A People's History of Summer Jam 2010

Drake debuts, Trey Songz gyrates, and DJ Khaled wins at the hip-hop event of the year

10:12: Funkmaster Flex is the first DJ you'd think of to be violent, boisterous, and loud enough to save Usher's bacon by jolting the crowd into not fleeing for the exits to beat the crowd, and the absolute last person you'd want to sit next to on an airplane.

10:48: And yet Usher, your putative headliner, is entirely anticlimactic anyway, an unwelcome regression to Trey Songz–style dry-humping boudoir jams, with an elaborate light show and multilevel stage and myriad backup dancers and, sure, hits you know and, if not love exactly, certainly don't hate. But even a casual Hot 97 listener is completely burned out on them by now anyway, and, really, this is neither the time nor the place for high production values. What you want is 150 people onstage, all screaming at you, and you screaming right back, fancy wardrobe not required. Just ask Rick Ross, who will never be accused of being too small for anybody.

rharvilla@villagevoice.com

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