Jay-Z‘s Roc Nation and the NFL announced on Friday (August 30th) two programs as part of their partnership, benefiting the league’s nonprofit organization, Inspire Change.
The first initiative, called Songs of the Season, will run alongside each game, showcasing artists who will create a song for NFL promotions each month. Every recording will debut during an in-game broadcast. Meek Mill, Meghan Trainor and Rapsody are already slated to be the first Inspire Change advocates this season, and the three will perform at a free NFL Kickoff Experience concert in Chicago’s Grant Park on September 5th before the opening game of the season.
In addition to the music, an Inspire Change apparel line will also become available later this year. While the designs for the clothing are yet to be seen, proceeds will benefit organizations committed to the values of the program, including education, police and community relations and criminal justice reform. This is just the beginning for this new partnership between Jay-Z and the NFL, so fans can expect more to come.
While Jay-Z and Roc Nation‘s recent NFL partnership to address social justice issues and provide new types of entertainment to viewers was aimed at creating a more inclusive and safe environment for all, the move has angered many that stand with Colin Kaepernick.
One person that recently spoke out on behalf of Kap was his attorney, Mark Geragos, who blasted Hov in an interview with ABC News (August 19th) for aligning with the National Football League. “This deal between Jay-Z and the NFL crosses the intellectual picket line,” Geragos said, before calling the move “cold-blooded” on Jay’s part. “I can confirm to you that the deal was already done prior to any conversation that [Kaepernick] had with Jay-Z and he certainly didn’t have any conversations with the NFL.”
The disconnect comes as the former 49ers backup quarterback was never represented as a player in this newly inked deal and he is not being used officially by any entity in the conversation, and therefore never needed to be contacted or consulted regarding business between Jay-Z/Roc Nation and the NFL. Regardless of Colin Kaepernick’s feelings on the situation, artists like DJ Khaled, Vic Mensa, Cardi B, and Killer Mike have voiced their support for the Brooklyn mogul’s latest endeavor.
Stay tuned for more developments regarding the “99 Problems” rapper’s new position as live music entertainment strategist for the NFL.
The NFL has partnered with Jay-Z and Roc Nation, according to The New York Times. The fresh team-up will find the NYC native and his record label holding down the role of the National Football League’s brand-new “live music entertainment strategist.”
Specifically, as the title suggests, Hov will consult the league on entertainment in multiple areas – including producing its famed Super Bowl halftime show, which has seen a number of artists turn down the opportunity in recent years. Roc Nation will also be part of the NFL’s social justice campaign by contributing to the league’s Inspire Change initiative.
“The N.F.L. has a great big platform, and it has to be all-inclusive,” Jay-Z told NYT. “They were willing to do some things, to make some changes, that we can do some good.” The mogul has been critical of the NFL in the past, notably rapping on Everything Is Love single “Apeshit,” “I said no to the Super Bowl/ You need me, I don’t need you.” He has also been an outspoken supporter of Colin Kaepernick in his bout against the NFL.
“We don’t want people to come in and necessarily agree with us; we want people to come in and tell us what we can do better,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told NYT. “I think that’s a core element of our relationship between the two organizations, and with Jay and I personally.”
Meek Mill stopped by The Late Show on Thursday night (August 1st), preceding the premiere of his Free Meek documentary coming to Amazon next Friday (August 9th).
The Philadelphia native gave a sneak peek of the film that featured Jay-Z and candidly spoke about the need for criminal justice reform throughout America. “People don’t really understand what’s going on,” he begins. “Meek is not the only one. You tell people these stories and you can’t believe it. You hear it from a source and this is not fantasy, this is a fact. These are things that are just so far that I have to say something.”
Meek had a few words to say to kids as they grow up: “I always give them advice to chase their dreams. My record label is called Dreamchasers, I always tell them to chase their dreams,” noting his new business endeavor. Partnering with Roc Nation, the “Going Bad” collaborator recently celebrated the launch of Dream Chasers Records where he will lead the company as president, overseeing the business and its staff.
Watch Meek Mill’s appearance as well as the teaser of his upcoming documentary via The Late Show below.
Because they are not allowed to discuss the plans publicly, a person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Friday (July 26th) that the “99 Problems’ rapper will no longer close the three-day festival scheduled for August 16-18. Fogerty, who played the original gathering back in 1969 with Creedence Clearwater Revival, will now perform only at Woodstock’s original site in Bethel, New York, in a smaller anniversary event not connected to Woodstock 50.
Fogerty had appeared in March alongside the original festival’s co-founder, Michael Lang, to announce that Jay-Z, Dead & Company and the Killers would perform at the highly-anticipated event, that has since faced a series of setbacks, including permit denials and the loss of a financial partner and production company. Though it’s set to commence in 3 weeks, as of yet the show doesn’t have a venue and tickets have yet to go on sale.
