Last night I attended 93.7’s 10th annual Hot Jam concert in Hartford, Connecticut inside of the XL center. Advertised for the show was YC, the New Boyz, J. Cole, Dj Khaled and friends, Big Sean, Jeremih Lupe Fiasco, Fabolous & Lloyd Banks. Although not a huge fan of any of these artists, was I excited? Claro! I’m always up for hearing new music. Underneath the many Connecticut basketball & Hartford Whalers hockey banners, the musicians performed to an eager crowd of what looked like 3 or 4,000. Here are some of my observations:
*NOTE* – I arrived late and missed J. Cole performance.
— The show opens with Jeremih singing a melody of songs that no one over the age of 12 can sing.
— Okay, so he plays the piano. I can honestly say I had no idea so that’s a +1 for Jeremih in my book.
— Jeremih is done, lets see who’s next……the New Boyz? What dance song did they make again?
— I swear I get the New Boyz and Cali Swag District mixed up. Honestly, if Travis Porter didn’t have a multitude of songs I find catchy, I’d confuse them also.
— Although I didn’t know any of their songs and they had to resort to performing the songs of other artists, I did slightly enjoy some of their newer stuff. Seemed like it was catchy and Big Sean made an appearance during one song. And they did say “R.I.P. M-Bone(member of Cali Swag District killed on May 15th) so that was a positive.
— Next up is DJ Khaled and the crowd is obviously excited more for the “and friends” billing he received.
— And his “and friends” portion was exactly who people expected: Ace Hood. I was excited because I like Ace’s new material.
Funny Moment: When Ace Hood made his entrance, he came out wearing clothes that a certain purp-sipping, dreaded, multi-platinum rapper wears and completely fooled the crowd.
— DJ Khaled should never be booked alone as a performer without at least 2 of the rappers in his group songs. Never.
— Lupe Fiasco came out next in what was a surprise considering YC or J.Cole (less popular rappers) had not yet appeared. He opened up with “Kick Push” and sadly, I was maybe 1 of 25 people who knew the song.
— I had to make a mental note to find the song “Out of My Head” with Trey Songz. Super-catchy and Trey Songz is a plus.
— He finished with “The Show Goes On.” Fitting. Although not a fan of the song personally, the crowd seemed to really enjoy it. I find Lupe’s success to be refreshing and interesting considering he’s not your typical mainstream rapper.
— Okay maybe J. Cole and YC will not be performing because it’s 10 p.m. and Fabolous is up next. F-A-B-O comes out and performs some of his hits from his underrated “Loso’s Way” album.
— Good thing I listened to “The Soul Tape.” When Fab mentions the tape, I think a ton of the crowd think he’s referring to some kind of blunt. Then again the average age of the crowd is probably 18.5. They go NUTS when he introduces his special guest Trey Songz to perform Trey’s hit, “Say Aaah.”
— Trey received the loudest reaction of the entire night. BY FAR. It is great to see him reach new heights as a musician and bona fide star. Shout-out to @sungz_on_point for putting me on Trey in 2007 before he truly exploded.
— Fab has easily had the best performance of the night. Even inspired to pull out my “Loso’s Way” CD out and play it on the ride home. Probably will have to re-listen to the “Soul Tape.”
— Lloyd Banks comes out and closes the show. Other than some of his new hits, Banks even plays some of his notable mixtape songs that only us older fans of hip-hop know.
— Banks brings out Juelz Santana for a decent ovation as they perform “Beamer, Benz or Bentley.” The night ends like this as the crowd seems geniunely upset that the show is ending. Either that or 3,000 fans really wanted to see a YC performance.
Overall I found it to be a pretty good show. I am still wondering why we never saw one of the billed performers or why Wiz Khalifa couldn’t show up so that he and Big Sean could perform “GangBang.” Time constraints probably were the issue here.
“Hot Jam 10” receives an 8/10 from me. A good time and although it doesn’t compare to Hot 97’s famous “Summer Jam,” it was a good time for hip-hop fans in the New England area. After such a tragedy in Springfield, Massachusetts only one day prior to the show, it was nice of the artists to attend and be a part of a successful show.