I’ve heard stories about the parking lot at Summer Jam, but up until yesterday I had not experienced it myself — mainly because of the stories I’ve heard about the parking lot at Summer Jam. But this year, my desire to see Meek Mill post-release and Lil Wayne persuaded me to attend the iconic concert series that rocks New York once a year. (And I had pretty good seats thanks to my press connects over at Sunshine Sachs. Thanks!)
It wasn’t long before my boyfriend and I had arrived at MetLife Stadium where we paid $30 to enter the parking lot. Upon entering, I was immediately greeted by the sweet and inviting BBQ aroma. Who knew Summer Jam was a place for small Black businesses to thrive.
We found a spot in the lot surrounded by U-Haul trucks and pick-up trucks with iron BBQ grills in tow. It was like a food festival, drinks included. Both men and women canvased the area trailing water coolers behind them with ice-cold beverages, beer, spirits, nutcrackers with God knows what in it and some decorated drinks you’d typically find on Instagram. Jerk chicken, freshly fried fish, oxtails and BBQ food were just some of the dishes for sale. Oh the glory. And the prices were reasonable. All this time I had looked at Summer Jam simply as a concert instead of an experience.
I suddenly began to rethink my ensemble, here I was trying to play it cool when it was clear other attendees had spent time, effort and money on their Summer Jam fit. The stadium was heavily policed, but not even their presence could affect the carefree atmosphere. We smoked, we drank, we ate. And when it was time to go instead we felt prepared to see our favorite acts hit the stage.
As if it couldn’t get Blacker, the show began with Hot 97’s Nessa and co-host instructing us to throw our fists in the air for Kaepernick, who bowed for us. And one of my favorite parts, a fun recital game of “When I say F***, you say Trump.” You can imagine how that went.
I had been judging Summer Jam all these years, but I must say, I enjoyed tailgating with my people.
Check out pics from Summer Jam below: