It was my first time… and it was such a bizarre learning experience. Maybe I was too old to be there… Or… I’m not supposed to be this side of the curtain. I’m certainly not meant to work it. I got to Summer Jam for free99 by volunteering with the New York Urban League.  In conjunction with Hot 97 & XXL, we handed out show programs at the entrance. I’m not sure too many would consider Summer Jam a “learning experience” but it certainly helped me understand that I am who I am and I will never change. I’ve learned that being who I am makes me great… Summer Jam is supposed to be about being great… & while Hip-Hop is trying, some have forgotten.

          The New York Urban League program is great, I suppose it was me who was the problem. After attending a couple of meetings, you can get on their board and make friends, but on the first day, it’s super tough. There’s a group of individuals who are “members” and mostly stick to themselves. The rest of the group seemed to pair off with whomever they came with (most people volunteered with friends). There was another girl who came by herself who I started talking to… but the issue with these “networking” things is that some people go to make connections, some go because they have no friends in real life and others go because they might be able to find a potential mate at one of these functions. She’d asked me if I was in a relationship, and I told her it wasn’t the time for me. They she started talking  about how she was ready. We made friends with another volunteer, and after he joined us, I just felt like the third wheel. I’m no one’s wing man. If you want o fly, you’ve got to do it on your own. I’m too grown for that. I had to separate myself. I had to let her groove. The most difficult thing to understand when you’re volunteering is… what are you there for? When I realized I wasn’t there for the people in that group, I ventured off on my own. But, my venturing seemed to be a problem for some in the group. The people who spoke to me as we checked in and even on the bus, seemed to not want to speak to me anymore because I tend to separate myself.
       What made me most uncomfortable about the program and the leadership tactic employed was that I felt like a child. I felt like I was on a field trip. I simply feel like, if you are a true professional, you can act as an individual, and still participate in the task which needs to be completed. Also, as a leader, you should delegate work, but try to make the work as least strenuous to your group as possible. You try to complete the task in the most efficient manner. It was hot out there. Instead of asking for someone to move a pallet for us, we had to form a line and move these heavy ass boxes to the gates one-by-one while drinking hot ass water. I tried to find who I could to help us, but by the time they came, we were 95% finished and my back hurt. I know some of the folks thought I was complaining, but the reality is, we didn’t have to do what we did how we did it. I hate when there are easy solutions no one wants to use because they’re afraid to speak up. There’s a difference between being a leader because you’re part of a group and being a leader because you are one. I am not just hands, but a mind as well. And it’s not that I didn’t like anyone in the group, it’s that I never ended on finding a best friend (or a husband) there.
      Summer Jam is a great event. It’s well planned and well staffed. Met Life Stadium is fantastic. It opened on April 10th, 2010 and holds 82,566 people. It it phenomenal. Before the show, there’s a festival in the parking lot with vendors and free giveaways. It’s great for patrons. My only issue was the Summer Jam was Thirsty City; it’s really just a place to… pimp *shrugs* Perhaps I’m just not a fan of today’s music, but it was like being at the club… or anywhere. The artists would come on stage and not really make an effect. With radio hits from Meek Mill, 2 Chains and the like, it was really just a… freak show.

It was an outdoor club forreal.  I don’t think this is a negative, I just think it’s a reality of what the show was –this year at least. I could read some of the girls volunteering with me and how they would get upset when men would stop and talk to me when I handed them programs. That’s not my fault. And, in the words of Funk Flex, who you mad at? Me or yourself? I wasn’t there for them, I was there for me. I was there to meet whoever I made a connection with & I actually did groove with the good folks from, simply because they respected my independence –they work with artists on various fronts. I enjoyed myself as much as I could let myself but… When I’m not in the mind for that –flirting, etc. –I simply can’t do it. Is everything about everyone else? When are you allowed to start caring for yourself without offending others? What I learned was to continue to be the same… Keep smiling. Keep being friendly. No matter if when I spoke they looked away. No matter if when I said goodbye they pretended they didn’t hear. No matter. Continue to be yourself, I told myself. The worst thing you can do is let others affect your mood.

        I was there to see the show.  I was up in teh nose bleeds, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be down in the mosh pit. I just wanted to see exactly what the artists would do on this “epic” stage — that earns them major dollars. What would make someone pay over $200 a ticket to see you? And how do you impress 82,566 people? How do you hold their attention? What does that take? Is it even possible? I’m sure it is. Jay can do it. Bey can do it. Mike could have done it… that means it can be done. I wanna know how. You see, I don’t want to work anymore –not off-stage at least. But what would make people love me when I’m up there? I wouldn’t want to me a Meek Mill/2 Chains. People didn’t pay attention to them, they were just shaking their asses to the music. Fabolous was decent, I just don’t find him entertaining in person, there’s nothing about him I want to watch. Wouldn’t want to be Lil’ Kim –she got her respect, but they didn’t miss her when she stepped off stage. Wouldn’t want to be Nicki Minaj –she spent far too much time and funds on her outfit for 2 minutes to talk come on stage and pat her vagina. Wouldn’t want to be Papoose –no one knew who he was until he said “Free Remy.” Wouldn’t want to be Kendrick Lamar — the crowd was practically silent when he was on stage, it was like he slowed the whole stadium down & most I’ve spoken to have called the performance “sad” and “boring”. Wouldn’t want to be A$AP Rocky, he was dope but no one really noticed and he was mostly just used to liven up Kendrick’s set. Wu-Tang was dope, purely out o respect; it was old-school Wu-Tang. I loved Bone Thugs-N-Harmony because  they have the same sound, but it sounded so relevant –although the youth never respect old heads. I just… wanna be me. And, someday, I wanna play Summer Jam. I’m more of an unplugged girl. Can you do unplugged with that many people?
Luckily, I can do anything I wanna do :)& I still got my money