All trophies matter…I guess.
Roger Goodell has a brand new prize he can put on his mantel, as Jay-Z’s 2019 decision to betray Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid so that he could enter into a deal with a league that was — and still is — blackballing them for a job that would “advise (the league) on selecting artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl,” as well as “inspiring change” that would “education and economic advancement; police and community relations; and criminal justice reform,” has arrived at the moment where the fruits of all that backstabbing labor have equated to something.
For the first time in history, the 2022 NFL Super Bowl Halftime Show — which featured friends of Jay-Z like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar — won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special.
“It was one of, if not the greatest Super Bowl halftime shows ever,” director Hamish Hamilton told Billboard recently. “That [artist] lineup changed the world – they changed music, they changed politics, they changed the way that we dress, they had a seismic influence in music, culture, and beyond, and not one of them had been on a Super Bowl bill before, and all of a sudden they’re all on the same Super Bowl bill, and by the way it’s [near] Compton, where some of this started, where Dre started, literally this is his backyard. And, of course, you’ve got the home team in the final. It was a hip-hop L.A. Super Bowl once-in-a-lifetime moment. It just had everything extra going for it, from that first shot of Dre in his studio in Compton.”
The show was a success, and it was amazing. But, was it worth it?
If a trophy is all that the man who willingly entered a deal with the NFL — for a fee that still hasn’t been made public — has to show for after his infamous “we’ve moved past kneeling” comments led to Goodell later saying “we’ve moved on (from Colin Kaepernick)”, then the dude who claims to be a “business, man” got scammed.
Or, was this always what it…always was. A dude who likes money doing a deal that would make him more money under the guise of, “But, it’s gonna help Black people. Just trust me,” when that was never the case.
Over the last couple of weeks, Jay-Z has been facing criticism as people have started to realize that some of his ventures haven’t been “chess, not checkers,” as they originally assumed. They’re starting to see that he’s always been playing Monopoly. During a recent conversation on Twitter Spaces, Jay-Z, a man that has bragged and reveled about being a capitalist in almost every song he’s ever made, took issue with being labeled a “capitalist.”
“All these lies that America told us our whole life and then when we start getting it, they try to lock us out of it,” he said. “They start inventing words like ‘capitalist.’ We’ve been called ‘n*ggers’ and ‘monkeys’ and sh*t. I don’t care what words y’all come up with. Y’all gotta come with stronger words.”
He then went on to say, according to Billboard, that no one should be made to “feel ashamed to be successful in a place that set up a system for us to be dead at 21… Y’all locked us out. Y’all created a system that, you know, doesn’t include us. We said fine. We went our alternate route. We created this music. We did our thing, you know, we hustle, we f*cking killed ourselves to get to this space. And, you know, now it’s like, you know, you know, ‘Eat the rich,’ and, man, we’re not stopping.”
This sounds exactly like a man who made a deal with the NFL because he might want to one day own an NFL team — not like a person that wanted to “inspire change” for racial and social justice.
When the 2022 NFL season starts on Thursday night, reggaeton star J BALVIN will headline the kickoff concert. Since Jay-Z came aboard these types of NFL musical events have gotten more “ethnic.” But, in the end, are better shows what we needed, or even asked for? And that’s the problem with all of this, as it feels like the only change that was inspired has been the “change” into Jay-Z’s pockets.
We wanted police brutality and racism to cease. And all we got were better concerts and a cooler halftime show.
Thanks for nothing, Jay-Z. Enjoy your trophy.