(Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)
2009 had a magical start. Fifteen days in to the New Year, Captain Sully, after striking a flock of geese shortly after take off, landed a commercial flight on the Hudson River. Nobody was harmed in the crash. The accident became known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” Only five days later, Barak Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, cue Young Jeezy’s “My President.” What an amazing moment in time.
While rappers scrambled to rhyme words with Obama, Kanye West drunkenly stumbled on to the VMA stage to inaugurate Beyonce: “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you-I’m going to let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. ONE OF THE BEST VIDEOS OF ALL TIME!” he shrugged as he slipped the microphone into Taylor’s hand.
This moment would forever change Kanye’s public image, but would later inspire My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (so really who cares?) Apart from Kanye’s reputation, the music community lost one of its most sampled and iconic voices: Michael Jackson. The King of Pop’s tragic death rocked the world.
Since his first appearance in 1999, Jay Z has made iconic Summer Jam moments. In 1999, he dissed 50 Cent; “I’m about a dollar, what the fuck is 50 cents?” In 2001, during his first performance of “The Takeover,” Hov rapped, “When I was pushing weight back in ’88,” he rhymed, “you was a ballerina/I got the pictures, I seen ya.” The line, directed at Prodigy, prompted this picture of a young Prodigy taken at his grandmother’s dance studio to appear on the screen.
However, Jay was not finished. To solidify his role as the King of NY, Hov went backstage and brought out Michael Jackson. Jay, wearing a blue du-rag and Latrell Sprewell jersey, stood side-by-side on stage with the King of Pop.
This year, Jeezy introduced him to the stage. In what fans believed were the closing moments of his set, Jeezy shouted, “This is Summer Jam isn’t it?” Emerging from the back of the stage was Drake, whose “Best I Ever Had” became the summer’s anthem.
Shortly after, a figure dressed in all black crept from behind the stage with a mic in hand. Jay Z did his verse on Jeezy’s “Put on.” Jay stayed on stage and performed his new single that premiered on Hot 97 only two days prior, “D.O.A. (Death of Auto-tune).” In a slightly awkward turn of events, T-Pain, the auto-tune King, surfaced on stage next to Jay with his arms crossed.
2009 was the final hip-hop concert in Giants stadium history and co-hosted by Tracy Morgan. Other notable performers included The Dream, Jim Jones, Jadakiss, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Redman, Method Man, DJ Khaled, Ace Hood, Jeremih, and Lil’ Kim.