May 17, 2018

1994: First Summer Jam, OJ Simpson, ‘Illmatic’, Wu Tang Clan & Rise of Polo [VIDEO]

Summer Jam
1994: First Summer Jam, OJ Simpson, ‘Illmatic’, Wu Tang Clan & Rise of Polo [VIDEO]

Can you believe it’s already been 25 years since we launched our first Summer Jam?


Time flies when history is being made. The genre has grown so much since the birth of the biggest hip-hop concert in the world. 


Today we kick off our 94’ to Infinity series highlighting the start of the iconic concert to where it is present day. Seeing the growth and different representations of hip-hop over the last two decades has been a journey and HOT 97 and Summer Jam is there for all of it.


Summer Jam started in a small venue holding a couple of thousand to a stadium that holds over 55,000 screaming hip-hop and r&b fans. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. 

Our first Summer Jam conert launched in 1994 with a star-studded lineup featuring, Wu-Tang Clan, Queen Latifah, Arrested Development, Gang Starr, Black Moon, King Just, A Tribe Called Quest, Domino, Nas, Sudden Change, SWV.


Nas and Wu-Tang Clan ushered in a new era of hip-hop with their debut albums “Illmatic” and “Enter The Wu Tang: 36 Chambers”, providing the soundtrack for street hustlers and gritty New Yorker culture.  


NAs Illmatic



But besides Summer Jam launching in NYC, there was plenty of other significant moments that went down in 1994:


A kid from Brooklyn dropped a hip-hop classic with “Ready To Die” and would later become of the greatest to touch the mic. 



The 1994 NBA Finals were interrupted by OJ Simpson’s white bronco. He was wanted for the murder of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson:



While we’re in sports, Michael Jordan officially signs a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox following news of his retirement:




Photo Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Stringer/Getty Images

While a jealous Tonya Harding attacked Nancy Kerrigan ruining America’s chances at Gold at the Winter Olympics:





But the NY Rangers win their first Stanley Cup:




(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)


Who can forget the rise of the ‘Lo? A staple in hip-hop culture. Complex did a dope history of Ralph Lauren Polo and it’s influence: 



Or silk pajamas?


tlc creep


These movies were released in theaters and created life phrases, plus we wouldn’t have Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurants without it:



Nor would DJ Khaled be able to call his son Asahd The Lion King. We all shed a tear when Mufasa died but we all knew it was the circle of life:


lion king



There was a time where cell phones weren’t affordable or accessible, meaning not everyone owned one. Crazy to fathom right?  That was a time where pagers held the crown: 






And Playstation put all other stations to shame with the launch of their new system. Gaming would never be the same again. 



Photo Credit: Wikipedia