Jay-Z is a portrait of a man who is trying to have his cake and eat it too. For days, he wanted credit for silently protesting during the national anthem at the Super Bowl, only to come out and say that he wasn’t consciously protesting. He wants credit for talking about social justice with the NFL, all while the NFL still refuses to hire Colin Kaepernick. Jay wants credit for producing one of the best Halftime shows in recent memory, but he reportedly tried to exert pressure on Jennifer Lopez to tone down the political message of the show. Jay-Z is everything and nothing. He will go where the wind blows. So here’s his explanation – after days of people defending his “silent protest” of remaining seated through the anthem – for why he did what he did and why it wasn’t a protest:
JAY-Z and Beyoncé may have remained seated while Demi Lovato sang the National Anthem at Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, but it wasn’t a form of protest as some previously thought. During an appearance at Columbia University on Tuesday, JAY-Z, 50, set the record straight.
“It actually wasn’t. Sorry,” the rapper said when asked if staying seated was “meant to convey a signal,” according to video of the event obtained by TMZ. “It really wasn’t.”
JAY-Z — who produced all of the musical acts at the Super Bowl as part of his deal with the NFL as “live music entertainment strategist” — said that he and Beyoncé, 38, immediately “jumped into artist mode” as soon as the performances began with Yolanda Adams’ rendition of “America the Beautiful.” By the time Lovato, 27, took the stage to sing the National Anthem, the pair were so enthralled with the performance and its logistics that they didn’t stand up.
“So the whole time we’re sitting there, we’re talking about the performance,” he explained, adding that during Adams’ performance, he was preoccupied with what was being shown on televisions across the country versus what people at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida were seeing. “And then right after that, Demi comes out, and we’re talking about how beautiful she looks and how she sounds, and what she’s gone through in her life for her to be on the stage and we’re so proud of her. It just happened. I didn’t have to make a silent protest,” JAY-Z said, adding that the diverse group of artists that were chosen to perform were “the biggest, loudest protest of all.”
Ah, so he wasn’t protesting but if he was, he didn’t need to because Jennifer Lopez and Shakira did a big protest but he tried to get them to stop. That’s it in a nutshell. To be clear, I don’t have an issue with Jay-Z making money and making deals and doing business. He’s a mogul and all that. What bugs me is that he wants to be the smartest businessman and be SEEN as an ethical man of integrity and cultural relevance. And he’s just not that guy anymore. He’s a suit. He’s doing deals with the NFL, he’s making decisions based on corporate interests rather than social consciousness. Anyway, I don’t’ even believe that Jay and Bey remained seated because they were just focused on the music and in “producer mode.”
Photos courtesy of Getty.