Before JAY-Z became a billionaire and one of Hip Hop’s G.O.A.T.s, he was a rapper climbing up the ranks and taking on any challengers on his path. In June 2001, Hov was one of the hottest artists out, and to separate himself from the competition, the Brooklyn rap legend hit the stage at Hot 97’s Summer Jam as the main headliner.
The legendary performance would catapult JAY-Z even further into the spotlight while also igniting one of Hip Hop’s greatest beefs between him and Nas. There have only been short clips of that night released to the public on top of countless soundbites and interviews from people in attendance, but fans can finally watch it in full for the first time ever, thanks to a YouTube upload on Tuesday (April 12).
— Andrew Barber (@fakeshoredrive) April 12, 2022
YouTube account HipHopVCR shared the entire 58-minute set, which also included one of the craziest Hip Hop moments of all time. At the end of his performance, JAY-Z surprised the Nassau Coliseum crowd by bringing out the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson, on stage in front of a raucous crowd.
Fans have seen the historical moment before, but not as clear as this particular upload. The video also shows Hov performing “Takeover” on stage for the first time, where he put pictures of the late Prodigy of Mobb Deep as a young dancer on the Summer Jam screen. Jay also performed the second verse a capella, which the crowd exploded upon hearing him take shots at Nas.
And the light jab at Nas.
I’m getting goosebumps watching this ?????
And even then Hov’s transitions were A1.
— Dynamics • £ (@theDYNAMICS) April 12, 2022
There’s no word on who captured the entire set in full, but Hip Hop fans are grateful for whoever it was given all the stories they’ve heard over the years regarding that incredible night on June 28, 2001. During a 2003 interview with MTV News, JAY-Z described Michael Jackson’s appearance as a highlight in his career.
“It was actually easier [to set-up] than what people would think,” he said. “It wasn’t even difficult. I didn’t have to call a hundred times and babysit the situation.”
Watch JAY-Z’s full set below.