Don’t Be Fooled by Jay-Z’s Star-Studded Super Bowl Halftime Show

After two consecutive years of white, male headliners on the Tremendous Bowl Halftime Present proved to be one too many, the nation’s largest televised musical occasion has obtained a little bit of a facelift over the previous few years because of a partnership with Jay-Z and Roc Nation that, thus far, has delivered a much-celebrated collaboration between Shakira and Jennifer Lopez and a barely more divisive performance by The Weeknd. In 2022, the NFL, Roc Nation and the present’s sponsor Pepsi will proceed their agenda of platforming folks of coloration and ladies with an illustrious, majority-Black lineup that includes legendary hip-hop and R&B acts Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, and Eminem—a gathering of heavy hitters that’s positive to be one for the pop-culture historical past books and possibly the most important nationwide second for hip-hop to this point.

At a time when innocuous rap music movies incite weeklong, brain-melting tradition wars between the proper and the left, one can simply visualize the combative morning-after takes this occasion will inevitably spur on social media and within the information. Proper-wing commentators like Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, and Tucker Carlson will get on their racist soapboxes to denounce the NFL for “selling gangster tradition” and try and label the undoubtedly censored lyrical content material unsuitable for kids. Presuming that the artists will seemingly make some type of political gesture towards racial equality, as Black musicians have traditionally been recognized to do—however particularly up to now two years for the reason that murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor—these pundits can even be spewing their typical anti-Black Lives Matter sentiments. In the meantime, liberals on CNN, MSNBC and Twitter who take pleasure in clapping again at right-wingers will spend the following days defending the style of hip-hop.

Jay-Z and the slate of performers will obtain some good PR and inevitably come out victorious, as supporting Black artwork, companies, and other people (not less than rhetorically) and showing anti-racist has all of the sudden turn into in vogue in the corporate world and for politicians within the Trump period. Sadly, the present and no matter degree of media frenzy that follows will conveniently overshadow the nefarious points on the core of the NFL and their remedy of Black gamers that led to the rapper-entrepreneur’s recruitment within the first place.

Of us who comply with the enterprise maneuvers of hip-hop’s first billionaire will recall that he was hired by the NFL on the finish of 2019 to advise NFL performances and support social justice efforts for the affiliation and its newly launched Encourage Change initiative. It was the identical 12 months sure celebrities and social media customers introduced boycotts of that 12 months’s Tremendous Bowl—and a few musicians revealed that they had turned down the offer to perform—over accusations by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick that he was blackballed from the league for his extremely scrutinized protests through the nationwide anthem. On the time, the announcement of this deal resulted in a wave of backlash and accusations that the rapper—who beforehand boasted that he “stated no to the Tremendous Bowl” in solidarity with Kaepernick on his 2018 track “Apeshit” together with his spouse Beyoncé—was a sellout. His ill-informed remarks about what he perceived as a scarcity of effectiveness in Kaepernick’s type of protest and what he thought-about true “motion” towards racial equality sparked much more outrage.

About his resolution to associate with the league, he stated, “I’m actually into motion. I’m into actual work. I’m not into the way it seems. The way it seems solely lasts for a pair months till we begin doing the work.”


Rapper Jay-Z attends the sport between the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 19, 2018, in Los Angeles, California.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty

He additionally added, “Encourage Change is already occurring (with Roc Nation) and the NFL has an enormous platform. We are able to use that massive platform, and we’ve seen it occur. Like with J.J. Watt, when he introduced the help to everybody in Houston, everyone forgot concerning the turmoil that was within the NFL. If you need to use this platform to try this in numerous areas, that’s a house run. That’s how I might view successful. That’s success for me.”

It’s an simply detestable take from somebody who was evidently employed to rehabilitate the group’s picture and even applauds one among its athletes for distracting the general public from the league’s inner issues. What’s much more ludicrous about Jay-Z’s declare that he’s not inquisitive about “how issues look” is that, all through his profession, he’s falsely equated illustration in white capitalist areas and positions of energy and possession, even at the expense of other Black people, with the liberation of Black folks as a complete. Moreover, he, like many Black elites solely marginally inquisitive about social equality, enjoys touting the parable that oppressive establishments might be remodeled from the within with the inclusion of a privileged few, which constantly leads to these members mimicking the habits of their oppressors and stated establishments attending to boast of their variety. Suffice to say, Jay-Z’s eagerness to play Black spokesperson for the league whereas Kaepernick will conceivably by no means play once more, and after utilizing his title to achieve cred in progressive circles (like all the rappers performing within the upcoming Halftime Present), serves as a stark reminder that capitalists will all the time function in their very own curiosity first.

“Moreover, he, like many Black elites solely marginally inquisitive about social equality, take pleasure in touting the parable that oppressive establishments might be remodeled from the within with the inclusion of a privileged few…”

However past Kaepernick and the best way the league suppresses Black voices, it’s much more abhorrent that the league has determined to host this main second in Black tradition as retired Black gamers and their households await compensation and medical benefits from a 2013 class-action lawsuit in opposition to the NFL for neurological accidents. The gamers allege that the league’s use of “race-norming” in its cognitive assessments have prohibited Black gamers from being correctly identified and receiving payouts. The league’s long-overdue elimination of “race-norming” from its medical protocol—though they keep that it affected the gamers’ claims—has hardly put a seal on the problem, because the court-ordered mediation between former gamers and the NFL remains to be ongoing and more families are coming forward with tales of the league’s medical racism after the lawsuit raised nationwide consciousness concerning the racist observe, which assumes Black folks have decrease cognitive operate than white folks.

However multi-billion greenback companies and billionaires like Jay-Z know tips on how to weaponize celeb energy higher than anybody and perceive how “ground-breaking” illustration can detract spectators and marginalized folks, who’ve been taught to count on nothing greater than that, from the nefarious issues which might be truly impacting folks’s livelihoods. In that method, the NFL’s star-studded celebration of hip-hop, even with a noted abuser entrance and heart, will most probably succeed as an efficient Band-Help for the affiliation as they proceed to trigger hurt to their Black workers. way of=rss | Don’t Be Fooled by Jay-Z’s Star-Studded Tremendous Bowl Halftime Present


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