As the cold weather creeps upon us on the east coast, declarations of hibernation for the winter start to pour in accompanied by semi-sincere promises to not attend any social events. Assumedly, those individuals were not planning on Hot 97 to bring their usual summer heat to the colder months this year. Shaking up plans to reside under blankets, the infamous New York radio station has teamed up with legendary hip hop artist Busta Rhymes for the Busta Rhymes & Friends: Hot for the Holidays concert event. Featuring such acts as Puff Daddy, Mary J. Blige, Fetty Wap, French Montana, Sean Paul, Lil Wayne, and Jeremih, this is definitely going to be an event worth ditching the covers for! Not to mention, the renowned songstress herself Mariah Carey and the boss Rick Ross have both been added to the line-up since the initial announcment.
To get more details about this fast-approaching, epic concert, RESPECT. caught up with Hot 97 mid-day host Megan Ryte to talk about crazy experiences with crowds, concert fashion tips, and why Hot for the Holidays is looking like it’s going to be the winter version of Summer Jam.
RESPECT. Magazine: You’re co-hosting the Busta Rhymes & Friends: Hot for the Holidays concert along with the rest of the Hot 97 crew. Who are you most looking forward to seeing perform?
Megan Ryte: You know what? I’m honestly excited to see how Busta Rhymes is performing with the guests because, you know, he’s got hits for days. He’s got a whole catalogue of classics. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him [perform] and I’m very excited to see how the whole show is put on because it’s under Busta Rhymes & friends. I’m assuming everyone’s going to do a bunch of their older classics and Busta’s gonna be on stage, as well. I just want to see the collabs together.
RM: Yeah, that should be interesting. So, as a DJ, you’ve toured the world and played for countless audiences. Tell me about you’re craziest experience with a crowd.
MR: Hmm, let me see. OK, I’ve got one. I was overseas and I was DJing for an artist; her name was Natalia Kills. She use to be signed to Interscope. I don’t know if she’s still signed. I know she was on X Factor for a little bit, but she’s originally from London so we did an European tour. I have really big, crazy, curly hair. I’m very well aware that Sheila E. is a drummer and not a DJ. I don’t know if they didn’t put two and two together, but as soon as I was up on stage, people started screaming, “Sheila E.!” Literally. Like, as I was DJing. See, this wasn’t like decades ago; this was like four, maybe five, years ago. I just remember we would go to these different venues and I would get off stage and it would be crowds of people wanting to take pictures of me because they thought I was Sheila E. (laughs) I don’t know if it was the hair. I don’t know if they really thought that I was her or if they just saw the similarities and saw, you know, there’s this girl and she’s on stage. I wasn’t a drummer though, so I don’t really get it, but it was kind of cool being over there and that whole situation. It was actually really funny. At, literally, every venue we would go to, people would do that!
RM: That’s so crazy! So, I’ve been out to concerts during the time that this concert’s going to take place where it’s not winter yet, but the weather is winter adjacent. Even still, when you’re outside, you see females with their arms out, legs out, what have you in the name of being cute. What kind of fashion tips or suggestions do you have for the female crowd coming out to this event who want to look cute, but not crazy and cold at the same time?
MR: I would keep it comfortable! I’m not a real dress up kind of person for concerts, you know? I see people do that and I have a hard time understanding why people do that because it’s a lot of standing. I would keep it casual; definitely cover up. I would definitely have something that you can take off when you get inside because when you’re jumping around, when you’re Diddy boppin’ when Puff Daddy’s on stage, you know what I’m saying? You’re going to want to be Diddy boppin’ with Diddy! I definitely wouldn’t go for the overdress. I don’t think this is that type of event to be overdressed, over-cute. Do cute-casual.
RM: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I always thought until one time I went to a concert with my cousin and her friends and everyone was dressed up. I was like, “Ummm…did I do something wrong?” (laughs)
MR: Yeah! I always see that and I’m just like, “What is going on?” I’m just like, it’s not worth the pain. I want to have a good time and enjoy the show. Definitely for me to have a good time, I’m going to need some sneakers. (laughs)
RM: Busta Rhymes has a lot of friends. Diddy has a lot of friends. Considering that this is Busta Rhymes’ 25th anniversary celebration of being in hip hop, who do you think they might end up bringing up on that stage or who do you hope they bring out on stage that they haven’t announced yet?
MR: Oh, you’re not going to trick me! See, here’s the thing: you have to know that this is Hot 97. We’re known for special guests. We’re known for putting on amazing shows and having special guests. This is also Busta Rhymes, which is the guy with, like I said before, 25 years in the game celebrating a 25th anniversary. He has a catalogue and relationships with all kinds of people. I really think it should be, instead of “Who’s gonna be there,” who’s not going to be there? That’s how I’m looking at it. I feel like there’s going to be all kinds of people that are definitely going to come out and support, especially with these calibers of artists. That’s why I’m super excited about it. That’s why I’m hyped about them all being on stage doing their collabs together. To me, even when I watch Summer Jam, that’s my favorite part of Summer Jam. Like, when Fab (Fabolous) came out and he brought all the people and he did different sets; [he] kind of went through his history and his catalogue. So, it’ll be super dope to see that all unfold.
RM: Yeah because this is looking like it’s going to be like a mini Summer Jam or a Winter Jam or something.
MR: The way it’s being put together, right?
MR: Yeah, and I look at the caliber of artists that are already on. Like, you got Puff Daddy…It’s going to be up there.
RM: Yeah, it should be crazy. So, it’s almost the end of the year; the holiday shopping season will officially start on Black Friday. With that being said, why do you think Hot 97 listeners and RESPECT. readers should come out to this event versus saving that money that they would spend on tickets for holiday expenses like gifts, food, or travel expenses?
MR: I think that it’s going to be an amazing show. We talked about, you know, the show. I’m one of those people who sometimes gives gifts in advance and I’ll be like, “Oh, FYI: this is your Christmas gift.” (laughs) I think that it’s definitely a show that you don’t want to miss. I know people say that and it’s very, very cliché, but again, when you look at who’s putting it on, we always put on amazing shows. To collab with Busta for this knowing that if you look up Busta’s catalogue and you look up what he’s doing and what he’s been doing over the past 25 years, over that span of time, any of those people could show up at the show. I just don’t think that’s something that you want to miss out on because I don’t see it happening again.
Hot 97’s Busta Rhymes & Friends: Hot for the Holidays concert will take place December 5th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Get you tickets here!
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