Washington Post – The NFL is forming a partnership with music mogul Jay-Z in a deal that allows him to help manage entertainment ventures tied to league events and is closely connected to the league’s community activism efforts.
The partnership will make Jay-Z, whose given name is Shawn Carter, and his Roc Nation agency a co-producer of the Super Bowl halftime show. It does not contain a provision for him to be the halftime performer, he and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said.
“He was very quick to say that he does not want this to be about him performing, that it was broader than that,” Goodell said in an interview. “It quickly went beyond that. Do I hope he’ll perform in the Super Bowl sometime in the next several years? Yes. But I think we’ll all know if that time comes. He’ll know in particular.”
Roc Nation will choose entertainers who will perform in televised NFL promotional spots throughout the season. Carter said he believes Roc Nation will have freedom under the partnership to produce the kind of entertainment that it wants.
The Super Bowl halftime show has been a snoozefest since Janet Jackson threw her titties into Justin Timberlake’s hand all those years ago.
Ever since then the NFL basically overcorrected and trotted out some of the most boring halftime shows ever. In the years post titty-gate we got Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, and The Who, which are all good, wholesome bands, just not anyone I want to see headlining the biggest entertainment night of the year. At least in recent years they’ve started to bring back artists that are under 50 years old again.
Last year though was definitely some old white producer trying to appease everyone with Travis Scott, Big Boi, and Maroon 5 while still somehow pleasing no one.
So this morning I hear the news that the NFL has gone back to the big guns (and probably dumped an 18-wheeler full of cash on his front lawn) and partnered up with Jay-Z for this year’s halftime show. While it makes it pretty clear he won’t be performing any time soon, getting S Dot Carter to produce the league’s halftime show and its musical entertainment as a whole is a HUGE win for the NFL. Reasonable Doubt, The Blueprint 1/2/3, The Black Album, Kingdom Come, hell even the American Gangster soundtrack still BANGS to this day. Thats not even counting all the collabs he’s done over the years like Collision Course and Watch the Throne, which are all-time albums. Now obviously I left out most of his more recent work…but those albums aren’t without their mega hits. I actually went to the Jay-Z/Timberlake show at Fenway a few years back and the Holy Grail beat drops just as hard today. To be perfectly honest I never heard a ton of 4:44 because I’m not a schill and I’m not paying for Tidal just to get Jay’s album, but The Story of OJ is without a doubt a jam. Long story short, I have high hopes for Jay-Z and Roc Nation leading the entertainment wing for the NFL moving forward.
Although it does sound like HOVA has been paying close attention to the Ginger Hammer’s actions in recent years (i.e. Supreme Court cases for equipment violations, but wife beaters and child abusers getting off scot free) and doesn’t expect completely smooth sailing.
“I anticipate that there will be a lot of — with any big organization, in this building right here we have internal problems. Anything that’s new is going to go through its growing pains. We put what we want to do on the table. The NFL agreed to it. So we’re going to proceed with that as if we have a partnership.”
I’d be remiss though if I didn’t mention and laugh out loud at the hypocritical nature of this entire partnership as the Carters very publicly turned down the halftime show last year and chided the NFL for its handling of Colin Kaepernick.
I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt though that he wants to make some real changes by getting inside the NFL, rather than just criticize it on twitter, but at the end of the day Hov isn’t a businessman, he’s a business, man.