If you’ve been to Summer Jam once, that was probably your first and last time there. I went in 2005. Had it not been for Azaelia Banks, I probably would have not gone back. But there I was with my buddy Tylea, on a bus, headed to New Jersey. We decided to take it easy that day. We’d barely recovered from our last festival, and we knew this show would be different. With acts like Azaelia Banks, Kendrick Lamar, Pusha T, Big K.R.I.T, and once again A$AP Rocky… the vibe would be a mellow.
When we arrived at the festival we found that the “festival village” was not in the stadium (where the main concert would be). Instead, the village was in the infamous Summer Jam parking lot. The parking lot was filled with tailgaters and festival villagers getting high; music, food, and the elements. Tylea and I felt immediately at home. I remember looking around and seeing all the different faces, all ages, all races, all love…really.
Then Azaelia got on stage. While Tylea, Cristina ( another friend who was at the show) and I were cheering her on, a group of hecklers started to boo her. Our 3 voices outweighed the idiots in the back. But it made me start to think about how tough it really is for female MC’s. Was it because she was rapping about her sexuality? Was it because she “vulgar?” Does it really matter that she likes to use the word “cunt” in her lyrics? The fact that there are less than a handful of relevant female MC’s is pathetic. I commend all the women who are brave enough to rap in front of these misogynist punks. After Azaelia’s performance, a DJ (whose name I’ve already forgotten) decided to get on stage and bad mouth Nicki Minaj. That monologue ultimately persuaded Lil Wayne to pull Nicki from the main show (she was the headliner).
Back to the good stuff! Kendrick Lamar’s performance. Oh, wow, Kendrick Lamar’s performance. By this point, the sugar from the brownie I had eaten hit me. I was in another zone. His performance of ADHD was like a dream. I looked at Tylea and we agreed that this was more like a Woodstock concert. A$AP hit the stage next and the crowd went wild. He owned the stage. It began to rain and we all cheered as we got drenched. Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q joined A$AP on stage and the crowd went even wilder. Then, just like that, it was over.
As the crowd started to head to the stadium, Tylea and I made our way to the bus stop. We were not going to deal with the crowds and clusterfucks. On our way to the bus stop, we saw a car was on fire. I’m not sure how it started but it made for an interesting picture.
Love, Peace, and Nappyness,