Summer Jam is one of the many events that Bay Area hip hop fans look forward to every year. The popular hip hop and R&B radio station KMEL bring in a handful of the hottest artists to perform live for thousands of their loyal listeners. This year’s massive line up featured Big Sean, Trey Songz, Waka Flocka, Kelly Rowland, Lupe Fiasco, a surprise performance from Kreashawn and many other artists. The party got started early and continued after the arena closed its doors at clubs around the city. It truly has become more than a show and is now a huge event. KMEL did not disappoint the fans this year as they put together a star studded line up.
The only downside to having so many great artists together on one stage is the time. There isn’t enough of it. Kreahsawn, who has created buzz both online and on the radio with her mega hit “Gucci Gucci,” was given only the three minutes to get through that one song. Her one song performance left a big impression. The tiny rapper owned the massive stage, beeper affixed to her belt buckle and all, she got the amped up audience on their feet and left them wanting more.
Big Sean is another up and coming rapper who has been nominated for many of the industries “Best New Artist” awards. His lyrical style is different, his swagger on stage is unparalleled and his songs stay stuck in your head for days. This is Kanye West’s protege after all and he lives up to the title.
One of the hardest working emcees in the game, Sean takes this rap thing very seriously. His hard work shows through in his live set. Even his rendition of “My Last,” worked without Chris Brown. Sean will be generating headlines for years to come and is already selling out dates for his much anticipated tour this fall. He’s much more than snap backs and swag, his intelligent and witty lyrics take over the live set and leave a lasting impression.
Mr. Steal Your Girl aka Trey Songz got the biggest ovation of the night. Although he was not the headliner, Waka took that title, it felt as though the man of the hour was in the building when he casually walked on stage. Trey has spent some time on the road with Usher and has obviously learned a few lessons. The first of which is that women like it when he takes off his shirt. So that’s what he did. As Trey kept losing layers the ladies got louder. And louder. Before long, it was difficult to hear his vocals over the screams.
Trey left on a high note as he performed the last of his radio hits. Rapping his own version of the famed Niki Minaj feature on “Bottoms Up.” Waka was next but some of the women hit the exits. Trey is most certainly a star, a headliner, and a talent that can’t be overlooked.
Mid way through Kelly Rowland’s set, as “Motivation,” blasted through the speakers, it was evident how much these artists rely on one another. That song is nothing without Lil Wayne there for his feature. Minaj would have been a welcomed guest during Trey’s set and Big Sean wouldn’t have minded Wiz Khalifa making a guest appearance during his time on stage either. Many of them are able to make their hits work anyway but Rowland definitely needed the “greatest rapper alive.”
The bulk of the performances during the three hour show were memorable. No one fell completely flat and the night was sprinkled with local celebrity appearances and surprised guests that kept the crowd on their toes wondering what was going to happen next. This year was one of the most talked about and anticipated shows yet. Which just leaves everyone wondering what next year will bring.