The Five Most Controversial Summer Jam Moments
Verbal insults! Wanton violence! Temper tantrums! Comical jpegs of foes! Mock lynchings live on stage! Sunday brings us another installment of Hot 97 Summer Jam, wherein rap's leading lights get the chance to prove the accuracy of the adage about modern hip-hop being closer to the world of professional wrestling than anything Afrika Bambaataa ever envisaged back in the '70s. So as a glittering lineup of Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, Wiz Khalifa, and the peculiarly titled Lloyd Banks And Friendswhich may just be a titular ruse to get committed Ross enemy 50 Cent into the venue, what with rumors of Curtis being banned from Summer Jam eventsall prepare to take the stage this Sunday, here's a far-from-virtuous look back at Summer Jam's most controversial moments.
The rat who symbolized 50 Cent at Summer Jam 2005. Ah, memories.
5. Eminem Vs. The Source
In 2003, Eminem's widely publicized dispute with The Source was in full swing. That year's Summer Jam offered the bleached-blonde MC another outlet to express his disgust at former Source owners Raymond "Benzino" Scott and David Mays, with Detroit rap associate Obie Trice carting out Em's Lyricist of the Year trinket from the magazine during his performance. After a curt outburst of "The Source was behind me from day one and now y'all shitting on me? You can have your motherfuckin' award back!" Em smashed the (presumably pretty brittle) trophy onto the stage floor, and segued into "Lose Yourself." Later on that night, Em continued the event's broad bovine theme by joining 50 Cent and back-seat rabble-rouser Busta Rhymes on stage to rap through a freestyle over 2Pac's "Hail Mary" beat aimed at Ja Rule's Murder Inc. camp; the song included the playground-level dis of claiming that, "If 'Pac was still here now he'd never ride with Ja/ Na, na, na, na, na, na!"
4. The Game Hollers "G-Unot" And Beats Up A Giant Rat
Summer Jam 2005 saw L.A.'s pathological beef merchant The Game take his long-simmering hatred toward former label boss 50 Cent to a new level of rap pantomime. Mentally pumping after having had the brain-wave to flip G-Unit's name into the G-Unot slogan, The Game persuaded one of his entourage to dress up in a cartoon rat suit, ostensibly to represent 50 Cent after Game accused him of snitchin'. Then came the pretend beat-down! As Game recalled to the highbrow rap documentarians behind The Beef DVD series, "When the rat came out on stage I kinda forgot who he was... We fucked that rat up! He just start looking like 50 Cent to me." Hit up the 4:40 mark on the video to see the world's least-50-Cent-looking rat in existence for yourself.
3. 50 Cent Gets Digital On Ja Rule's Ass
50 Cent and Ja Rule have relationship issues that go back many years, but Summer Jam 2003 gave Fif' the opportunity to take his mocking of the midget rapper to an all new technological level. He broadcast a spoof P.S.A. that saw him sitting behind a computer while images of Ja Rule and his Murder Inc. cronies were beamed up and superimposed with helpful slogans like "Bitch-ass nigga." Alas, Fif' had yet to get up on the hilarity of the animated-gif game back in those days, although he did find time to paste in a snippet of Ja's apparently emotionally incriminating "I Cry" flick.