Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2023 rang off Sunday night with a classic New York themed concert to welcome the show to its newest venue UBS Arena in Queens.

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Cardi B (photo: deezfilmz)

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It was a breezy—but rain-less Sunday afternoon and the kickoff to Hot 97’s Summer Jam 2023 did not disappoint. With the history of the concert being washed out, attendees were pleasantly surprised it didn’t rain. The festival started off with the Warner Stage, up & coming viral sensations 100 Percent Pure Entertainment / Defiant / Warner Records where artists Bandman Rill, MC Vert and more blazed the stage. Fans pre-gamed to musical appetizers on the festival stage while indulging in drinks from Smirnoff and light puffs from the Empire Cannabis Club. Hot 97’s Summer Jam Artist Lounge featured a graffiti themed room turned into a NYC style bodega featuring chopped cheese and bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. A wall full of snacks including childhood staples like quater-waters and honey buns and a full open bar.

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Rapper K Goddess (photo by deezfilmz)

FunkMaster Flex, Hot 97’s franchise DJ, kept the anticipation of the festivities going to the sold out crowd. From the Summer Stage to the Main Stage, Flex had the energy of the UBS Arena on fire playing nonstop classics. “It was a long day, but I absolutely love what I do. We had a ball”. Flex shared. The love displayed for his station and admiration for his fans was evident.

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Nay Brown at the backstage bodega in Hot 97’s Summer Jam Artist Lounge

On the main stage, the ladies took over. From Lola Brooke and Scar Lip, to K. Goddess’ high drill energy, the ladies made their presence felt. Featuring the debut of Ice Spice to an enormous New York crowd of this magnitude, raised the vibration of the masses even higher.

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Scar Lip and Lola Brooke (photo: deezfilmz)

It was apparent that fans were receiving a full meal of entertainment. Remy Ma came through with style and grace sporting a nude catsuit to represent the Bronx during French Montana’s set. The air was filled with excitement to see Cardi B hit the stage after a three year hiatus for the crowd of sixteen thousand fans. She twerked and bounced with precision to her chart topping hit Up, WAP and more. Her dancers lit up the stage in colorful costumes while pyrotechnics filled the stage. Cardi wore an eye-popping hot pink stripper themed fit that wooed  the crowd. The surprise came when she brought out southern female emcee Latto to perform their new single and took the roof off the arena. 21 Savage joined the stage and Glo-rilla skated through their hits to a screaming crowd.

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Jadakiss (photo: deezfilmz)

Though the women were the main dish in Elmont, New York last night, male artists such as NLE Choppa, Fivio Foreign, Lil Baby, and French Montana gave a nice balance to all the estrogen in the arena. The Lox, the OG’s of Hip-Hop with their surprise guest, Rakim and their DMX tribute captured the ear palettes of concert goers.

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DJ Funkmaster Flex

Hot 97 personalities such as DJ Drewski, DJ Wallah, DJ Enuff, and TT Torrez did an awesome job of showing fan love between acts and by the end of the night, everyone was full off the feast of entertainment.

Definitely another one for the books. Until next year…

written by: Lynn K. Hobson

photos by:deezfilmz