Saturday, June 30, at Nokia Theatre, Grand Prairie
Whenever there is an event with the name of a radio station in the title, followed by the words "summer jam," it's going to be a young and "urban" affair. And, of course, by music industry standards, "urban" means black. With the exception of Grammy-nominated Paul Wall, all the performers for this year's K104 Summer Jam fit the profile, from Wall's Swishahouse alumnus Mike Jones to headlining R&B showstopper Chris Brown, the heir apparent to whatever is left of the dance-off between Usher and Justin Timberlake. Or what would be a dance-off if either of them released albums with any regularity. But none of the other acts on the Summer Jam bill can claim Usher and Timberlake success, even with Atlanta's Shop Boyz reaching No. 2 on this week's Billboard Hot 100 with "Party Like a Rockstar." While the Shop Boyz co-opt rock 'n' roll as well as could be expected from anyone raised in Bankhead's Bowen Homes housing projects, the biggest surprise of the night may come from 17-year-old Brooklyn sensation Lil' Mama, whose minimally infectious "Lip Gloss" single proves that the youth, and their fans, have indeed gone wild. This year's K104 Summer Jam brings them all together to celebrate the novelty of mainstream hip-hop and R&B.