Date: June 3
Rappers like to portray themselves as larger-than-life, and on stage, even a Jermaine Dupri or Omarion or Lil Kim can seem 30-feet tall. But it's on hip-hop culture's biggest stage that we find out whose chest is really puffed up, and who can be popped by calling them "pop." Regardless of what Jay-Z or Kanye or Drake have done over the previous 12 months, if they perform at Hot 97's Summer Jam in front of a sold-out stadium, their year is made.
Nicki Minaj, 2012's announced headliner, was about to take her seat at Summer Jam's grown-up table, when word got around that Hot 97 personality Peter Rosenberg had referenced Nicki's music while introducing a rappity-rap act earlier in the day. He said to a parking lot side stage crowd, "I know there are some chicks in here waiting to sing along with 'Starships' later. I'm not talking to y'all now. Fuck that bullshit. I'm here to talk about real hip-hop shit."
So what did the entire YMCMB team do? Grab some mics and prove Rosenberg wrong? Tear the main stage down to show New Yorkers what real hip-hop looks like? Nope. In a show of defiance, they took their toys and left the sandbox, hurting not Rosenberg, whose Hot 97 family fully backed him up, but rather Nicki's Barbs, who'd paid good money to see her live.