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In NYC there are many things to look forward to yearly, but none more than Hot 97’s Summer Jam. A staple of New York’s hip-hop culture, Summer Jam has been blessing NY since 1994. Back then Queen Latifah, Nas, Wu-Tang Clan and a Tribe Called Quest hit the stage for the inaugural year and ever since then Summer Jam has become NYC’s super bowl. Although Summer Jam’s line up changes every year to reflect who’s hot, sometimes they get it wrong. In 2016 the line up was very millennial. It seemed that Hot 97 chose those artists to attract a certain crown rather than put out quality. In my opinion, it was a mistake but for 2017 both the festival stage and main stage is stacked and I for one can’t wait!

The Festival Stage of 2017 is a who’s who of rising stars

The festival stage is where up and coming artist get their start.

Most festival performers eventually go to the main stage the following year. This year, the festival stage includes Young M.A, A Boogie, Don Q, Dave East, Lil Yachty, D.R.A.M., Pnb Rock, Casanova, and Phresher. This is line up is heavy in New York artistry, with most of the artists coming from NY. In the last couple of years, Hot 97 has taken hits for their lack of showcasing talent from New York. This festival stage group of performers shows that Hot 97 is taking direct steps to ensure they are all about highlighting artists from NYC. The festival stage starts at around 3 pm, so make sure you arrive early to check out the future of hip hop.

The main stage is where legends are made

The main stage is like the main event in boxing. From the first artist to the last, summer jam is a concert unlike no other.

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Hot 97’s personalities and DJs including Flex, DJ Camilo, and Kast One, do a bang up job hyping the crowd in between performances. We will miss Mister Cee and his legendary sets but I’m sure the remaining talent will execute flawlessly. This year’s stars on stage include Chris Brown, Fat Joe & Remy Ma, Migos, Desiigner, DJ Khaled & Friends, Trey Songz, French Montana & Friends, Tory Lanez, Joey Bada$$, Funk Flex & Friends, Konshens, Charly Black, and Jidenna! Plus, Faith Evans presents 20 Years of B.I.G. Questions still lurk -- will we see Jay-z? Beyonce? Kanye? Or Lil Wayne? With Hot 97, you really never know. Tickets are on sale now through ticket master or on the hot 97 site.

Summer Jam holds a very special place in my heart. It’s the first concert I was exposed to as a kid. I never got the opportunity to see Jay-z bring out Michael Jackson, or watch Biggie perform, but I did see Drake, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Wu-Tang, The Lox, and Kendrick Lamar and that’s thanks to Summer Jam. It's been a while since the megastars have graced the stage but something tells me this year is different. Be ready for June 11th, get ready to see the tailgating pre-show, a party in the parking lot and if this is your first summer jam, be prepared to get your mind blown. Overall, please be safe and treat everyone with respect.