The Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime Show will go down in history. That’s why it makes sense that Jay-Z was willing to walk away if it didn’t happen.
It was the first show of its kind. We’ve seen hip-hop artist here and there on the Super Bowl stage but never to the magnitude of what we witnessed this year (Feb. 13). Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent (surprise), and Kendrick Lamar painted the world with a true adaptation of culture. According to the New York Times, this year’s show amassed 103.4 viewers, a 7% increase from last year’s performance by The Weeknd. Jay Z believed in this show from the beginning and a backstage moment between him and Snoop Dogg prove just how much.
“Jay was the first one that came to the dressing room when I got offstage,” Snoop said in an interview with Tidal. “We had [300 Entertainment CEO] Kevin Liles in there. Kevin Liles had Jay on FaceTime, trying to show him where we was at. So then he came down, and soon as he came in he hugged me. We hug each other tight. It was as if we won a championship. Like, you know when you’re genuinely happy for each other? People don’t understand, me and him are the ones. He’s the one on the East. I’m the one from the West.”
He added, “We love each other. Like, not secretly, like publicly, we love each other. It is what it is, so it’s like for him to go to bat for us and tell the NFL, ‘F**k that. They perform or I quit,’ that was the most gangster sh*t out of everything. Then with attire and kneeling and all this … you can’t wear your gang bang sh*t? JAY-Z hit me like, ‘Wear what the f**k you want to wear. Peace to the Gods.’”
What’s next for Jay?
I ask that because after this year’s show, we can only imagine what else Jay and Roc Nation have up their sleeves. In August of 2019, Jay Z (& Roc Nation) partnered with the NFL to “advise on selecting artists for major NFL performances like the Super Bowl.”
“With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” Jay-Z said. “This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.” You may remember the moment because it was a polarizing time as NFL fans were torn between enjoying the game and standing up for social justice. It was a time where players, coaches, and others were kneeling during the National anthem.
Since then, Jay has certainly brought a stern flare of culture to one of the biggest stages that any artist can stand on. You can’t help but wonder what’s around the corner. Who else could we see make history? A portion of the culture was critical of Jay’s involvement with the league but we see the fruits of that agreement.
Correction, we hear them. It’s just another way to push the culture forward, in my opinion.