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by Colt Shaw

For the first time in the show’s history, women controlled the line up, and the mic, at Summer Jam. 

The show’s centerpiece came just after 11:15 when a darkened stage gave way to Cardi B’s silhouette behind an opaque. A moment later she was in the middle of a full-throttle performance of ‘Press,’ complete with pyrotechnics and an all-pink cast of dancers in perfect synchronicity. 

Cardi flowed right into her verse from G-Eazy’s ‘No Limit,’ YG’s ‘She Bad,’ and her collab with Nicki Minaj and Migos, ‘Motorsport.’ Two pole dancers accompanied Cardi for ‘Twerk,’ and her remix to ‘Thotiana.’ GloRilla joined Cardi for ‘Tomorrow 2,’ and Latto came out for their thumping remix to ‘Put it On Da Floor.’

The hitmaker finished her set with a breathless run through reminder after reminder of why she has dominated charts six years: the Bad Bunny collab ‘I Like It,’ and Megan thee Stallion joint ‘W.A.P.’ led into the single that first rocketed her to fame, ‘Bodak Yellow.’

Earlier in the evening, Ice Spice, the breakout star of the year — and one of hip-hop’s biggest in recent memory — blew the doors off UBS Arena.

During last year’s Summer Jam, her breakout hit ‘Munch’ was still two months away from being released, and the Bronx rapper was an unknown commodity.

But on Sunday, Ice Spice came out to a packed UBS arena as almost a household name, and spit Princess Diana over the heads of a packed UBS arena. 

Over a deafening roar, Ice Spice continued her most anticipated performance to date with ‘Boy’s A Liar’ before ceding the stage to FloMilli, who rapper her ‘Conceited’ with a crowd that knew every word.

Curated by TT Torrez, host of Hot97’s Tap In with TT, Ladies’ Night continued as Ice Spice retook the mic to introduce Kali for the snapping ‘Area Codes.’ The Bronx rapper came back on to play her signatures ‘Munch’ and ‘In Ha Mood.’

Lola Brooke exploded onto the stage early in the night with a team of dancers to perform ‘Here I Come.’ Maiya the Don joined her on stage to run her hit ‘Telfy,’ Billy B came out for ‘Don’t Play With It’ and BreezyLYN joined for ‘Bad Bitches (Remix).’