When the smoke cleared in the Giants stadium Sunday night, Dancehall had taken another huge step into the mainstream courtesy of Mavado, Serani and Elephant Man, all of whom represented different aspects of Dancehall music very well to around 50,000 patrons.
All 3 acts did very well on the main stage, Serani's greatly-improved stage presence shone, with his crossover hit No Games proving to be the monster it is. Mavado, representing the hardcore side of Dancehall, stalked the stage commandingly, and was given a great response to hits such as "Whe Dem a Do?" "On the Rock" and "So Special." Elephant Man lived up to his Energy God moniker and had the whole stadium signaling the plane!
"We got huge exposure from this show," said Mavado after his performance. "The on-air promotion HOT 97 gave us in the run-up to the show was priceless, as well as being able to sing in front of so many people on the same bill as Mary J Blige, Jay Z and so many others. Its the first time I've performed in front of such a huge crowd and I was very pleased at the response."
"You could see people rocking way in the upper tiers at the back when we were on stage" added Serani, who's birthday actually fell on the same day as SUMMER JAM, the biggest show in his life. "The whole crowd wished me happy birthday during my performance which was the best present I think I ever had! Shout out to HOT 97, Ebro, Jill, Bobby & Jabba, Mr Cee, Flex, Cipha, Angie, Willie Daniels, all those who made this possible."
Patrons left the stadium very pleased by the newly-added Dancehall segment and HOT 97 have already indicated that it is something they would like to continue with for future Summer Jams.
Apart from the well-received Dancehall segment, the talk of the night was when Jay Z, who arrived Obama-style in a van surrounded by security guards with ear pieces jogging alongside the vehicle, touched the stage with Young Jeezy.
Jay Z released a song titled D.O.A (Death of Autotune) on Friday on the station and by Sunday night he had 50,000 people singing along.
"I've never seen that happen before," said Hip Hop DJ legend Funkmaster Flex. "I've been doing this a long time and I've never seen anything like that!"
Friday night saw Mavado and Serani in Hartford, CT, where they performed on HOTJAM 8, alongside Soulja Boy, Bow Wow, Drake, Fabolous, Trey Songz and more.
"We've been on around a half dozen of these type of events this year which has never been done by more than one Dancehall act," said manager Julian Jones-Griffith. "Our aim is to get Dancehall artists as a must-have on these types of shows, so that our music and our artists are positioned alongside urban music in the US. With the great reception Mavado and Serani have been receiving from the mainstream hopefully things are changing for the genre."