Summer Jam is the annual hip-hop fest held in East Rutherford, New Jersey and sponsored by New York-based radio station Hot 97FM. Normally held in June, the concert features the most popular acts that hip-hop and R&B have to offer in a particular year.
The hip-hop summer festival format was originally pioneered and popularized by San Francisco radio station KMEL with their large-scale Summer Jam concerts from 1987 through the 1990s and present day. KMEL continues to host smaller versions of the event annually. Similarly, Los Angeles station KKBT held an annual Summer Jam hip-hop concert during the 1990s after hiring KMEL's Program Director in 1993. The concert was discontinued as the station switched formats.
The concert has increasing become a scene of drug use and violence over the years. The most recent festival held on June 7, 2015 included a riot in the stadium parking lot. The disturbance began when crowds of people without tickets attempted to enter the stadium anyway by climbing over the fence and were stopped by New Jersey State Police. At this time, the decision to close all gates to the stadium was made and those in the parking lot were asked to leave. Instead of leaving, the crowd began throwing glass bottles and other objects at police. The police responded with riot gear, armored vehicles, and pepper spray. Multiple arrests were made.
William Leonard Roberts II (born January 28, 1976), better known by his stage name Rick Ross, is an American rapper and entrepreneur.
In 2009, Ross founded the record label Maybach Music Group, on which he released his studio albums Deeper Than Rap (2009), Teflon Don (2010), God Forgives, I Don't (2012), Mastermind, Hood Billionaire (2014) and Black Market (2015). Ross was also the first artist signed to Diddy's management company Ciroc Entertainment. In early 2012, MTV named Ross as the Hottest MC in the Game.
Karim Kharbouch (born November 9, 1984), better known by his stage name French Montana, is an American rapper. Born in Morocco, he immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 13 years old. He is the founder of Coke Boys Music, and its predecessor Cocaine City Records. In 2012, he signed a joint-venture recording deal with Bad Boy Records and Maybach Music Group. Montana has been known for his frequent collaborations with producer Harry Fraud, and with rapper Max B before his conviction. More recently he is known for his collaborations with Rick Ross, Diddy and his MMG and Bad Boy labelmates along with his Coke Boys which include the late Chinx, Lil Durk, and his brother Zack.
French made his mixtape debut in 2007, and released his debut studio album Excuse My French on May 21, 2013. In 2003, he survived a gunshot to the head. Allegedly blackballed by radio and media in his earlier career stemming from his stint with Max B. In 2010, he had his breakthrough with "Choppa Choppa Down" which became a regional hit in clubs and radio throughout the South. By 2012, his single "Shot Caller" would be one of the most added tracks on urban contemporary radio in the country.
Kanye Omari West (//; born June 8, 1977) is an American hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. He is among the most commercially successful and acclaimed musicians of the 21st century, attracting both praise and criticism for his work and outspoken public persona.
Raised in Chicago, West briefly attended art school before becoming known as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing hit singles for artists such as Jay Z and Alicia Keys. Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to widespread critical and commercial success. He went on to explore a variety of different musical styles on subsequent albums that included the baroque-inflected Late Registration (2005), the arena-inspired Graduation (2007), and the polarizing 808s & Heartbreak (2008). In 2010, he released his critically acclaimed fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and the following year he collaborated with Jay Z on the joint LP Watch the Throne (2011). West released his abrasive sixth album, Yeezus, to further critical praise in 2013. Following release delays and work on non-musical projects, West's seventh album, The Life of Pablo, was released in 2016.
West's outspoken views and ventures outside of music have received significant mainstream attention. He has been a frequent source of controversy and public scrutiny for his conduct at award shows, on social media, and in other public settings. His more publicized comments include his unscripted denunciation of President George W. Bush during a live 2005 television broadcast for Hurricane Katrina relief and his interruption of singer Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. West's efforts as a designer include collaborations with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C. on both clothing and footwear, and have most prominently resulted in the YEEZY collaboration with Adidas beginning in 2013. He is the founder and head of the creative content company DONDA.
West is one of the best-selling artists of all time, having sold more than 32 million albums and 100 million digital downloads worldwide. He has won a total of 21 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time and the most Grammy-awarded artist of his age. Three of his albums rank on Rolling Stone's 2012 "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. He has also been included in a number of Forbes annual lists. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.