Jay-Z delivered on his promise. Just not the important one.
The man that once rapped, “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you. Every night we in the end zone, tell the NFL we in stadiums too,” was right — as he’s the reason why we’re about to have the Blackest Super Bowl halftime show, ever.
“Pepsi, the NFL, and Roc Nation have assembled a lineup of trailblazing musicians to perform the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show,” reads the press release from the NFL. “Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, and Kendrick Lamar will take the world’s biggest stage at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, CA on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2022, airing on NBC and Telemundo, and streaming live on Peacock.”
The rap mogul that entered into a partnership with the NFL two years ago — for an amount that is still unknown — did what he said he’d do when he signed on “to enhance the NFL’s live game experiences and to amplify the league’s social justice efforts.”
But, that was also the day on which Jay-Z said this infamous quote:
“I think we have moved past kneeling. I think it is time to go into an actionable item … I’m not minimizing [Kaepernick’s] part of it. That has to happen. That is a necessary part of the process. But now that we all know what’s going on, what are we going to do? How are we going to stop it?”
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Since that day, America experienced a summer in 2020 during which basically all of sports kneeled. Derek Chauvin even got into the act as he kneeled for nearly 10 minutes on George Floyd’s neck, which resulted in his murder. During that same time frame, Jay-Z also chipped in on buying Robert Kraft a Bentley (psst: he could already afford one) for the Pats owner’s birthday; race norming was exposed throughout the league; and yet Kaepernick is still unemployed today.
“I want to be held accountable for what I am doing,” Jay-Z said on that fateful day in 2019 while sitting next to Roger Goodell. “It keeps me sharp. Lets me know I can’t play around. I have to do what I say I am going to do.”
Super Bowl LVI will be the first time that rap will be the headlining genre for the halftime show, as it’s always been treated like a side dish in the past due to Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson’s “Nipplegate” in 2004. Ironically enough, the two rappers — P. Diddy and Nelly — that were part of that show had nothing to do with the scandal, yet it was their genre and culture that suffered because of it due to the act of a white male pop artist.
February’s show is going to be a legendary day for rap music. I’m going to thoroughly enjoy it, and you should too. But, do you know what would make it even better?
If everybody on stage kneeled at the end.