2. Prodigy Becomes Summer Jam's Tiny Dancer
Fail Occurred: 6/28/2001
The Summer Jam Screen (n): a showcase for derision; unwanted exposure-i.e., "Don't make me have to put you on the Summer Jam screen." Prodigy, one-half of Mobb Deep, had been tossing subliminal one-liners in Jay-Z's direction for years, but Jay-Z didn't respond until he took the headlining spot at Hot 97's annual supershow in 2001. Jigga pulled a rap-beef coup d'Ă©tat when he projected a childhood photo of Prodigy in tap-dancing regalia: toes pointed to the ceiling, smile pointed at the camera, an indelible image to backup "Takeover": "When I was pushin weight, back in '88/You was a ballerina, I got the pictures, I seen ya!" The irony of Michael Jackson coming out during Jay-Z's same set was lost on everyone, though that's because Michael Jackson had never successfully come off as a gangster. The power move made P quietly obsessed (Infamy might be the most passive-aggressive album of all time), and threw Mobb's '90s musical winning streak off course.