day.
To close out the main stage show was the Untouchable Maybach Music Group. French Montana kicked it off, followed by Meek Mill and Wale, and of course the energy built up before the boss Rick Ross hit the stage. Mixed into the MMG set, Meek Mill brought Big Sean back out to perform “Burn”. The set was composed of all of the club bangers that MMG is known for. French Montana made a reference to it being New York City show, and it ony being right to bring it back to NYC. Out comes Mase to perform the remix to Wale’s “Slight Work”! At the very end, Rick Ross brought out Method Man and Raekwon The Chef to perform the classic Wu-Tang hit “C.r.e.a.m.”. At that point, I look up, and Fat Joe is standing there on the stage, in front of me rapping the lyrics.
Summer Jam 2012 was a great experience for me. I look forward to Summer Jam 2013.
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