As the warm days come to an end, it’s time we look back on the artists who owned the summer. Some made headlines with their game-changing music and others shocked us with candid storytelling. One rapper used a clever marketing tactic to get his fans involved with promoting his album. Other artists reached life milestones and broke the Internet.
It’s safe to say music’s biggest hip hop and R&B stars left their mark on the season. That said, here are eight artists who brought us epic summer of 2017 moments.
1. Cardi B Took Over Summer Radio
Many didn’t believe Cardi B would make it this far. Most Love and Hip Hop reality stars go seasons without dropping a successful album. But Cardi proved the naysayers wrong. “Bodak Yellow” continues to climb the charts, making her the new “it” woman in hip hop. It wouldn’t be a surprise if her song claimed the no. 1 spot before the summer ended.
2. 2 Chainz’ Pink Trap House Became Atlanta’s Hottest Attraction
2 Chainz promoting Pretty Girls Like Trap Music with a pink trap house was pretty genius. The rapper leased a house in Atlanta and transformed it to replicate his album cover. The house became a tourist attraction and fans from all all over the world visited. He held an art gallery, church service, and an HIV testing clinic. After awhile, traffic to the location disturbed neighboring businesses so Chainz shut it down in July. It was fun while it lasted!
3. Jay Z’s 4:44 Had Us Debating About the Right Things
Music fans were curious about Jay-Z’s first album in four years. Was it going to be a response to Beyoncé’s revealing Lemonade? At 47, does Jay have anything left to rap about? Sean answered with an album tackling topics reserved for the grown folks’ table. He touched on Black wealth, mental health, toxic masculinity, and his mother’s sexuality. This may not be Jay in his prime, but it is Jay at his most wise.
4. Mary J. Blige Kept It Real About Divorce While at the Essence Music Festival
R&B O.G. Mary J. Blige has never held back on owning the highs and lows of her story. This has been especially true during her divorce from estranged husband Martin “Kendu” Isaacs. While rocking out at the all women’s night at Essence Festival in July, she kept it real about her money hungry ex. A judge ordered her to pay him $30,000 in temporary spousal support. “How is it that somebody gets to cheat and destroy everybody’s life but I’ve got to pay for it?” she told the crowd. “That ain’t fair.” Mary, you ain’t ever lied.
5. Beyoncé Broke The Internet Again With Baby Announcement
Beyoncé is the queen of surprises. She knew the BeyHive and the rest of the world were awaiting news surrounding the birth of her and Jay Z’s twins. Instead of sending the photos to a media outlet, Bey used her Instagram to drop the exclusive. Mama Bey’s photos with Rumi and Sir Carter became one of the most liked on OG.
6. Frank Ocean Took a Stand for Human Rights at Panorama Festival
Seeing Frank Ocean in public is rare. Seeing a live performance of him is even more rare. So, his July performance at Panorama festival in New York City was highly-anticipated. Ocean’s set received positive reviews, but his statement T-shirt stole the show. “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic, when you could just be quiet?” the words read. The photo created by 18-year-old Kayla Robinson went viral and became an iconic cultural moment this summer.
7. Rihanna Shut Down Our Timelines With Carnival Photos
Rihanna is a busy woman juggling acting, singing, and giving back. But the island girl wouldn’t dare miss Crop Over Carnival in Barbados, her home country. Her dazzling costume was a top news story in August. It was also the perfect distraction from the Trump administration’s ongoing shenanigans. The singer has been slaying for years now and, of coursem this year was no different.
8. The Migos Confrontation at the BET Awards Became the Funniest Memes Ever
“Do it look like I’m left off ‘Bad and Boujee’?” Take Off said to DJ Akademiks — Everyday Struggle co-host — at the BET Awards red carpet. Moments later, a scuffle almost broke out between Migos and co-host Joe Budden. If you use social media, you’ve seen the awkward interview, but the Internet took things to the next level by zooming in on the faces of people in the background. What was a heated exchange at first, inspired a plethora of hilarious memes. This includes the infamous “nosy woman” gif.
What a summer!