While many artists have turned down working with the NFL for next year’s Super Bowl, Jermaine Dupri has agreed to partner with the league as the music producer of several free shows leading up to the February 2019 showdown in Atlanta.
“Since I’ve entered the music scene, I’ve always had concerns with how people view the city of Atlanta both musically and overall,” Dupri said in a press release. “It’s an incredible place to be and I am always thinking of ways to make that view better. I feel it’s my duty as the Unauthorized Mayor to help Super Bowl LIVE create the best Welcome to Atlanta experience for the fans ever!!”
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Rihanna, JAY-Z and other Black artists have turned down the chance to work with the league, taking issue with the NFL’s treatment of Colin Kaepernick and rules stating that players who kneel in protest of police brutality would be fined. For Dupri, however, it’s about using the platform to make a statement.
“Boycotts and marches don’t seem like they work to me, I’m sorry,” Dupri told TMZ Sports. “I think they should send a message while they’re onstage, take advantage of your platform,” he said.
Dupri adds that he respects those who choose to boycott but he does not believe it’s an effective way to bring about real change. “The more people speak on it, the more they talk about it, then the more people feel like it’s something they have to address. I feel like people ignore boycotts.”
Check out the video below.
While JD has no problem working with the NFL, Rihanna reportedly plans to work with Kaepernick on a project addressing social justice just weeks after she turned down the Super Bowl Halftime show.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.