The rapper's entertainment company, Roc Nation, announced on Tuesday that they entered into a long-term partnership with the National Football League as the league's official Live Music Entertainment Strategists, one that will aim to "nurture and strengthen community" through music and support the NFL's Inspire Change social justice initiative. Now, the 49-year-old rapper is opening up about how he plans to advise the league on the selection of artists performing on America's biggest stage.
The 2020 NFL championship game is scheduled to take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Feb. 2, with a halftime show that will likely honor the city's heritage. That being said, ET's reporter asked JAY-Z if Jennifer Lopez, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull -- who all have strong ties to Miami -- could be in the running to headline.
"Not in those terms. We had this conversation, you can't go to a city, plop a show down and then leave. Like, at least speak to the community. Speak to the guys that's on the ground organizing things and trying to make things better, in that sort of way," JAY-Z told reporters, including ET, at a press conference held in the Roc Nation boardroom in New York City on Wednesday. "Tampa's next [in 2021]. I love Tampa, but I have no idea who's from there, who would perform."
"So, I don't want to be running into that problem," he continued of trying to avoid putting themselves into a box. "Sometimes it may happen and it may wind up that the person is from the city that they perform, but you don't want to get in that space 'cause then, again, who performs in Tampa?"
Asked by ET's reporter if this new partnership could make her reconsider performing in the future, he said, "You have to ask her. That's a tough question."
Earlier in the press conference, JAY-Z addressed why he also turned down the Super Bowl halftime show in Atlanta this year. The headlining gig eventually went to Maroon 5, with appearances by Travis Scott and Outkast's Big Boi.
"Nobody -- with all due respect -- nobody mentions [frontman] Adam Levine in this whole thing and the role he played in this," JAY-Z responded to the question from ET's reporter. "We all talk about [Colin] Kaepernick, that's a hot button issue, but this is an entertainment company as well. We also have to discuss what happened ... what happened with the Super Bowl?"
"Well, we had to have a conversation right, because, there was a lot of talk around Adam Levine's performance in Atlanta, and me being vocal about stepping back from performing as well," he continued. "I think that sparked some of the conversation as well [with the NFL]."
In a statement on Wednesday, JAY-Z discussed the social justice component of Roc Nation's partnership with the NFL. "With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country. Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas -- instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America," he said.