Another great Summer Jam under the belt but not a history maker like others of the past....
"The song that best encapsulates the push and pull of hip-hop in 2011 is “I’m on One,” the recent collaboration of Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, organized by DJ Khaled. On the one hand, it’s all bombast, just like any other Khaled number, but unlike the typical megalomania of those songs, Drake’s trademark egotistical melancholy drives this one, and it spills over to everyone’s verses. Winning is everything, winning is fun, and winning takes its toll.
Three and a half hours into this year’s edition of Hot 97’s Summer Jam, at the New Meadowlands Stadium here, “I’m on One” arrived, a majestic display of hip-hop’s current axis of power. There onstage were Lil Wayne, Drake and Mr. Ross, three giants happily sharing space for a few minutes. Drake was a guest, appearing at the intersection of Lil Wayne and Mr. Ross’s sets, which had been mashed into one long, collegial one. Later Lil Wayne stuck around while Mr. Ross performed — contributing a verse here and there but mostly enjoying the show, a fan with the best seat in the house.
“I’m on One” was the high point of the most vibrant Summer Jam line-up in recent memory, reinforcing that hip-hop’s current power centers couldn’t be farther away from hip-hop’s birthplace.
Mr. Ross, from Miami, was the headliner, and someday theses will be written on his style evolution, culminating in this appearance: mid-’90s-Versace-esque shirt unzippered; belly and breasts dangling; arms flailing as if he were in reverie. He dropped one cluster bomb after another, from “9 Piece (Remix)” — which featured Lil Wayne — to “MC Hammer” to “B.M.F. (Blowin’ Money Fast)” to “Tupac Back,” all reliant on his signature bravado. He brought out Diddy — a titan of Summer Jams past — and Ace Hood for “Hustle Hard (Remix),” which also featured Lil Wayne.
Wayne often seemed to be working as hard during Mr. Ross’s set as he had during his own, which had been a casually brilliant display of control. Fighting a dismal backing band, this New Orleans native was still nimble and inventive, bending familiar lyrics in unanticipated ways on “A Milli” and “6 Foot 7 Foot.” A tight column of sinew, he displayed a softer side on the sensuous “I’m Single” and “How to Love,” the bizarre new single that in essence marks the emergence of Lil Wayne as singer-songwriter.
Up until the Wayne-Ross extravaganza, Summer Jam had been a dogged, if not quite thrilling, reminder of the limitations of New York hip-hop, both as a genre and a state of mind. The newly reunited Diplomats had a chaotic turn, skipping old classics in favor of newer almost-hits, undone by terrible sound and 100 or so hangers-on crowding the stage.
Mr. Cee, the Hot 97 disc jockey spinning records just after their performance, effectively played a better Diplomats set than the Diplomats did. (This year, for the first time, Summer Jam was streamed live over the Internet on Ustream, and the quality, as seen in clips archived on YouTube, was impressive, often highlighting the order amid the clangor.)" - read more - via NYTimes JON CARAMANICA