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Exclusive: Hot 97’s Megan Ryte Talks Summer Jam, Favorite Moments & More

Megan Ryte

Hot 97’s Summer Jam returns as one of the best showcases to hit the NYC music scene, highlighting not only as a “right of passage” but an ode to the talent bred by the birthplace of hip-hop. Among some of the starlets set to attend this year’s event is Megan Ryte, the Midday Host at the famed station.

A young vet in the game, the DJ, radio and television personality put in her share of work before landing her dream gig. Although starting off as a local DJ in the Hampton Roads area, good fortune wasn’t far behind after Ryte snagged a role as the ‘Morning Show’ talent on Norfolk’s WOWI-103 Jamz. Soon taking her talents to sunny-side Florida and laying groundwork in the likes of Miami and West Palm Beach, her move to Houston solidified her trajectory as a rising talent. Working full-time in television as a Digital Content Producer and On-Air talent for KRIV-Fox 26, she doubled as a tour DJ, traveling with big names like Amerie, K. Michelle,  The Game and Roc Nation’s Justine Skye. Now, the multi-media personality brings to you the livest tunes on the #1 station for Hip Hop.

With Summer Jam just days away, she chatted with JET and shared some incite on the upcoming event, which boasts a star-studded lineup that includes Migos, DJ KhaledLil Yachty, Young M.A., Chris Brown, Faith Evans,  Dave East, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, and more. Ryte is easy-going, energetic and just as excited for Summer Jam as you and me. Check out our interview to hear all about Summer Jam 2017 and why the Hot 97’s DJ’s love and passion for music is glaringly obvious.

JET: What is your favorite part of Summer Jam as an attendee and what do you look forward to every year? 

Megan: You know what’s interesting? People always ask me, ‘Who’s coming out?’ and I literally have no clue! So, that’s probably one of the most exciting moments — to see it all unfold on stage. And as a fan of music, and especially of hip-hop, to see those moments that are created is hands down my favorite part.

What acts are you most excited to see?

I’m actually really excited to see what Faith Evans is going to do with the Biggie tribute. The world – but NY especially – we have so much love for Biggie, and to see Faith pay tribute to him is going to be a great moment. She just dropped a new album, The King and I, and it’s really good. So, I know she’s going to perform some of those.

What would you say is the essence of the show? What  do you think brings so many people out every year?

You know how you said it’s a “right of passage?” It’s kind of like that. It’s like a holiday in NY! It’s an experience. When I give away tickets, I’ve had people tell me this is their 10th Summer Jam. You know we’re going to put on an amazing show and you just come out to be apart of it. And to be on stage — imagine 55 thousand people rapping along to “Juicy.” It’s going be amazing! Everyone’s there for the same reason — they come for the music and that’s just what it’s about.

That leads me to my next question. As a Hot 97 employee, how does it feel to be apart of such an event?

Before I started working here, Hot 97 was already a station I wanted to work at. I’ve been here over two years now and when I got here, it was literately a month and a half before Summer Jam. I’ve worked at quite a few stations in the past and there’s no other station anywhere that can put on a show like this. And to be living that moment – to be a part of history – is something that I’ll never forget.

Working the last few Summer Jams, what’s been your most memorable moment yet?

It was the year when Fabolous & Friends preformed. Remy [Ma] was just released from prison and she made a guest appearance. And I love Remy! That is my girl. She was my best friend in my head before I met her. That was my favorite set because I remember I was standing on the side of the stage, and I was like, ‘I get to be this close?’

Is there anyone else you would have liked to see who has a lot of potential, but wasn’t on the line up this year?

I think we did a really great job putting together an amazing lineup that really represents NY and who is really making moves right now.  Now for next year, they’re other people that I think are definitely getting ready, like Cardi B. I love Cardi!

I love Cardi B, too! She is really food for the ghetto soul. I love her because she’s real.

I love Cardi because Cardi is Cardi, and I love authenticity. The fact that she’s her self is why I love her. And next year is going to be the 25th anniversary, so it’s obviously going to huge!

Tapping into your musical taste, if you could pick five artists to participate in the show overall who would that be?
Of course, I would love to see Micheal and I wish I could’ve seen Prince. There’s also certain artists that I kind of grew with and Eminem was one of them, along with 50 cent. So, I would love to see Eminem perform Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers, and 50 cent do Get Rich or Die Tryin‘. I’m also here for Outkast! Outkast, If ya’ll read this, do something for the culture! Please! Whitney, of course, and lastly, I’m a big UGK fan, (RIP Pimp C). So, Pimp C and Bun B are also people I love.

Any advice you can give concert goers to prepare for the incredible day ahead?

This is for the women. Because I’ve been that newcomer not too long ago. I know you want to be cute, have your makeup on point and take those selfies. But with the weather, it really depends. I think my first year, it was beautiful and a dream come true, but you’re not always that fortunate. If you’re going to do makeup, you don’t want to be out there sweating, so less is best! Also, comfortable shoes. I would see the girl in the heels, like baby I don’t how you do it. So, definitely comfy shoes and just light makeup.

Hot 97’s Megan Ryte is on air live Mondays to Fridays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturdays 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. & 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.