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Summer Jam HTX Beats the Rain and A Venue Change To Bring Houston an All Star Line Up


The audience roared as JT and Caresha walked across the stage chanting “where the bag at?” Dressed in matching pink shorts and tops, the hitmaking rappers begin bringing women on the Summer Jam HTX stage to dance alongside them as “Twerk”, from the duo’s debut album Girl Code blasted through the stage speakers.The City Girls hyped up the crowd and fire and lights filled the sky. Summer Jam HTX for 2023 was fully underway.

Summer Jam HTX returned this year with a loaded lineup including The City Girls, Flame, Asian Doll, Duke Deuce, Kentheman, Beat King, K Carbon and more. The festival consisted of three stages, with a main Summer Jam HTX stage and another L.O.U.D Musik stage. While the main stage had a lot of headlining artists, the L.O.U.D Stage had not only the record label’s roster but a string of up-and-coming artists getting the opportunity to perform for the crowds as they entered the grounds.

Summer Jam HTX is a mix of Houston artists as well as those from abroad with staples Beat King, DJ Mr. Rogers, OG Ron C & The Chopstars gracing the same stage as Gloss Up, Duke Deuce, and The City Girls. It also shows the importance of Houston Music festivals which aren’t occurring at nearly the rate that needs to happen for a city this big.

“This was my first time and I loved performing for such a big crowd,” said Jett the 3rd.”We need to have more festivals like this so we can show the different types of sounds and artists that the city has to offer. That way Houston can really know what Houston has right here.”

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OG Ron C, Jett the 3rd, DJ Candlestick, DJ Holleygrove, and DJ Get It Ready after the Chopstars set on the main stage.

Photo by DeVaughn Douglas

The festival isn’t just important to the artists but also to the many vendors that came out to offer everything from infused slushes, clothes, jewelry, food, and everything in between. Chef Tyler August braved the heat to make sure the crowd was fed.

“I’m from Louisiana,” said the Chef whose stand is affectionately named Food of God after the influence of his mother. The chef took a quick break from serving quesadillas off his blacktop grill to survey the growing crowd that was entering the field despite the rain. “It’s lovely being able to come out here and meet all these great people.”

Musically the festival offered a variety of artists. KenTheMan hyped the crowd up with her braggadocious flow and had the audience rapping word for word as she went through hit singles “Not My N*igga” and “He Be Like.” The Art of Ratchet and Khody Blake had the spectators moving with their single “Sneaky Link.” K Carbon, Gloss Up, and Glockianna performed “Shabooya Roll Call” for the excited crowd and then brought out Sexxy Red to perform her viral hit “Pound Town.”

Dallas rapper Asian Doll performed back-to-back with Houston’s Just Brittany. Beat King wearing his signature black shirt with a message (this one reading “THAT’S NOT HER BROTHER”) ran through his string of hits and got the audience up on their feet with back-and-forth chants. Duke Deuce brought Memphis Jookin to the main stage as he went through his hit songs like “Crunk Ain’t Dead.”

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Summer Jam HTX also brought out graffiti artists creating canvases throughout the day.

Photo by DeVaughn Douglas

Is Summer Jam perfect? Of course not and with any festival there was good and bad. Initially one of the top billings was Waka Flocka Flame but as can happen with festivals, plans changed but the show must go on.

There was a scuffle on the side of the stage near the VIP section which security quickly broke up quickly. At one point in the beginning of the day there appeared to be a lot of confusion as to when the grounds would open. The parking wasn’t as clear as it should be with opportunists claiming to be with the festival taking money for parking and directing attendees anywhere.

The critiques are the same as most festivals that occur in the city and, of course, more organizers need to be prepared for the weather. To their credit the organizers moved the festival from the original grounds to the parking lot, a decision that paid off when the skies opened around midday, and it started raining on attendees. While it didn’t rain for too long the aftermath was an area that dried up with minimal mud, which would not have been the case if they had held the festival in the open field where it was originally planned.

The move did, however, push the schedule back with some artists getting bumped and not able to perform and many audience members questioning what was happening next. The show began to settle into a groove as K Carbon hit the stage. While the festival may have had an air of confusion during the day as the sun dropped out of the sky bringing cooler night air everything seemed to solidify.

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