Forget about Barnum & Bailey, the greatest show on earth went down in East Rutherford, N.J. over the weekend.
New York radio station WQHT Hot 97 brought together the biggest acts of hip hop and R&B to one stage at Giants Stadium Sunday for Summer Jam 2009.
Thousands of fans crammed into the venue for a nearly sold-out show that boasted a historic lineup that matched up music veterans with up-and-coming rookies.
"I've been to a couple of Summer Jams, but this is so far the best!" chimed concert goer Jacqueline Cruz, who snagged a front row seat to the colossal event.
The product of MTV's "Making The Band," Day 26 kicked off the show with a three-song set. Diddy's boys were just one of the many acts who made their Summer Jam debut. Other fresh faces included former Pretty Ricky frontman Pleasure P, Jamaica's own Serani and the very "Special" Movado.
Making his second appearance to the Summer Jam stage was ATL's The-Dream, who brought the crowd to their feet with hits like "I Luv Ur Girl" and "My Love." The producer-turned-hip hop super star has truly come into his own in the past year, and it was quite evident from the reception he received during his performance.
The "Radio Killa," who was one of the few acts who performed with a live band, also welcomed surprise guest Fabolous to the stage, performing "Rockin' That Thang."
The surprise guests did not stop there.
During his set, rapper Jadakiss had an impromptu D-Block family reunion when Sheek Louch and Styles P blessed the stage, bringing it back to the days of The LOX.
Season veteran Busta Rhymes, "Birthday Sex" singer Jeremih and Swizz Beatz also popped in during Jada's set.
President Barack Obama and Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin also managed to crash Summer Jam, sort of. When singing the hook for "Who's Real?" - Jadakiss' collaboration with Swizz Beatz - an image of Obama flashed on the stage's screen, referring to the President as "real." When Swizz asked the crowd "Who's fake?" Palin's flashing image sparked a huge reception from the packed arena.
The reigning Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige had fans "reminiscing" as she belted out a wide range of songs from her nearly 20 years in the spotlight. In one of the memorable moments of the night, surprise guest Method Man joined MJB on stage to sing their Grammy winning collaboration, "You're All I Need."
Although demolition to the old Giants Stadium isn't for a couple of weeks, the arena was close to blowing up when Young Jeezy and a few friends took to the stage. After well into his set, Jeezy insisted he do "something for the ladies," which was Drake's cue to charge out and sing his monster hit "Best I Ever Had." The actor-turned-rapper received nothing but love from the thousands who sang along to the chart topper.
Nearly everyone in attendance - both in the crowd and on the stage - erupted into cheers and applause when hip hop icon Jay-Z walked out onto the stage during Jeezy's "Put On." Hova, donning a simple black Tee and a mini-fro, left fans in absolute awe.
After dropping his verse for the song's remix, Hova shut it down with his upcoming single "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)," a song that made its radio debut on Hot 97 two days earlier. Many say the song takes direct aim at the now-omnipresent voice enhancing software popularized by artists like T-Pain and Akon.
After performing the joint, that will most likely be the centerpiece of his forthcoming album "The Blueprint 3," Jay simply walked off the stage.
T-Pain, who received mixed reviews for Sunday's performance, took to the stage with special guests Lil' Kim and Maino, while Jim Jones and Juelz Santana along with Soulja Boy Tell' Em closed the historic show. It reportedly marks the third year in a row where the Diplomats wrap up the blockbuster event.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun