Heavy is the Crown…Jay-Z…Heavy is the Crown!!!
Recently Jay-Z has teamed up with the NFL (National Football League) to work as the HNIC of their music selection for the Super Bowl. Headlining as the “live music entertainment strategist”, his labeled position there will hopefully bring back some heavy hitters in music and up and coming acts to the Super Bowl halftime show and in in the process incorporate and grow the Roc Nation ‘Squad’ into a more well defined powerhouse; making it better than what it is today. With Roc Nation growing as an entertainment company, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation has under its belt a well defined list of recording artists, producers, songwriters and athletes. Additionally, partnering with a variety of companies, from D-Block (Owned by the L.O.X.) to music platforms such as Equity Distribution that specializes in assisting music artists distribute their work to various platforms around the world (while at the same time allowing them not to get ‘raped’ by the industry), Jay-Z always thought of the people first and his actions have showed that.
Although, I listed Jay-Z’s company above, the real issue taking place as of late is why Jay-Z has partnered with the NFL?! Some members of the Black Community are mad as hell as he has allowed himself to partner with a predominately White-owned franchise as they make ‘tons of money’ of the predominately 75% NFL player-employee population, which is, as you guessed it… African-American.
Now I can understand some of the reasons why there is anger and why some of you may be mad as hell. Some of you are saying that he possibly ‘sold out’ or ‘shucked and jived’ or ‘Uncle Tom-ed’ his way into the lions den of the still predominately white-owned’ institution… but for those who are mad at ‘J’ for making this move, the main lingering question is this…. Will Kaepernick get his job back?
Maybe or Maybe not possible. As far as I could see, he may not get his job back. Earlier this year, the NFL and Kaepernick settled their grievances in court as he and fellow, former teammate Eric Reid reached a surprising legal settlement with the NFL. This took place around February 2019 and while Reid is still employed with the NFL, Kaepernick is not.
Now at this point I have to ask a question; research showed that Kaepernick’s lawyers, who were not affiliated with the NFL Players Association, ‘grilled and interviewed’ pretty much every player, owner and coach in the NFL and as the Times reported, his lawyers ‘…gathered enough persuasive evidence and testimony’ to ensure that the arbitrator hearing Kaepernick’s case could rule in his favor’; why would he agree to the settlement? Especially when the settlement carried with it a ‘confidentiality agreement’ where he can’t even talk about the ‘collusion issue against him by the NFL’ in any way whatsoever; in a book, blog or even on radio (Could you imaging how much money that would have been for him if he could discuss it in his authorized biography?).
Also if the case ruled in his favor, Kaepernick would have won his ‘free agent’ money and received double that amount in punitive damages in upwards of about $28 million. Why would he settle?
My Answer: “Jay-Z”.
Confused right? Perplexed? How could Jay-Z make this almost 2 year battle turn into a settlement?
My Answer: ‘I don’t need you, you need me!”, Jay-Z said to the NFL
Still confused?, Perplexed? I’ll explain…..
Jay-Z said in a Kanye West song, Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix feat. Jay-Z): I’m not a businessman, I’m a business man!!! Let me handle my business damn!!!
Jay-Z has made serious business moves in almost every industry where, as he said it best, ‘difficult takes a day, impossible takes a week’ and for him as part of the NFL, he has set out to do what few others are trying to do: change the system from within.
An almost impossible task for some, but this is Jay-Z we’re talking about. We’re discussing and bad mouthing the entrepreneur who has survived the music industry in the ages of Biggie, Tupac, Snoop, Lil’ Wayne, Dr. Dre and Nas. We’re talking about a person who purchased a streaming service overseas, rebranded it TIDAL and made artists owners of the company: Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Damian Marley, deadmau5, Indochine, J. Cole, Jack White, Jason Aldean, Shawn “JAY Z” Carter, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, T.I. and Usher all the while raking in money from the venture.
Furthermore, we’re talking about a ‘business-man’ who has literally become a ‘Black Billionaire’ from the music game and additional business ventures.
Yet you bash him as he his moves into the NFL and heads America’s most watched musical performance every year…. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. He’s now in charge of the Super Bowl halftime show; a 12 minute-a-year spectacle that is viewed by more than 100 million people a year….
And guess why he did it?
My Answer: He wants to know the NFL system while understanding the mechanics of it from within. He thinks of it as a paid internship.
Don’t believe me, let’s reflect on Jay-Z a little bit and the mechanics of his entrepreneurship:
When he entered the game, he teamed up with Damon Dash to start Roc-a-fella records. During that time, he has amassed clothing, music, clubs, athletes; moving beyond music and succeeding in almost every business venture by learning about said business from those within; then leaving these companies to create his own ventures within that industry. In his entrepreneurship, Jay-Z has created a war chest of a ‘Billion Dollars’ that not only made himself and others rich; he has also used his funds to assist Black America in supplying the fuel for many social justice programs and scholarship opportunities for students as well as funding the legal fees for many African-Americans, especially rapper Meek Mill.
Now what does this have to do with Kaepernick and if Jay-Z did all of this, what do you think he will do in the NFL? with Kaepernick even? I have some premonitions:
Jay-Z will make Kaepernick the lead man between the NFL, various social justice groups that have been funded by him, the NFL and ‘J’ himself all the while accepting a very high salary in the process and continuing to fund social justice programs and promote awareness in fighting police brutality against African-Americans.
Kaepernick will be one of the lead talent scouts in Jay-Z’s growing arsenal of athletes all the while continuing to fund social justice programs and promote awareness in fighting police brutality against African-Americans.
Jay-Z will start a Football league and Kaepernick will run the company and recruitment efforts all the while continuing to fund social justice programs and promote awareness in fighting police brutality against African-Americans.
The NFL accepts Jay-Z’s new football league with Kaepernick as Quarterback all the while continuing to fund social justice programs and promote awareness in fighting police brutality against African-Americans.
You see the point that I’m making here? I believe Jay-Z never lost the message or forgotten the issues facing Black America, he’s just funding the drive and targeting a wider audience and he’s doing it from within. Imagine this, you’re the only black person in a bomb shelter and a grenade falls in the shelter and the Black person jumps on it to protect everyone…yeah that’s Kaepernick and Jay-Z. They both took criticisms from parties and are creating something behind the scenes for us for the future. This is my Hope.
Now, maybe some of you are probably mad at me and before you really flip on me, let’s examine 2 African-Americans who have went against the grain and have succeeded in creating new lanes for African-Americans.
A.G. Gaston: Black Millionaire elite; A.G. was an African-American businessman who established a series of businesses and played a very pivotal role in integrating Birmingham, Alabama’s Black and White residents (known as Bombingham at the time due to black businesses and residencies getting bombed during the desegregation era). Very successful in lifting Black America to middle class status through various ‘schooling efforts’ for African-Americans; he was also criticized for siding with White business owners during desegregation efforts by Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. His contributions was also both financial and vocal as he provided lodging for King and he continuously paid the bail for African-Americans (including King) as they were getting locked up for peaceful protests from one of Birmingham’s most racist authorities, ‘Bull Conner’.
Barack Obama: First Black President, Obama faced a lot of challenges as the first African-American President of the United States of America. Some of his biggest critics were from members of his own race as he navigated a predominately White government and made major commitments to assist the progression of African-Americans in the United States.
Now why do I highlight these individuals and how they assisted in the progression of African-Americans? Whether in government, sports, business, education, health, etc. sometimes very talented African-Americans who have created new lanes have had to endure some harsh criticism from others as well as members of their own race to create these surprisingly new lanes for Black America to follow. For these talented individuals, remembering the journey to create the lane rather than listen to the criticisms of it is all that matters.
For Jay-Z, he’s creating a new lane for Black America, one that’s unprecedented in the NFL and music industry. He now runs the largest, shortest and most expensive music concert platform in America…The Super Bowl halftime show. One can only imagine the messages, the commercials and the amount of money that will be gained to fund and fuel social justice efforts across America; especially with Kaepernick at the helm of this ship guiding that money to fuel and fund the hopes and possibly the dreams of Black America in their fight for equality.
Jay-Z and Kaepernick are going to surprise all of us for SuperBowl LIV and more…. Just Stay Tuned….