When: Mon., July 16 2012
Recently Peter Rosenberg, a DJ at New York City hip-hop radio institution Hot 97, added to the rich history of drama at the station's annual Summer Jam festival by making a brief speech on a side stage geared toward relatively underground artists, during which he held up Nicki Minaj's smash "Starships" as the diametrical opposite of "real hip-hop shit." Minaj, who was scheduled to perform on the fest's main stage, canceled her set, but to be honest "Starships" doesn't really sound much like hip-hop—a lot of people who love Minaj's recent Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Young Money) skip it, along with the album's other blatantly pandering pop confections. But if those tracks are the price we have to pay in order for ambitious, insane experiments like "Stupid Hoe" and "Beez in the Trap"—which are radically redefining what "real hip-hop shit" even means in 2012, to the consternation of Rosenberg types—to end up platinum hits, then I'm perfectly fine with it. Plus I think sneaking one of the biggest weirdos in pop since Prince into the ears of a generation of unsuspecting innocents can only be a good thing. —Miles Raymer 2 Chainz opens.