On Sunday, Hot 97's annual Summer Jam concert—traditionally a breeding ground for confrontation and ego-clashing theatrics in rap music-became host to a battle over authenticity and gender. It began early in the day when Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg used some choice words about headlining artist Nicki Minaj and her current club-thumping radio hit "Starships."
"I know there are some chicks here waiting to sing 'Starships' later," he told the crowd. "I'm not talking to y'all right now. Fuck that bullshit. I'm here to talk about real hip-hop." Soon word of Rosenberg's remarks got back to the Minaj camp (namely to her Young Money label head and spiritual leader Lil Wayne), and, at Wayne's demand, Minaj and the Young Money team refused to take the stage later that evening. Had Minaj performed, she would have likely appeared on stage with special guests Lauryn Hill and Foxy Brown, marking a generation-bridging milestone for women in rap music that could have proved far more entertaining than the feud that unfolded in the days after Summer Jam.