While Electric Zoo was unwittingly delivering its final night on Saturday, there was a lesser known fest unfolding just a ferry ride away, on Staten Island. This was the Starfest Music Jam, a hip-hop fest held at Staten Island's minor league Yankees stadium with performances by French Montana, Uncle Murda, Mavado, Stalley, Fabolous, and more.
The early acts on Saturday didn't waste any time kicking things off, performing just as the gates opened for a smattering of audience members. The crowd slowly grew (though never reached anything close to full capacity) and the first direct engagement with an artist came with the arrival of Stalley, an Ohio rapper signed to Maybach Music Group (Rick Ross’s label). On stage, he set a new tone of serious poise and power with bigger beats—no obnoxious 10-man hype crew—and, most importantly, the crowd growing wilder with every hook. The set ended with a shout-out for the absent but obvious rulers of the entire evening—SI’s own Wu-Tang Clan.
Later, bigger-name acts like Brooklyn's Uncle Murda brought the house down with hits including "Bullet Bullet" and "Do Something," while Jim Jones charmed with "Nasty Girl" (here's video). But overall, Stalley was the one we were feeling most. Here's his video for "Live at Blossom.":