With these heavyweight artists dropping out, and more expected to follow suit, the fate of the Woodstock 50th anniversary festival looks grim and stay tuned for more details regarding the gathering.
Meek Mill has been in a Jay-Z state of mind as the Philadelphia rapper-turned-entrepreneur is launching a new record label in a joint venture with the NYC native’s Roc Nation.
The two hip-hop players celebrated the launch of Dream Chasers Records on Tuesday at the Roc Nation headquarters in New York City, signing contracts at a small press conference and popping champagne to celebrate the partnership. Mill, 32, will lead the company as president, overseeing the label and its staff.
“Of course I had offers to do a lot of business with other people, but the relationship we’ve built from (Roc Nation) believing in me through my whole career, through my ups and downs and the morals they showed to me and my team when it wasn’t in their best interest to have showed it — I feel comfortable going through this right here at home,” Mill said. “We’re ready to work. We’re just starting the beginning of a new chapter, a new page.”
This isn’t the first time the two artists have teamed up, as Jay, Mill and others joined forces earlier this year to form a coalition that lobbies for changes to state probation and parole laws, called the Reform Alliance.
Jay-Z is officially turning his business mind toward a new venture, the legal marijuana industry as the Cannabis company Caliva announced on Tuesday (July 9th) that the heavyweight rapper will join the team as their chief brand strategist.
According to a release on the drug’s website, the “99 Problems” lyricist’s position involves multiple responsibilities including implementing creative decisions, outreach efforts and strategy, while also working to improve social justice issues involved in weed legalization. Mr. Carter will do so via “advocacy, job training and overall employee and workforce development” to create a new generation of legal marijuana purveyors.
“Anything I do, I want to do correctly and at the highest level,” Jay-Z said in a statement. “With all the potential in the cannabis industry, Caliva’s expertise and ethos make them the best partners for this endeavor. We want to create something amazing, have fun in the process, do good and bring people along the way.” He is not alone in the business as a number of other rappers have dipped their toes into the weed industry, including Snoop Dogg, 2 Chainz and Wiz Khalifa, who all have their own strains.
In the midst of Sunday night’s 2019 BET Awards (June 23), Amazon rolled out the first in a series of trailers for the upcoming Free Meek docuseries. The evocative five-part film will take a deeper look at the case that’s handicapped aspects of Meek Mill‘s life for more than a decade and even controversially landed him in prison from 2017-2018.
The freshly-dropped clip features exclusive footage of the Philadelphia native’s release from jail in April of last year and how the unifying “Free Meek” movement became a rallying cry and wake-up call for people of varying backgrounds. Meek decided to use his platform to speak up about the perceived injustices against him and millions of other Americans in an attempt to reform the criminal justice system through initiatives such as the REFORM Alliance – for which he was recently commended.
Jay-Z also has a hand in the project as he earned executive producing credits by contributing backing via Roc Nation. Until Free Meek debuts exclusively through Amazon’s video service on August 9th, watch the first trailer below.
Jay-Z once told fans that he’s not a businessman, he’s a business, man. According to Forbes‘ latest cover story, Hov has crossed the notorious finish line, thanks to his many business endeavors. The article details how the rapper, born Shawn Carter’s net worth “conservatively totals $1 billion, making him one of only a handful of entertainers to become a billionaire – and the first hip-hop artist to do so.”
For those interested in the breakdown of the Brooklyn native’s assets he has $220 million in cash and investments which, when added to his partnerships with liquor brands like Armand de Brignac and D’Usse (where he nets a staggering $410 million combined), his ownership of Tidal ($100 million), his company Roc Nation ($75 million) and more, one can see why his climb to a billion at 50 years old is an impressive feat.
Previously, Dr. Dre was thought to be the first rapper to join the billionaire club after he sold Beats By Dre to Apple for $3 billion, yet Forbes debunked those claims, reporting that his net worth stands at $850 million.
Prince‘s estate is gearing up to release a posthumous album featuring a range of 14 previously unreleased tracks, due on June 7th.
The highly-anticipated project titled Originals will only be available through TIDAL (at least for now) and will be heard for the first time via a listening party put on by the streaming service and hosted by Jay-Z on June 6th. Each song on the effort was carefully selected by Hov along with Troy Carter of The Prince Estate, most of which were recorded during the ’80s, and include original versions of records the Grammy winner penned for others. Album release parties are expected to take place around the globe, with fans celebrating Originals in Spain, Poland, and Brazil.
“Prince led the way, for artistic freedom, for ownership. He’s one of the bravest people I can think of in the industry. He trusted us, not just me, but TIDAL, to continue his fight,” the Brooklyn native said in a statement. “Trying to help further that legacy through his music is both an honor we couldn’t pass up as an organization dedicated to empowering artists. This gives his true fans that peak behind the curtain.” Keep an eye out for more news regarding this amazing event.