Live: Nicki Minaj Takes Off From Summer Jam, Nas And Lauryn Hill Climb Aboard

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Jen Diaz/Hot 97
Lauryn Hill.
Hot 97 Summer Jam: Nicki Minaj, Young Jeezy, Rick Ross, J. Cole, Wale, Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, Waka Flocka, Trey Songz, Maino, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, French Montana, Mavado, Tyga, Slaughterhouse (and Nas and Lauryn Hill)
MetLife Stadium
Sunday, June 3

Better than: Seeing a Nicki Minaj concert.

In an era of increasing separation and ever-tinier attention spans, it's almost quaint to celebrate a tradition like Hot 97's Summer Jam with 60,000 of your closest friends.

Each year, Summer Jam means a sunny early afternoon heading over to the Meadowlands, the constant threat of rain during the afternoon hours, a few rap songs here and there with rappers featuring other rappers, walking into a chilly night leaving the show, and general ratchetness in the parking lot before, during, and after the concert.

Oh, and drama! Plenty of drama—which, in the years since Jay-Z vs. Nas evaporated, has turned into yawn vs. shrug.

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Radio Hits One: Birdman Is Rap's Richest Second Banana

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A few weeks ago, Forbes published The Forbes Five, which estimated the net worth of hip hop's wealthiest moguls, and put Cash Money Records boss Bryan "Birdman" Williams in fourth place with $125 million. Just two weeks later, Williams announced that his label's most successful artist, Lil Wayne, had signed "probably the biggest deal ever in urban music" to deliver four more albums for the label, a deal that's been estimated as high as $150 million.

For all I know the timing is coincidental, and all is well in the very successful Cash Money/Young Money family. But the confluence of those two events made me wonder if perhaps it occurred to anyone, inside or outside the situation, that Lil Wayne, one of the biggest stars in the world, was not on the Forbes list, but his label boss and "father figure" mentor was. Over the years, many artists have left Cash Money amid accusations of inadequate financial compensation; several producers have sued the label for unpaid royalties. But through it all, Wayne has stayed loyal and presumably well paid, if apparently not necessarily moreso than the execs at his label (in the 2011 edition of the Forbes Cash Kings list, which estimates yearly earnings rather than net worth, Wayne and Birdman were tied for fourth place with equal amounts of income).

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Hot 97 Announces The Seemingly Young Money-Sponsored Summer Jam '11 Lineup

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Hot 97 has announced the lineup for Summer Jam '11, and it's (perhaps unsurprisingly) filled with Young Money acts: superstars Lil Wayne and Drake act as the de facto headliners, while a non-specific set by Young Money, the label, is on tap. Could that possibly mean an eventual cameo by Nicki Minaj--perhaps one where she assists Drizzy on "Up All Night"?

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Lil Wayne Goes to Jail Today, But At Least We Have This Young Money "Roger That" Video to Remember Him By

Here is the first of a reported nine videos Lil Wayne shot in front of various green screens before reporting to Rikers today. This time, they opted for a comic strip treatment--fitting for not just Wayne but Nicki Minaj, who is basically a walking comic book character anyway. A Rikers guard filled MTV in on what Wayne can expect in prison: "He'll be housed with inmates who are classified in his category, and he'll be able to be a regular inmate. He'll be able to watch television, go into the day room and congregate with people of his classification. He'll have no preferable treatment at all. He'll be treated like a regular inmate."


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