ATLANTIC CITY - It took more than three hours, but as it closed in on 10 p.m., the people who paid money to attend the first Atlantic City Summer Fest finally received what they paid for Saturday at Sandcastle Stadium.
At 10:10 p.m., New York rappers Jim Jones and Juelz Santana of the Diplomats crew, also known as Dipset, were on stage performing Jones' song "We Fly High (Ballin')." The rappers started off the chorus with the words, "We fly high, no lie, you notice," and the crowd finished off the line by screaming "Ballin'."
Another song performed during their time on stage was "Crunk Muzik," which started off with the chant, "Dip, Dipset." Someone from the stage said VH1 was there filming, so some people in the front during the concert may be seen on that channel in the future.
Rappers and other people filled the stage during Jones and Santana's time on stage. There were no video screens, so it was hard to tell who was Jones or Santana, especially for the people who decided to stay in the stadium seats.
Philadelphia native Beanie Sigel and his reunited State Property crew came on stage after 10:30 p.m. The crowd was treated to "Can't Stop, Won't Stop," originally recorded by Young Gunz, who are a part of State Property. Sigel, who now lives in Pleasantville, gave plenty of shout-outs to Philadelphia during his time on stage, and it was obvious from the response that he received that many people made the drive from the neighboring state to see him.
The song that received the best response while Sigel was stage was "Roc the Mic," which had people on the stage and in front of the stage rocking back and forth, as the audience rapped along. The stage was just as crowded while Sigel was on it as it was when Jones and Santana were there.
People who did not get their fill from Jones, Santana and Sigel would have to wait until after midnight to see headliner Rick Ross, more than five hours after the music started.
Summer Fest was not the place to be unless a person was familiar with the acts and their material. With more than one person on the microphone and a booming soundsystem, it was hard to make out what songs were being performed at times.
Concertgoers started entering the stadium at 5:30 p.m. on a beautiful late summer afternoon with the sun shining and temperatures in the 80s. Prerecorded music was played, and rappers from Atlantic City and Philadelphia were on stage from 6 to 9:45 p.m. before Jones and Santana took the stage with the rest their Dipset crew.
How much someone enjoyed the early part of Summer Fest depended on how much tolerance they had for little-known local and Philadelphia talent. An opportunity was lost to promote these artists because some of them came on stage with little or no introduction. A professional announcer would have benefited everyone.
Rapper Chais the Great, born Chais Hill, of Mays Landing, came on stage at 6:36 p.m. to say he was living on his mother's floor a few years ago, but now, he's on a stadium stage. Chais, 30, performed a couple of songs before leaving the stage.
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