Footage of Jay-Z’s entire 2001 Hot 97 Summer Jam set has surfaced
Jay-Z's headlining set at the 2001 edition of Hot 97 Summer Jam is the stuff of hip-hop legend. He brought out Michael Jackson and Missy Elliott, and debuted "Takeover" ahead of its appearance on The Blueprint, which came out later that year. The song took shots at Nas and Mobb Deep, and when Jay played it at Summer Jam, he projected photos on screen of Mobb Deep member Prodigy at dance class as a child, which he also then referenced on the album version of the song ("Don't be the next contestant on that Summer Jam screen"). It became one of the most legendary diss tracks in hip hop history, and it inspired Nas to fire back with "Ether," another of the most legendary diss tracks in hip hop history. In their review of the set, MTV writes:
"There's a lot of sh-- going on in rap music," he stopped to tell his fans. "A lot of cats yappin'. Y'all know what I do — your boy handles his business."
Jay then started to freestyle, shooting back at everyone who's been dissing him lately. Hardest hit was Prodigy of Mobb Deep. Not only did Jay make fun of P's small frame by saying, "We got money stacks bigger than you," but Jigga poked fun at the Queens rapper's past, saying, "You's a ballerina, I seen ya," and showing photos of an adolescent Prodigy at his grandmother's dancing school. The photos, displayed on four huge screens that hung over the stage, showed Prodigy in leotards and a sparkling jacket.
Audio of this iconic moment in hip hop history has circulated for years, but Stereogum points out that video has just surfaced for the first time, thanks to HipHopVCR. Watch it below.
And here's just the "Takeover" portion: